Should I Choose Plastic or Cardboard for my Personal Storage?

May 3, 2018

Plastic or Cardboard Containers for Personal Storage?

happy couple holding cardboard boxes at storage unit

Paper or plastic? No longer a question reserved for grocery stores, choosing paper or plastic is an important decision when packing personal items for a storage unit too. On one hand, choosing cardboard boxes is cheaper and has less of an impact on the environment. On the other hand, plastic containers last longer and provide a more secure protection for your valuables. Here’s a breakdown of both the advantages and disadvantages of each, and how you can utilize each to make the most of your personal storage experience.

Cardboard Boxes

  • Advantages - Cardboard boxes are sometimes easier to carry and stack, allowing you to make the most of your rental space with easy organization. They are also cheaper and recyclable. You can find boxes in bulk online, at UPS or moving companies, or for free from local businesses.

  • Disadvantages - Cheap as they are, they don’t last forever. Cardboard is more susceptible to damage and tearing after extensive or long term use. Stored improperly or near liquids the box can quickly break down, exposing and potentially damaging your personal storage inside.

Plastic Containers

  • Advantages - Plastic containers are in it for the long haul, which may be what you want when looking for long - term personal storage. Durable and long lasting, they offer great protection for your items and come in fun colors and sizes to match your personality. They also offer plastic handles on the sides for easy transport. Plastic containers are also easy to stack, with grooves in the plastic to keep them in place and in durable stacks.

  • Disadvantages - They do not run cheap, compared to cardboard, and the impact they make on the environment is bigger. While plastic is recyclable, it is not biodegradable. Plastic containers can also hold smells when stored in high temperatures depending on what is inside of them. And while they are easy to stack, the shapes and sizes they come in may not allow you to make the most of your space.


While both plastic and cardboard have their advantages and disadvantages, the decision is up to you! Plastic is durable and lasts longer, while cardboard is cheaper and makes for easy stacking. Whichever you choose, it’s important to understand the pros and cons to make an informed decision on which option is best for your personal storage needs. In the meantime, enjoy some free storage tips from Affordable Family Storage here.

Contact AFS!

Looking for a storage unit? Affordable Family Storage in Billings, MO accepts personal storage in both plastic and cardboard containers. Contact us or any one of our locations today for more information on rentals and prices.

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