The Best Storage Bins for Moving
With moving day fast approaching, it’s easy to forget the importance of having the proper containers for relocation. While cardboard boxes get the job done, nothing beats the reliability of actual storage bins.
Not only are these containers vastly more durable than one-and-done cardboard, but they can also withstand various conditions that would quickly render paper packaging unusable.
Storage bins come in various sizes, materials, and shapes, so we completely understand the difficulty in selecting the ideal storage box.
To simplify the packing and unpacking process, we’ve dropped some tips to consider when choosing a storage bin and a list of the best storage bins for moving.
Storage bins vs. cardboard boxes—Which is better?
While it’s tempting to snag up recycled boxes from the neighborhood grocer or hardware store, skipping out on top-quality storage bins can be a costly mistake.
All storage bins primarily aim to move and store things safely. The worst thing that can happen is having your box break and damaging your belongings. That said, properly-maintained cardboard boxes still do have their uses. They’re cheap, easy to acquire, take up little room when folded, and can be surprisingly durable with corrugated material.
However, cardboard boxes won’t cut it if you’re looking for a lifetime investment. Storage bins are purpose-built to protect your items from rain, pests, and dust. They’re also significantly more durable than their paper counterparts.
Besides their longevity, storage bins are easy to stack, can be used more than once, and are often fully transparent. Some storage bins also come with additional features like wheels, making them easier to move around. All these features combined make storage bins the superior option in terms of quality.
What to consider when choosing storage bins for moving?
Keep these tips in mind when choosing your moving day storage bin:
You’ll need different bin sizes for various items. Small boxes can hold collectibles, books, ornaments, and most light-weight materials. Medium boxes are better for bathroom essentials and kitchen equipment like plates and toasters. Large boxes are for hard-to-carry items like bed sheets, comforters, curtains, and lamps. If you don’t have a personal suitcase, use huge boxes to store clothing and shoes instead.
The length of your travel can influence what type of storage bin you’d need. For instance, short, inter-city moves don’t require a heavy-duty bin. However, if you travel long distances, choosing a moving bin that can protect your belongings from bumpy roads and liquid exposure is best.
Whether you’re recruiting your close friends or hiring professional help, it’s important to know who will handle your things. If you’re working with a moving company, they may have their own system and storage bins.
However, if you’re going the DIY route you’ll have to be more selective with your storage materials. Consider getting durable moving bins with handles to make them easier for your friends to carry. Also, label each container with its contents and destination room to avoid any mix-ups.
What can’t you store in storage bins?
Some items are best kept with you during transit. While we want to be efficient when moving, we don’t want to forego safety either. Here are some items you shouldn’t be mixing with your other belongings:
- Flammable liquids
- Perishable goods
- Valuables like jewelry, documents, and watches
- Scented items
- Illegal items
- Hazardous goods
- Firearms and ammunition
To ensure your belongings stay safe during transit, it’s best to keep these items inside designated containers. Ask your movers for additional tips on best practices.
List of the best storage bins for moving
Here’s a summarized list of our top storage bin picks.
Class of Storage Bin – Brand and Product
- Best all-purpose storage bin – Sterilite Latching Plastic Box
- Best storage bag – VENO Heavy-Duty Storage Bags
- Best heavy-duty storage bin – Rubbermaid Commercial BRUTE Bin
- Best wheeled storage tote – Sterilite Wheeled Industrial Tote
- Best affordable storage bin – WYT Storage Organizer Bins
- Best secure storage bin – Rubbermaid ActionPacker Lockable
- Best nestable storage bin – IRIS Black-Buckled Storage Bin
- Best bedding & clothing storage bin – WISELIFE Storage Bags
1) Sterilite Latching Plastic Box (Best all-purpose storage bin)
Walmart’s Sterilite latching plastic box is a great storage bin for those looking for an all-purpose container. With a maximum volume of 64 quarts, this storage bin is helpful for transporting just about any household item sans furniture, from clothes and bed sheets to books and utensils.
The Sterilite box has a snap-tight lid that keeps contents secure during transport. The clear base and lid allow you to see the contents inside, making it easier to spot your items without digging through the container. The best part about this plastic box is its recessed lid. You don’t have to worry about boxes toppling over when stacked on top of each other. If you overstuff them, you can stack as many as three on top of each other.
This storage bin is also lightweight and easy to clean, making it the perfect all-purpose storage bin in our eyes.
2) VENO Heavy-Duty Storage Bags (Best storage bag)
Soft and sturdy, VENO’s heavy-duty storage bags are great moving bags that make carrying items in staircases and new apartments a breeze.
These reusable bags are not like your traditional storage bins. Instead of featuring a hard and rigid exterior, these containers can be disassembled and hidden after use thanks to their soft exterior. It’s no slouch in terms of utility either—these bags can support up to 50 pounds, or about the weight of a large sack of dog food!
In addition, the VENO storage bag has backside straps that you can use to carry it like a backpack. If you’re moving to a temporary lodging unit like a college dormitory, this bag can double as a moving backpack. No need to lug around a bulky suitcase!
3) Rubbermaid Commercial BRUTE Storage Bin (Best heavy-duty storage bin)
The Rubbermaid BRUTE Tote is a heavy-duty storage container that’s perfect for keeping your prized possessions damage-free. Just the name alone gives it a tough aura and truthfully, it fits the bill perfectly.
The superior durability is due to its high-density polyethylene construction. This feature allows it to withstand extreme temperature and pressure at a better capacity than other storage bins. Despite its bulky-looking design, the Rubbermaid BRUTE Tote is easy to carry around thanks to its molded-in handles. These handles are also ergonomic which decreases the potential for injury or breakage.
The downside of this bin is that the box itself isn’t transparent—but that shouldn’t be a problem for people who’d rather keep their items private. If you’re planning to keep your storage bin in damp and rarely accessed conditions without a second thought, the Rubbermaid BRUTE Tote can reliably do the job.
4) Sterilite Wheeled Industrial Tote (Best wheeled storage tote)
Standing 18 inches tall, the Sterilite Wheeled Industrial Tote is a worthy contender for the best storage bin for moving. This tote is designed for easy transport, with a pair of recessed wheels that make it a cinch to haul around. The box also features a snap-tight latch that will keep contents securely in place while on the go.
If you want your items to remain intact during transit, you won’t go wrong with this bin. It can carry up to 40 gallons worth of stuff, making it more than capable of lugging around several large items such as bedsheets and hard-covered books. This is especially true if you plan to travel long distances on foot with your belongings.
That said, if maneuverability is what you’re after, avoid overloading your storage bin with too many added pounds. This can cause the wheels to give out, preventing the desired mobility. Keep your belongings within the weight limit and your items should be fine.
5) WYT Storage Organizer Bins (Best affordable storage bin)
If you’re seeking a no-frills, high-quality storage bin, consider WYT storage bins. These simple bins truly encapsulate the term “bang for your buck.” They allow you to see the contents inside thanks to their clear plastic body, and each bin comes with a snap-on lid to keep your things secure.
They’re not the largest bin on the list—capable of holding only about 5 liters—but their snug size means that they can be stored in small spaces in bulk. These would be perfect for holding loose items such as clothes, children’s toys, and other light objects.
These bins are also unbelievably cheap, with a six-pack costing just $27 (or $4.50/each). This makes it the most budget-friendly bin on the list. That said, don’t let its price negatively reflect its quality—these bins are durable and more than enough for people moving on a shoestring budget.
6) Rubbermaid ActionPacker Lockable Storage Bin (Best lockable storage bin)
If you’re worried about the security of your belongings, the Rubbermaid ActionPacker storage container can prevent any cases of unwanted tampering. The main benefit of this storage container is its added security, thanks to its special locking system that other bins don’t usually have (though lock and key are sold separately). There’s also a mechanism that allows a bungee cord to be attached, which can further bolster the security of this bin.
The bin is also weather-resistant, capable of withstanding harsh weather. On top of that, the lid has been double-walled and constructed in a way that prevents water from pooling. This makes it perfect for storing in outdoor areas such as the garage, shed, or balcony.
Peace of mind while moving is worth it, and the Rubbermaid ActionPacker can offer just that.
7) IRIS Black-Buckled Storage Bin (Best nestable storage bin)
Organizing post-move can be a pain, but the IRIS Black Buckled Storage Bin can be perfect for easing you into the process. It’s a nestable bin, meaning you can stack multiple bins on top of each other thanks to its grooved lids. This can come in handy when storing items like footwear or clothes since everything can be accessed quickly and easily.
This bin’s best quality is that each has a pull handle at the bottom, making it a lot easier to grab an item you want without unstacking the bins on top. The pearl design of this storage bin is also fairly discreet—visible enough to see a few identifiable shapes and colors within the bin but cloudy enough that it remains private.
8) WISELIFE Storage Bags (Best bedding & clothing storage bin)
Made with a functional see-through window and non-woven fabric, WISELIFE storage bags are our pick for the best bedding and clothing storage bin.
These bags protect your softer items while in transit and make it easy to see what’s inside without having to open them completely. Its soft construction isn’t a detriment either—the handles have tightly reinforced seams and the overall design is lightweight and easy to carry.
With a 100-liter storage capacity, this set of bags is quite spacious and ideal for packing all the bedding and curtains you want to bring to your new home. The zippers are a strong bonus, granting this storage bag a way to keep dust and liquid out while you’re on the move.
If you want to keep your clothes and bedding in good condition, the WISELIFE storage bags should be on your radar.
Which storage bins will you get?
We hope this guide makes it easy to choose the storage solutions that meet your inventory and budget needs.