Plastic storage bins – or “totes”as the moving industry calls them – are a modern wonder regarding home organization. They are sturdy, withstand mold and water damage, and so long as they have a lid, are air sealed.

As great as they are for helping you live in your home, when it comes time to move, they can pose several issues that you should consider before you rush out to purchase any additional storage containers.

  • Moving companies like Hilldrup consider storage bins “packed by owner” items, meaning they were not packed by trained professionals. It’s possible that the moving crew will open these bins to inspect them to make sure that they have been properly packed and won’t be damaged while in transport. If there is a concern, movers will repack the items in the bin.
  • Extreme cold and hot weather can adversely affect plastic bins. In the summer months, the plastic may soften, which can cause the bin to collapse. Conversely during colder months, the plastic can become brittle and easily shatter.
  • Just because they may seem sturdy on their own, be wary of stacking too many on top of one another. The combined weight can cause the bottom bins to warp or break.
  • Because many storage bins have angled sides, this prevents them from being stacked flushed against each other on a moving truck. This creates gaps of unusable storage space and a greater likelihood for items to shift while in transport.

Plastic storage bins offer a number of home-storage benefits, but again, when you need to move, they do carry some added concerns that your mover may need to discuss with you.