Cheat Sheet: Your Complete Guide to Moving Boxes

Finding the right box for moving and storage can be overwhelming. Should you use cardboard or plastic boxes? If your items will be on display in your home for part of the year, shouldn’t the storage box be decorative? Consider these options to determine which is the best material for your moving and storage needs.

When people think of moving and storage, they immediately think of cardboard boxes. They’re a low-cost option that you can reuse, though their functional life won’t last forever

Pros: Recyclable, low-cost, fairly durable.

Cons: Not air-tight, doesn’t protect against water.


In recent decades, plastic drawers and boxes have been an easy alternative for storage. The material is longer lasting than cardboard and more durable, though it is more costly.

Pros: Long-lasting, reusable, air-tight options, protects against water.

Cons: Not eco-friendly, bulkier box options.

When you’re dealing with odd shapes, sometimes cloth bags are the way to go. The flexibility of the material can help you bend these through doorways and stuff into those smaller crevices of a packed moving truck.

Pros: Flexible dimensions, easy to carry.

Cons: Danger of rips, not good for fragile materials.

Metal boxes or baskets are rare to use in storage. With sharp edges and heat conducting properties, metal can be undesirable. However, its durable properties might make you rethink.

Pros: Decorative, durable.

Cons: Sharp edges, heavy, conducts heat.

Wooden crates are popular choices for large items, including art canvases. For smaller, less delicate storage, a classic wood trunk doubles as storage and decor. Though not as functional as the previously mentioned materials, these options can provide an element of style.

Pros: Very decorative, protects fragile and artistic materials fairly well.

Cons: Warps with age/climate, heavy/bulky.

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