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April 29, 2022

How to Choose the Best Containers for Self-Storage

Packed-up belongings in cardboard boxes and plastic bins

When preparing for moving or storage, it’s important to choose the right storage containers to protect your valuable and irreplaceable items from weather and pests. Selecting the right storage containers, however, can be overwhelming, as there are many different options on the market.

From cardboard to heavy-duty plastic bins, each container type has its pros and cons, which we’ll explore below.

Cardboard Boxes

Many people first turn to cardboard boxes for moving and short-term storage. They’re affordable, usually easy to find, and come in a variety of sizes.

If you need to store items that won’t be affected by moisture, such as plastic items, cardboard is a great option. Although, reinforced boxes are available for extra stability.

Cardboard wardrobe boxes are convenient for hanging and accessing clothes.


  • Cost-effective
  • Lightweight
  • Various sizes
  • Convenient and easy to find
  • Flat storage


  • Less sturdy
  • May attract insects
  • No humidity protection
  • Limited reusability

Clear Plastic Storage Containers

With snap-tight containers and user-friendly grips, plastic storage containers are more sturdy than cardboard boxes, especially when storing for long-term storage.

Translucent containers can make a small storage space easy to organize and navigate, and you can choose from a variety of sizes.

If you can afford the investment in these storage containers, there’s not much downside to organizing your items this way.


  • Great for organization, especially in small spaces
  • Stackable
  • Great for long-term storage
  • Make finding your things easy
  • Great for lighter items like linens, important papers, clothes, etc.
  • Protect items from weather and insects
  • Various sizes, styles, and capacities
  • Watertight


  • Expensive in bulk
  • Can become brittle and break in colder weather
  • May not be able to support the weight of heavy items like books

Heavy-Duty Storage Containers

Larger, heavy-duty storage bins are best for long-term storage or especially valuable items. 

Depending on the brand and style, you may be able to choose various colors to organize items further. For example, you can reserve red storage bins for Christmas decorations, blue storage bins for out-of-season clothes, etc.

Heavy-duty bins often have reinforced bottoms, wheels, and large handles to allow for dragging or more comfortable lifting.


  • Sturdy and durable
  • Great for heavy items like books, holiday decorations, etc.
  • Great for long-term storage
  • Stackable
  • Reusable


  • Expensive
  • Awkward and difficult to transport when full

Choose the Right Storage Solution for Your Needs

When selecting the best storage option for your valuables, it’s important to consider:

  • Whether you’re going to be using a climate-controlled storage unit
  • The size of the space you have to work with
  • How often you’ll need to access the items

Extra Room Self Storage provides a range of packing supplies and short- and long-term storage options for all your storage needs.

Reach out to learn more about our storage options. Contact us online or call our Myrtle Beach location at (843) 236-9633, our North Charleston location at (843) 501-7655, or our Moncks Corner location at (843) 761-0205 today.