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Moving from one house to another can be a huge and daunting task. You should be as efficient as possible while packing so that your items are well-protected. Moving companies sell cardboard boxes specifically designed for moving household items. Many also rent plastic bins that are suitable for moving to Manhattan. But, when it comes to plastic bins vs cardboard boxes, what should you use? They both have their advantages and disadvantages. We will go through some of them, so you can make your decision.

Cardboard boxes
There are plenty of factors in the battle between plastic bins vs cardboard boxes

Let’s compare plastic bins vs cardboard boxes


  • Cardboard boxes are sold by most transport companies and warehouses. Here is the tip where to buy moving boxes in NYC.
  • Available for free on sites like Craigslist.
  • Some moving companies rent plastic containers.
  • Many movers will deliver plastic containers to your old home, and then take them out of the new, saving you the hassle and disposal of cardboard boxes.
  • You do not have to pack and seal plastic containers before you move, which saves time and effort.


  • Empty plastic moving containers can be nested, which makes it easier to work with them during packing and unpacking.
  • Cardboard boxes come in different sizes. Small boxes suit best for small but heavy items, such as small household appliances, books, tools, canned goods, 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 for fragile items such as dishes, glassware, and vases.
  • There are moving boxes Manhattan specifically designed for lamps, mattresses (although some carriers simply wrap your mattresses in plastic), sports equipment, record albums, TVs, 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 fasten with cable ties.
  • You can easily label plastic containers with adhesive tape and a permanent marker.
  • After packing, plastic containers are easier to open (perhaps to 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 carts specifically designed for plastic containers.
  • Cardboard boxes can fold well, so they don’t slip in a moving truck.
  • Because cardboard boxes fit snugly together, they take up less space, which means you can pay less.
  • Some plastic containers also do not fold; they do not fit close to each other because of their shape.
  • Flexible plastic containers may break, so some types of plastic containers should not fold into each other.
Plastic bin
But you can use them wisely after the move


  • Corrugated cardboard, which is specifically designed for the transport of household goods on the road, is pretty durable.
  • Insects such as termites, roaches, beetles, silverfish, and others, like cardboard boxes, though. And you may accidentally bring some of them from an old house to your new one.
  • Such insects do not eat plastic containers.
  • Plastic containers do not get damaged by water, so your electronics, photos and other valuable things can be safer in plastic, for example, if it rains on the day you move.
  • The plastic container will not break on the bottom, as a cardboard box can do.

Environmental considerations

  • Most cardboard boxes are from recycled material.
  • You can also reuse or recycle boxes after you finish your moving with them, and they are biodegradable.
  • Many plastic containers are also from recycled materials.
  • You can also reuse plastic bags.

After moving

  • Since you have cardboard boxes, you can take the time to unpack them.
  • Rented plastic containers must be returned by a specific date, which means you must unpack them immediately.
  • Plastic containers that 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 because they do not attract insects, they are water resistant and durable.
  • If you store items in a climate-controlled storage facility, cardboard boxes may be suitable.

Let’s summarize

As we could see, there are many advantages of using plastic bins for your moving. We are going to mention only some of them again:

  • They are very easy to get. All the best moving companies in NYC have them in their offer. You can rent them easily, and then your moving company will take them after you unpack.
  • You can also buy them in case you want to use them later for storage.
  • After using plastic bins, you can nest them to reduce space in your home.
  • Labeling them is not difficult since you can use markers and tapes.
  • You do not need to seal them because their cover is already secure.
  • They are much more durable and resistant to insects and moisture.
Plastic bin
They are from recyclable materials, and you can also reuse them


The situation of each person is unique. Some like cardboard boxes because they are much easier to use. On the other hand, others prefer plastic bins because of their durability. Everyone needs to see what suits them best. Regardless of whether you choose cardboard or plastic bins, make sure that you immediately fill and tag one box or container with the things you need – with dishes, essentials, telephone chargers – so that you can easily find them in your new home.

About Author

John has been with Divine Moving and Storage in New York for nearly two decades. Starting as a young helper and climbing up the ranks to be a staple in our organization. John has the knowledge and experience to assist our clients with any move or storage related needs. You can reach John or any of our associates in NYC at 212-244-4011