Storage Containers: Paper or Plastic?

Ahh yes. The age old question – paper or plastic? In the grocery store, we leave it up to you (if your state hasn’t banned plastic bags that is!) But in terms of storage containers, we’ve outline some pros and cons for you with each one so you can make an informed decision that fits your priorities as well as what you’re looking to store.

In terms of which material is better, it depends! There are a number of factors to consider including where you’re storing, what you’re storing, how much space you have, your budget, how long you’re looking to store, etc.

Sounds like a lot – but not to fear! We’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

Cardboard Boxes

Pro: Store Using Minimal Space

  • One of the biggest pros to cardboard boxes is their ability to be disassembled, folded and stored with very minimal space. If you’re lacking space for storing your boxes after use, know you’re going to use them again in the near future and need something light but durable – cardboard is a really good option.

Con: Not Super Durable

  • After a few heavy-duty uses, cardboard boxes get worn down and lose strength and durability – go ahead and replace them when needed. Using them longer than you should can result in a big pile of your belongings crashing to the floor, which might cost you a bit more than new boxes would’ve!

Pro: Stack Easily in Storage

  • Whether it’s in the back of a moving van or in a longer-term storage unit, cardboard boxes are designed to all stack directly on top of one another and not take up any extra space. If you’re pressed for space, this can really help use vertical space efficiently.

Con: More Exposed to the Elements

  • Cardboard boxes are not as sealed as other options on the market – and therefore leave your belongings open to potential infestation from bugs, rodents, moisture in the air as well as liquid leaks and spills. Whether or not this is an issue depends on where you’re storing your goods.

Plastic Bins

Pro: They’re Reusable  

  • Unlike cardboard boxes, plastic bins can be reused over and over again for years with very minimal wear and tear. Also, many have different colored tops than can be used to categorize storage seasonally or based on family member!

Con: Bulkier, Generally Take Up More Space

  • Due to the bins being made of sturdier material, they can take up a bit more space than cardboard boxes.

Pro: More Protective

  • Plastic bins have the ability to seal completely and with a harder exterior they’re the superior option when looking for something that’s protective from the elements

Cons: More Expensive

  • Durable plastic bins will set you back further than cardboard boxes will. This comes down to how often you will be using them, and whether you need something for a longer-term storage option.

Overall, plastic bins are our choice for the superior storage option – no matter your circumstance. They will pay for themselves in a few move’s worth of cardboard boxes and provide longer-term protective storage as well.

You can find some excellent options at your local Costco, online on Amazon and other storage supply centers!