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Boxes vs. Bins: Which Is Best for Moving?

With all of the details and plans to keep track of during the moving process, one very important question can easily be overlooked: What should you store your possessions in? With their perceived sturdiness and reusability, totes or plastic bins seem like the easy choice. But what if we told you that cardboard boxes are infinitely better for moving? It’s true! Follow along with the long-time moving experts at Georgetown Moving and Storage Company while we fill you in.

The Downsides of Plastic Bins

Bins are sort of waterproof, they seem durable, and there’s no denying that reusability is a plus. However, plastic bins have some very notable drawbacks. When weighed against cardboard boxes, plastic totes and bins fall behind for these reasons:

  • Rigidity doesn’t always translate to durability – While plastic is harder than cardboard, it’s also far more prone to cracking and warping because it doesn’t give well enough. This can mean damage to your items.
  • Plastic bins stack poorly – They’re designed to rest on top of one another, yes, but this feature wasn’t designed with movement in mind. Once stacked in a moving truck, bins can shift around, fall over, and slide all over the place.
  • Plastic bins are bad for space – Squared boxes fit snugly, whereas plastic bins leave a lot of unusable space between them. That means far less space efficiency, which can often translate to needing more portable storage units or moving vehicles.
  • More expensive – Getting enough plastic bins to move the contents of an entire home means a big investment, and once the move is over, you’re stuck with 30+ bins and no use for the majority of them.

We don’t mean to say that plastic is useless. Storage bins absolutely have a place! Their advantages, however, make them better for short- or long-term storage instead of for moving.

The Advantages of Cardboard Boxes

As you can guess, we’re far more fond of cardboard! It’s a more versatile material and offers a plethora of noteworthy benefits.

  • Cardboard can take a beating – Because it can give a bit, cardboard can take impacts and movement with far more grace. Even better, the force of any movement is often absorbed by the material, keeping the contents snug and safe.
  • Boxes are space-efficient – Boxes can easily be stacked wall-to-wall, making for more effective use of space that can translate to less moving trucks needed to complete your move.
  • Cardboard boxes are cost-effective – Boxes are cheaper per container by a wide margin, and during a move, every penny counts. Buying 30-40 boxes is a much easier investment.
  • They’re better for the environment – Cardboard is completely recyclable—most cardboard boxes are made of recycled materials! That means once you’re done with the boxes, you can keep the ones you need and safely get rid of the rest.

What About Items That Don’t Fit in Boxes?

If it doesn’t fit in any standard size box, it’s not likely to fit in a bin, either! In these situations, we recommend looking into custom crating. Crates are the ultimate in security and can be constructed specifically to meet your moving needs. They’re ideal for sensitive equipment and antiques.

Contact Us for Moving Assistance in MD, VA & DC

Our affordable movers have decades of experience in providing complete moving and storage services. Whether you’re going across the county, or just across metro DC, you can count on Georgetown Moving and Storage Company.

Contact us online to find out more, or call (703) 889-8899!

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