Plastic moving containers or cardboard boxes

Plastic moving containers or cardboard boxes

Moving from one house to another can be a huge and difficult task. You must be as efficient as possible when packing so that your items are well-protected. Moving companies offer cardboard boxes that are specifically designed for moving household items. Many also rent plastic containers that are suitable for moving to NYC. But what should you use: plastic moving containers or cardboard boxes? Both of them have their advantages and disadvantages.

Weighing pluses and minuses
We will look at some of them so that you can make a decision

Most people get the real impression of their belongings only when they are moving. Actually, moving is always an opportunity to find things you haven’t used or seen for ages because they were buried deep inside the closet. Packing and transporting all those items may be challenging both for you and your wallet, so finding proper moving boxes New York should be one of the priority tasks when you are planning a move. When sorting your items and preparing for the move, consider de-cluttering, because you don’t need unused or old things transferred to your new place.

Plastic moving containers or cardboard boxes: how can you choose?

Luckily, there are a lot of places where you can get cardboard boxes for free or for a fee: restaurants, grocery stores, moving companies, bookstores, online shops. However, beware of the cheap, poor-quality cardboard boxes which can let you down easily on a moving day. Unfortunately, there are a lot of moving boxes for sale on the internet described as new or in good condition. But when you buy them, you actually realize that it is not the case.

A suitable moving box must be able to withstand many other boxes stacked on top of the box without damaging the items inside.

Also, once you complete the move, there will be a lot of empty cardboard boxes making a huge amount of waste. The good news is that some of them are recyclable. But since most of them usually have damages or stains, recycling is not always an option. Using already used cardboard boxes your items are likely to get damaged during the transport. Lack of durability and quality is what makes those boxes a moderate-quality solution.

On the other hand, rented plastic container is a preferable alternative to cardboard boxes. Moving companies or box rental companies are offering plastic bins that you can rent at a really affordable price and return once the move is completed. Moving professionals will also help you establish how many plastic bins you will need.

If you are living in a big city, there are a lot of similar companies. Call as many of them as you can, compare the prices, terms and conditions and availability. Furthermore, bear in mind that long-distance moves can be problematic in terms of renting plastic bins, so you may be forced to use cardboard boxes instead.

Let’s compare plastic boxes and cardboard boxes

Plastic bin
Which is better, plastic moving containers or cardboard boxes? Here are some considerations.


  • Most moving companies and warehouses sell cardboard boxes.
  • Available for free on sites such as Craigslist.
  • Some moving companies rent plastic containers.
  • Many long-distance movers NYC will deliver plastic containers to your old home, and then take them out of the new one, saving you the hassle and disposal of cardboard boxes.
  • You do not need to pack and seal plastic containers before moving, which saves time and effort.


Packing is not an easy category to determine a winner when choosing plastic moving containers or cardboard boxes:

  • Empty plastic moving containers can be nested, making them easier to handle during packing and unpacking.
  • Cardboard boxes come in many sizes. Small boxes are best for small but heavy items such as small appliances, books, tools, canned food, films, and more. Reduce the weight by placing a small amount of heavier items, and then fill the rest of the box with lighter items such as bedding, blankets or pillows.
  • Thick boxes are best suited for packing fragile items such as dishes, glassware, and vases.
  • There are cardboard boxes are specifically for lamps, mattresses (although some movers simply wrap mattresses with plastic), sports equipment, recording albums, televisions, other electronics, mirrors or pictures, and much more.
  • In cardboard boxes, there are bars for hanging your dresses, coats and other clothes.
  • There are also plastic wardrobe containers.
  • Plastic storage containers are great for items that fit their shapes, such as pillows, blankets or stuffed animals.
  • You do not need to buy tape or box scissors if you use plastic containers that you can secure with cable ties.
  • You can easily label plastic containers with tape and a permanent marker.
  • After packing, plastic containers are easier to open (possibly check the contents or add items at the last minute) than cardboard boxes that you need to cut and glue again.


  • Many moving companies have trolleys specifically designed for plastic containers.
  • Cardboard boxes can fold well, so they do not slip in a moving truck.
  • Since cardboard boxes fit tightly together, they take up less space, which means you can pay less.
  • Some plastic containers also do not fold; they do not come close to each other because of their shape.
  • Flexible plastic containers may break, so some types of plastic containers should not stack together.
Plants in plastic containers
But you can use them wisely after moving


  • Corrugated cardboard, which is specifically designed for transporting household items on the road, is quite durable.
  • When you choose plastic moving containers or cardboard boxes, pay attention to the insects. Insects such as termites, cockroaches, beetles, silverfish and others, like cardboard boxes. And you may accidentally bring some of them from the old house to your new one.
  • Such insects do not eat plastic containers.
  • Plastic containers are not damaged by water, so your electronics, photographs and other valuables may be safer in plastic, for example, if you are moving on a rainy or snowy day.
  • The plastic container will not break at the bottom, as a cardboard box can do.

Environmental considerations

  • Most cardboard boxes made from recyclable material.
  • You can also reuse or recycle boxes after you have finished moving them, and they are biodegradable.
  • Many plastic containers are also from recyclable materials.
  • You can also reuse plastic bags.

After moving

  • Since you have cardboard boxes, you can take your time unpacking them.
  • Leased plastic containers must be returned by a certain date, which means you must unpack them immediately.
  • The plastic containers you buy you can reuse for storage in your home.
  • Boxes are easy to fold and store.
  • Plastic containers are often better for long-term storage, as they do not attract insects, they are waterproof and durable.
  • If you store things in a climate-controlled warehouse, cardboard boxes may also be useful.

To summarize

As we can see, when it comes to using plastic moving containers or cardboard boxes, there are many advantages of both. But using plastic containers for your transport has many more advantages. We will only mention a few of them again:

  • Most probably moving company NYC you have hired to assist you with moving can offer plastic bins. They will deliver the containers and pick them up at your new location once the move is over.
  • There is no need for box hunting weeks before the moving day. You just need to call or visit the moving company and explain the situation. They will help you determine the exact number of boxes.
  • You can also buy them in case you want to use them for storage later.
  • After using plastic containers, you can nest them to make more space in your home.
  • Labeling those containers is pretty simple using erasable markers.
  • You do not need to seal them because their coating is already reliable.
  • They are much more durable and more resistant to insects and moisture.
  • By using plastic bins you will avoid creating additional waste and perform a more eco-friendly move.
  • Rented plastic moving containers are durable and sturdy and equipped with hand grips which make them perfect for moving.
  • The moving containers fit perfectly together. So it will be much easier for you or your movers to pack them into the moving truck. On the other hand, cardboard boxes are not stackable.
  • When the move is over, you don’t have to think about ways of getting rid of the boxes. After you finish unpacking, a box rental company or moving company will come by and pick up the boxes.
Recyclable bin
And again, they are recyclable and you can also reuse them


The position of each person is unique. Some people like cardboard boxes because they are much easier to use. On the other hand, others prefer plastic containers because of their durability. Everyone should see what suits him best. Regardless of whether you choose plastic moving containers or cardboard boxes, make sure that you immediately fill and mark one box or container with the necessary things – utensils, essentials, phone chargers – so that they are easy to find in your new home.

Planning a move?

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