A lot of people underestimate the advantages of having good storage containers instead of built-in storage space or fancy cabinets. It’s understandable in a sense, as storage boxes are not usually aesthetically pleasing and they rarely fit in with the furniture or any décor for that matter.
However, if you want to stay organized even in the face of clothes, tools, and toys that your kids stopped using, storage boxes are the true space savers. Check out our best storage containers as well as our buyers guide to inform yourself on what to look for and how to prepare for making a purchase of this nature.
No two households may be able to use the same storage bins so don’t jump to any decisions until you have all the information.
If you’re looking for see-through storage boxes and good value for the money then this 6-pack solution from Sterilite might be right for you.
Each box measures 18.13”x12.25”x7”. They’re not very tall but spacious enough and a suitable option if you want to store winter clothes, accessories, plush toys, and even some seasonal bedding.
The pack includes six boxes and six lids. The capacity of each box is 18 quarts, which is pretty good for the average household with limited storage space, especially when you factor in the fact that you get six storage boxes.
The walls and bases are see-through which let you easily see what’s inside of each box. There’ll be no guessing when you have to get something or having to label them in the first place. Another benefit is the fact that the boxes are stackable.
You can put all six of them on top of each other and save even more storage space. The tops and bottoms are shaped to fit each other and prevent accidental sliding off when stacked. The lids are strong and the heavy-duty latches ensure that you can fill each box up to its maximum capacity.
The stackable design is a top feature in these Sterilite storage boxes. Although the dimensions and capacity are also nice, it’s the ability to work with vertical storage space what should be comforting to most homeowners.
The slightly elevated base and the indents in the front and back walls underneath the latches take away some of the storage space. This may also prevent you from stacking everything inside completely flat. Ironically, this is the result of the stackable design, one of the top draws of these containers.
These containers may seem slightly expensive, until you find out how big and sturdy they are! They’re one of the most durable on the market and by a brand that everybody’s heard of. They’re perfect for storing everything from heavy to fragile items at home or for transportation.
The dimensions are 27.5”x16.75”x10.75” (LWH). The Rubbermaid Brute Tote storage containers feature ergonomic handles which are ideal for carrying heavy loads. Tough and sturdy high-density polyethylene resin plastic is the material of choice.
These commercial-grade storage containers can take quite a beating during transit. There isn’t any transparent part which means you’ll have to label each box accordingly.
On the other hand, this allows you to store a wide range of things that are best kept away from direct and indirect sunlight, giving you all sorts of options.
The boxes are also stackable. So as long as you have over 5.3 feet of vertical wall space, you’re good to go with stacking all 6 of them.
They’re sizable at 14 gallons (56Q or 53L) each. You can also get the boxes in a 20-gallon option and you have a choice of grey or white boxes, whichever fit your garage or storage room better.
Another neat feature is the ribbed-base design. This allows you to drag the boxes when they’re fully loaded without causing structural damage to the base.
Perhaps the most impressive feature is found within the handle design. The storage boxes are equipped with handle drains.
These are holes in each handle which allow water buildup to drain. It minimizes moisture and potential bacteria buildup which is great if you want to store perishable items.
The boxes are rather pricey. Although you’re getting 6 of them and they’re massive, the extra stiffness and ruggedness of the construction come with a hefty premium.
But that’s only if you’re looking at the total cost. A quick check with a calculator and you’ll see that the price per quart becomes more reasonable (compared to buying smaller boxes).
These boxes can be purchased as a 6-pack or 12-pack. They’re affordable and easy to use, perfect for keeping your stored items away from prying eyes.
If you have a perfect memory or you don’t mind putting down some labels, you’ll appreciate the dark walls of the Life Story storage boxes (available in 4 colors plus clear). Winter clothes, blankets, and other voluminous items can easily be stored in these boxes.
To make things even better, you can stack the boxes on top of each other. They fit together well enough to put the six of them in a single column without worrying about them toppling over.
The carry handles are built-in which gives you extra leverage and security when carrying them. The lid is thick and snaps into place really well. If your aim is to keep your things dust-free, you’re in luck.
Each box is 12” tall, 23.5” long and 16.5” wide. That’s more than enough storage space for the average household. Each box weighs around 2.5 to 3 lbs. when empty.
One advantage that Life Story’s stackable storage boxes have over most of their competitors is the completely rectangular interior design. Unlike other boxes which are somewhat narrow and angled towards the base, these boxes maintain a consistent shape which allows for a few extra inches of storage space.
The lids and handles may not be as durable as the boxes themselves and there is a risk that they might crack under too much pressure. Therefore, you should avoid storing very heavy items when stacking or carrying by the handles.
If you’re looking for short storage containers and you care more about functionality than looks or ruggedness, then this set of 4 under-bed plastic storage boxes might be worth your consideration.
Don’t think that the under-bed label is limiting in any way. The shallow design of these storage boxes allows you to store them in the pantry too, or they could be perfect for a motorhome with limited storage space.
Each box is 39.5”x20.25”x7” (LWH). As you can see, they’re large despite the height. 66Q or 62.5L each is a lot of room for clothes, documents, toys, and even perishable items like large bags of dry dog food. The walls are see-through so you will have easy access to whatever you want. There’s no need to label anything.
The price point is a bit steep if you look at the fact that you get four boxes instead of the more common 6-pack options. However, the boxes are large and practical. The price per quart isn’t too much out of line at all.
The boxes aren’t designed to be stackable. After all, they’re designed to go under your bed.
The extra length and width can provide more storage options than a few extra inches in height. On top of that, a shallow design is much easier to conceal under your bed or other furniture to maximize your storage space. They’re wheeled for easy rolling, so don’t think that you have to (or send your little kid to) crawl under your bed.
These are specialty boxes that might not appeal to everybody.
If you’re not very low on storage space and you value organization and mobile storage more than anything, a 3-drawer storage cart may be just what you need. This cart is see-through and very sturdy, and can be used for a variety of household items and tools.
So you want vertical storage? – How does a 24” tall cart sound? That’s what you get with this Sterilite plastic storage drawer cart. Each drawer is 15.4” deep and 21” wide and see-through.
The cart sits on four small casters that are easy enough to roll across a carpet when the drawers are empty. Once filled, the wheels may be too small to be rolled on a soft surface. But the stability is there if you just want to place it and leave it in your garage or storage closet.
Each drawer has a built-in handle and slides in and out smoothly with or without any load. It’s worth pointing out that this basic cart is aesthetically pleasing too. The drawers are slightly curved in the front which gives the ensemble a nice look.
The cart weighs 11 lbs. empty which should give you an idea of how sturdy it is. It should also tell you that storing it on carpet is not a good idea unless you don’t care about indentations.
A very cool feature are the detachable casters. You can remove the drawers from the cart and stack them on top of each other. This drawer cart can also double as an end table in the living room or a bedside table. Lots of possibilities there.
If you’re looking for tight-sealing containers, these might not be for you. Each drawer does have some small openings or loosely sealed areas.
Storage boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you’re particularly interested in storing household items, there are a few specific categories you should know about.
As the name would imply, these storage boxes can be stacked on top of each other. The bottoms and lids are so shaped that the boxes won’t slide off each other under normal circumstances.
These boxes resemble your standard drawers. However, they might be see-through which allows you easy access to your clothes or accessories.
Those designed specifically for tools tend not to be transparent (proud tool owners prefer to memorize where everything is). They’re not always gap-free which is why they’re not recommended for food items.
Under-bed storage boxes are short but long and wide. They can be used to store perishable goods or clothes under beds or other pieces of furniture.
They’re highly efficient for organizing and work well when trying to store out-of-season clothing or bedding in a dust-free environment.
These are usually sturdier than most consumer-grade organizer storage boxes. They feature a top lid as well as hinges on the bottom. They provide access from two directions and the ability to store heavy objects.
This category refers to storage boxes that feature hinged lids. They’re fairly dustproof. They come in a variety of sizes which is why they can be used to store various consumer goods, tools, and clothing.
These types of storage boxes can be stored inside one another. Their main purpose is to minimize their footprint when not in use.
The capacity of storage boxes is typically listed in quarts or gallons. Depending on the type of storage box needed and for what items, the capacity may go from 10 quarts to 20 or more gallons.
If you’re looking at storage drawers, you may find that the capacity is listed as a combined value; it’d require basic arithmetic to approximate the capacity of each drawer.
Dimensions are a very subjective matter. When buying storage boxes, you’ll always want to look for dimensions that fit perfectly in your home, be it a garage, storage room, or under the bed.
If you’re looking for under-bed storage boxes, for example, you can expect them to be short and expansive. It’s also worth noting that the majority of storage boxes are rectangular. Basic geometry dictates that rectangular boxes save space.
Stackable boxes are the most common on the market. The reason for this is that the majority of households have more vertical free space to offer than floor space. This makes stacking crates, boxes, and bins an obvious solution to maximize storage capacity.
However, not all boxes are equally great when stacked. Stackable boxes describe boxes with lids and bottoms that are designed to fit in such a way that they won’t just slide off each other when stacked, barring an earthquake or other event.
A latching lid is preferred most of the time because it offers a better seal. If you want your storage boxes to be free of moisture and dust, latching lids are recommended.
This will prevent dust and water from getting in, as long as the box isn’t exposed to hurricane wind and rain. That’s because the majority of storage boxes aren’t airtight or even watertight.
Airtight means that if you put a hygrometer in the box it won’t show higher moisture after a period of time. This would require perfect grooves and silicone gasket at the points of contact of the lid and box.
And it has to be coupled with 1) a sizable clamping force to squeeze the gasket between the lid and box, or 2) a vacuum facility for the user to use a vacuum pump to extract the air (the pressure difference with the outside would clamp the gasketed lid shut).
As you might imagine, this would require the most expensively designed and built storage boxes. It would be more affordable in small food storage containers.
Storage boxes don’t tend to weight very much with the exception of those manufactured for moving or industrial shipping. Those types of storage containers are a lot more rigid and robust. In this case, you can expect some storage boxes to weigh up to 10 lbs. or more when empty.
Using storage boxes is one of the best ways to store clothes. Of course, this isn’t practical for your everyday clothes.
But, if you want to remove some of the clutter from your dresser, try taking out the out-of-season clothes and putting them in storage boxes.
It’s up to you whether you want to fold them normally or roll them up. If your storage boxes are tall enough, rolling things such as blouses, socks, and T-shirts should be fine. But, for hoodies, jackets, jeans, and other voluminous clothes, a flat fold is best.
There’s no limit to what type of household items that you can store in storage boxes. However, most people tend to use them to store clothes that are out of season or to reduce the clutter in their closets.
Of course, you can also store a variety of tools for your garage workshop, especially with compartmentalized storage boxes. Those resemble metal tool boxes except much cheaper.
A storage container or storage box usually refers to a plastic box used for storing household items such as clothes, bedding, accessories, toys, tools, and others.
They are not to be confused with the term ‘plastic container’ which is usually used to describe a food storage box which is more airtight and designed specifically for holding perishables.
There’s no golden rule to organizing plastic storage containers. Each household has its own limited amount of space. It comes down to you as a homeowner to measure the available floor space and plan ahead before making your purchase.
It’s worth noting that more often than not, vertical space is more accessible in homes. So, when buying storage boxes, you want to make sure that you can at least stack a few of them on top of each other without the risk of them tumble down.
First, you probably want to look at the dimensions and capacity. If it’s big enough to hold your winter clothes, summer shoes, or whatever household items you rarely use, it’s a good box.
If you want to go a step further, there are other features you may also want to consider. The rigidity of the box is worth taking into account. The stiffer the box, the better it is for fragile items and heavy loads.
The same could be said of the design. If you’re limited on horizontal space, you need vertical storage. In that case, drawers or stackable storage boxes are your best bet since you can stack them up until you reach the ceiling in one corner of a room.
Last but not least, the quality of the lids and latches is also important. You want storage boxes to be as airtight as possible to avoid dust buildup, moisture, and insect penetration that can wreak havoc on your clothes.
Have you determined which are the best storage containers for your home? This is one of those things that takes a bit of planning no matter how you look at it.
That’s because whether you care about materials, build quality, color, price, and such, you still have to make sure they’ll fit in your home.
Don't forget to also read our article on the "Best Storage Containers For Moving of 2019 Complete Reviews with Comparisons".