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Totes or Boxes for Moving – How to Move Efficiently?

June 27, 2024

Worrying about the right way to move is a universal experience. The right pick would ensure all of your valuables and items arrive in pristine condition while the bad one could entail potential damages. Ultimately, you should consider the pros and cons of each based on the items you plan to move and your budget before making your final choice.

However, in general, moving boxes are considered the ideal moving solution as they are more practical and cost-effective. They come in various sizes, are easy to stack, and can often be obtained for free or at a low cost. On the other hand, totes are typically for specific needs such as moving heavy or fragile items that require extra protection. They are durable and suitable for long-term use or multiple moves. 

In need of affordable yet durable moving boxes for rent? Well, look no further! On top of that Stack Moves makes moving a breeze with door to door pickup and delivery to spare you the time needed to gather all you packing materials. Schedule your move for free today! 

In this blog, we will help you make an informed decision on whether to use totes or boxes for moving. By understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each option, you can choose the packing materials that best fit your specific moving needs, ensuring a more efficient and stress-free move.

What to Use for Your Move?

What to use for your move

When preparing for a move, selecting the right packing materials helps you ensure that you have a smooth move. We would recommend plastic boxes or plastic containers as the best bins for moving, with the best size depending on what you are packing in them.

Overall, the choice between totes and boxes depends on several factors, including the size of your apartment, the amount of stuff you need to move, your budget, and the type of items you’re transporting.

It is always best to work with an estimate instead of assuming the number of boxes you will need when moving. With our moving box calculator, you can get an estimate of how many boxes you will need for a particular move.

Types of Moving Boxes

There are typically three types of moving boxes – standard cardboard boxes, uniform plastic bins, and specialty boxes. Generally, standard cardboard boxes are the traditional choice for moving. They come in various sizes, can be easily stacked, and are cost-effective as you can often get them for free These traditional cardboard boxes are ideal for lightweight and non-fragile items. 

Uniform plastic bins provide a uniform size for easy stacking and are excellent for long-distance moves. They offer more protection for your items compared to cardboard moving boxes. 

Furthermore, there are also specialty boxes. Examples of these boxes include wardrobe boxes, dish boxes, and other specific types, designed to carry certain items. Specialty boxes are usually reinforced with elements that provide extra protection and organization for fragile and awkwardly shaped belongings. The cost of specialty ranges from as low as $8 and as high as $15 upwards.

Types of Moving Totes

Plastic storage totes and heavy-duty moving totes are the two types of moving totes. Plastic totes are suitable for items that need to be protected from moisture and dust, with dimensions 30″L x 15″W x 13″H. They are sturdy and can be used for multiple moves. 

On the other hand, heavy-duty moving totes are designed to carry heavy items and are built to withstand rough handling, with dimensions 45/48″L x 40″W x 46/53″H. They are ideal for long-distance moves and long-term storage. 

Generally, moving totes costs between $10 – $50.

Pros and Cons of Using Totes VS Boxes

Pros and Cons of Using Boxes VS Totes

When deciding between totes and boxes for your move, you should weigh the pros and cons of each option. Some practical considerations to help you make an informed decision include ease of transport and handling, storage flexibility and space management, and protection of belongings during transit. 

It is important to consider how easy it will be to carry and transport your packed items. Furthermore, think about how the materials can be stored when not in use, and how they will fit in your moving truck or storage space. Additionally, evaluate how well your items will be protected from damage, moisture, and pests.

Advantages of Using Boxes

The cost-effectiveness of boxes, especially when renting, is one of its top advantages. These plastic tubs or plastic boxes are durable and offer maximum protection to your items. You can also get cardboard moving boxes at an affordable price and even for free sometimes. Thus, they provide a budget-friendly option for most movers. 

Another considerable advantage of boxes is their availability in various sizes. Boxes often come in multiple sizes, making it easier to pack different types of items. They are an ideal choice for efficient packing. At Stack Moves, our standard-sized boxes are measured 16” x 12” x 12″ and are designed for optimal stacking and handling.

Ease of labeling and stacking is another advantage of using boxes. This helps in organizing your move. When you get moving boxes for rent from Stack Moves, you get dollies and labels as well, making the process even more convenient.

Disadvantages of Using Boxes

Although you would enjoy certain perks from using boxes, cardboard boxes can get damaged by moisture. However, this is not an issue with Stack Moves’ high-quality moving boxes as they are plastic moving bins that aren’t susceptible to moisture.

Boxes can also become less durable over time. These cardboard boxes may wear faster than plastic totes. Moreover, using cardboard boxes warrants additional materials. This includes moving supplies like tape, packing paper, and other materials to secure and protect your items in cardboard boxes. 

Additionally, there may be issues of inconsistent sizes and quality. Finding boxes of the same size and quality can be challenging. Thus, cardboard boxes stack and space management becomes complicated.

Advantages of Using Totes

When it comes to using totes, its durability and reusability stand as an advantage. Plastic totes are highly durable and can be reused multiple times. This offers a longer lifespan compared to cardboard boxes. 

Another advantage you can enjoy when using totes is its resistance to moisture and pests. Totes protect your belongings and ensure better preservation of your items.

In addition, you will also find its built-in handles, which most plastic totes come with, very practical, as they make them easier to carry and transport. 

Disadvantages of Using Totes

Using totes doesn’t come without its disadvantages. One of these disadvantages is its higher initial cost as a plastic tote is more expensive upfront compared to a cardboard box. There is also the issue of space and shape inefficiency. This is because totes can be bulky and may not utilize space as efficiently as fold-flat boxes.

Another disadvantage of using totes is the potential for overloading. It is easy to overload totes, making them heavier and more difficult to handle. They also give less protection for valuables. While durable, plastic toes may not always provide the same level of protection for delicate or valuable items as specialty boxes do. 

Should You Use Totes or Boxes for Moving – a Situational Decision

Should You Use Boxes or Totes for Moving - a Situational Decision

Deciding whether to use totes or boxes for your move depends on your specific circumstances and needs. Here’s a guide to help illustrate different scenarios that necessitate the need for totes or boxes.

– A. Best Scenarios for Using Boxes

If you’re moving for a short period or need temporary storage, cardboard moving boxes are ideal. They are easy to assemble, pack, and recycle once you’re done. Likewise, for those on a tight budget, cardboard boxes are the more economical choice as they are often available for free or at a low cost. 

In addition, when you need boxes of different sizes like small boxes to accommodate various items, using boxes is best. They come in multiple sizes, ensuring you can pack everything from small items to large, bulky objects efficiently.

– B. Best Scenarios for Using Totes

If you plan to store items for long periods, plastic totes are a better option. They are more durable and protect your belongings from dust, moisture, and pests over the long term. Using totes is also helpful for moves in regions with high humidity or where pests are a concern, as they are water-resistant and seal tightly. Thus, keeping your items safe from environmental damage.

Furthermore, if you move frequently or need to keep your items well-organized, a plastic tote would be more durable and reusable. They are also easier to label and stack uniformly, making repeat moves more manageable.

Our Recommendation for Packing Totes VS Boxes

Our recommendation for Packing boxes vs totes

We suggest using smaller plastic totes as storage items within the plastic bins you rent. This method allows you to use less space, have enhanced protection, and enjoy ease of organization. 

By renting specially designed plastic bins for moving, you ensure you have enough high-quality containers for both the move and long-term storage. This approach combines the best features of both materials, providing a practical and efficient packing solution.

Have Questions about Moving?

Moving is challenging, but choosing the right packing materials can make all the difference. When deciding between totes and boxes for your move, consider your specific needs and priorities. Boxes are ideal for budget-friendly, short-term moves and offer flexibility with various sizes. Plastic totes, on the other hand, provide superior protection and durability, making them suitable for long-term storage and frequent moving.

For the best of both worlds, consider using smaller totes within larger rented plastic bins to maximize space and organization. This method ensures you have the right combination of durability, protection, and cost-effectiveness.

For a stress-free moving experience that protects your belongings, use Stack Moves. When you order from us, you get everything you need for your move, from dollies to boxes and labels. Schedule your move for free and explore our moving boxes for rent pricing.

Rent Plastic Bins for Your Move!

Moving with cardboard boxes is a pain. Get pre-assembled bins delivered to your door and move hassle-free with Stack!

Stack eliminates the need for you to source, break down, or fill up your trash can with cardboard boxes.