Cardboard Boxes: Think Twice

5 Reasons Not to Use Cardboard Boxes While Organizing

I’ve recently come across several basements, in which clients are organizing contents in cardboard boxes. So I think it’s that time of year, to discuss why to avoid cardboard boxes altogether. 

1. You can’t see inside at a glance. Shoot for clear containers. It’s the easiest way to identify a container’s contents and saves a ton of time. Often labeling can be skipped if you can see directly inside to identify the contents. I still suggest always labeling bins but sometimes we forgo it.  

2. They take too much effort. You may think this is a silly reason but stop and think about it. It’s more effort and takes more time to cut through tape and open four flaps instead of just taking off one lid. They’re also awkward to carry and take on and off shelving when you need to access the contents. 

3. Dust can creep inside. Cardboard boxes are not sealed perfectly and over time dust does end up inside and will ruin contents. It’s not the cleanest or safest way to store items. 

4. Bugs and rodents are attracted to them. Hiding inside a dark box is the best hiding spot. What insect, bug or rodent, wouldn’t use it as their home?

5. Water is their worst enemy. Cardboard boxes are not meant for long term storage. I often come across boxes of photos, keepsakes, and memorabilia that have been ruined by moisture in basements or garages. It’s so sad to see how easily this could have been avoided. 

Obviously, plastic clear tubs or containers are the best long term option. If no moisture gets in through a loose lid, the items inside are very safe over a long period of time. Buying plastic clear tubs and containers is not the cheapest option but I’d like to encourage you start switching things into plastic over time. Perhaps cycle through a year’s worth of holidays and each time you pull out a box of seasonal clothes or holiday stuff, swap it for plastic. After a year you should be all set.  Stores will often sell colored tubs during each season (i.e. red and green for Christmas). This makes searching for items even easier. 

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