When to Avoid Cardboard Boxes for Storage

There’s more to packing a storage unit than just making sure all of your things fit in a defined space. Choosing the right boxes is important, both for organizational purposes and for keeping all of your belongings safe and secure. 

Boxes come in different sizes and materials, and each type has an intended function. While it’s certainly tempting to just throw everything into the biggest box possible and call it a day, it’s worth taking the time to make wise selections and choose the right boxes for the job.

So, how do you choose the right boxes for storage? It’s important to choose boxes that makes the most sense for the items you want to store, how long you intend to store them, and your storage location. Let’s look at a few different options.

Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes are the box of choice for many moving and storage situations. They are inexpensive, light, and easy to pack, stack, and label. Plus, when they’re no longer needed, they can be easily recycled or broken down for future use.

For longer term storage situations, however, cardboard isn’t necessarily the best fit. Cardboard boxes are susceptible to damage from certain conditions, including heat and humidity. They’re also attractive to bugs and rodents. If you’re planning to store items somewhere that isn’t climate controlled and well-protected from critters (such as a garage or shed), you’re risking damage not just to the box, but to the items inside. If you’re storing items at a designated, climate controlled storage facility, you have less to worry about and should be fine with cardboard.

Cardboard moving boxes should be used for their primary objective: moving. But it’s not unusual to store items in these inexpensive boxes long term. There are a few problems with this:

  • Cardboard breaks down much more quickly than plastic and are more susceptible to weather conditions, such as heat and humidity.
  • Cardboard takes a shorter amount of time to age. If you use cardboard boxes to store items long term, don’t expect the items to remain in perfect condition.
  • Bugs are especially attracted to cardboard boxes and their contents.
  • Some storage areas are worse than others for cardboard. Be aware of what is being stored and where before you decide to use a cardboard box. Are you storing on a concrete slab or in a shed? These moist areas can be disastrous for cardboard boxes.
  • Concrete slabs and outdoor flooring, if not sealed properly, will seep moisture. If you have a cardboard box on the ground, it will absorb the moisture and get the items in the box wet. If this happens, your items will become ruined and mildew or mold will start growing in the box.
  • If you have chosen to stack cardboard boxes, the bottom box walls have now become compromised, and there is a chance of the stack falling, which could damage the items inside.

Other Storage Solutions 

Do not fret: there are other solutions apart from cardboard boxes. Here are a few to consider.

Plastic Bins

Plastic bins are ideal for storage, as they’re easily stackable and they better protect your belongings from moisture, heat, and anything else that might be trying to get inside. You also don’t have to worry about packing tape since plastic bins are self-sealable. They’re more expensive than cardboard boxes, but because they’re relatively indestructible, you’ll be able to use them for much longer.

If you’re just doing short term storage, you may not want to splurge on plastic bins, especially since you won’t be able to break them down when they’re not in use. But they’re a great choice if you’re doing long term storage, especially if your items will be stored somewhere that isn’t climate controlled.

Specialty Boxes

For belongings that are particularly fragile or valuable, consider using specialty boxes designed to safely store a particular type of item. Specialty boxes are useful for everything from storing dishes and holiday decorations to art and flat screen TVs. They’re usually available in both cardboard and plastic varieties. One of the biggest benefits of using specialty boxes for storage is that they make difficult things easier to pack by including inserts that keep items from moving around and shifting. They’re a bit more expensive than traditional boxes, but they offer added value, convenience, and security.If you’re looking for storage solutions in the Jackson, Tennessee area, contact Markham Self Storage. We have the features you are looking for at a storage company, as well as affordable storage units.

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