Moving to new digs? The best storage containers for moving will make the often-stressful experience a little easier, since they’re great for organizing all of your stuff. The first thing you'll have to do is choose between hard- or soft-sided containers; hard-sided options are ideal for transporting valuables, bulky-items, and breakables (since they’ll keep your stuff protected), while soft-sided options can save space because they’re flexible enough to squeeze into small nooks and crannies in your moving truck or car (and to fold up when you're done). Storage containers come in a range of shapes and sizes, so you can find the ones that work best for the items that you’re transporting.
Hard plastic storage containers are usually stackable and can be quite sturdy, making them a good choice for delicate items like plates, glassware, and decorations. Some have lids that latch to ensure they’ll stay closed, while others have wheels for easy transport. You might choose to prioritize specific features, depending on your needs. Soft-sided containers can’t handle as much weight, but they’ll work well for items like bedding, clothing, towels, or pillows. These containers are usually super lightweight on their own, and they’re often pretty cheap, too. When you’re done moving, these containers fold up so they're easy to stow away in your basement or closet.
If you’re moving your items into storage or need a little added protection for your stuff, look for heavy-duty storage containers that are lockable and weather-tight to protect your items from moisture, dust, and pests. However, most people won’t require these for a standard move.
These five storage containers are all super convenient options to use during a move — and you might even want to scoop up a combination of these picks, based on your needs. Amazon reviewers rate all of these containers highly, so you can rest easy knowing they’ll hold up in the back of your moving truck.
1. Sturdy Plastic Storage Bins That Come In A Range Of Sizes
Durable, stackable, and sturdy, these Rubbermaid storage bins are simply amazing for moving. The bins, which are made from polyethylene plastic, feature a stay-tight lid that protects the items inside. Built-in handles make these totes easy to carry, which is a good thing since each of the 18-gallon size can hold a whopping 72 pounds worth of stuff. The containers are also designed to withstand harsh temperature changes from 0 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit without damage.
I've specifically linked to a pack of six 18-gallon bins, but depending on your needs, you may wish to go with one of Rubbermaid's many other sizes and quantities of this bin, which range from 3 to 50 gallons.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I bought these because we were moving and I didn't want to do the cardboard shuffle again. [...] These were very reasonable and arrived undamaged. We were able to move A LOT of things using these boxes and just our 1994 Nissan Pathfinder from a 1400 sq ft house. No bubble wrap: towels and the junk mail newspapers every week helped us. Each tub safely held all of our things on each trip. It was easy to reuse each tote and then afterwards we used them to put our final garage items up. Each one stacks well into the other and as long as you're not stacking obscenely heavy totes on top of lighter totes they do just fine. They will hold a lot - one of ours is full of books while another is full of DVDs."
- Available sizes: 3 gallons (six-pack), 10 gallons (six- and eight-pack), 14 gallons (six-pack), 18 gallons (six-pack), 25 gallons (four-pack), 31 gallons (three- and six-pack), and 50 gallons (one- and four-pack)
2. A Set Of Budget-Friendly Storage Bags
If you have a good amount of stuff that you need to pack, then you’d be wise to pick up these VENO storage bags. For less than $50, you can get your hands on eight strong moving bags — each of which can safely hold up to 50 pounds worth of stuff, which is super impressive for a soft-sided pick. The bags are made from a woven polypropylene material, and each one features a strong zipper that runs the entire length of the bag. You can carry each bag by holding the long carrying straps in your hands or by using the back side straps to wear the bag like a backpack.
Amazon reviewers indicate that these storage bags have truly upped their moving game. They give this pick a 4.8-star rating on the site, among 1,600 and growing reviews.
When not in use, the lightweight bags can be folded completely flat for storage. And if you have a Frakta hand cart from Ikea, it's worth noting that these bags are totally compatible. You can also grab them in a pack of four or six if an eight-pack feels like too many.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Great product for packing and moving. I managed to pack three closets of clothes, two dressers, and one cabinet of sheets and towels and I still have two empty bags left to fill. They are super roomy and sturdy. Thanks, these have been so helpful."
- Available size: 21.1 gallons (four-, six-, and eight-pack)
3. Large Plastic Storage Containers With Wheels
Storage containers with wheels can minimize the time you spend lifting and carrying heavy items. And if you're looking for wheeled containers that can handle large, bulky, or heavy items, these 40-gallon wheeled STERILITE bins are the way to go. Simply load up your items, latch the tight-fitting lid, and use the ergonomic handle to easily wheel the container to its destination. The bins are stackable, too.
The exact weight capacity of these bins isn’t listed, but reviewers on Amazon commented that they’ve put 100+ pounds worth of items in the containers with no problem.
While the containers aren’t waterproof, they do feature a drip-resistant lid. They come in a pack of two.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Purchased these to move items from the shed and garage to our new home. Needed storage and these are working great for us. Sturdy and durable for our use. Very handy having the handle and wheels for when it became heavy. Pulled it right up the ramp of the moving truck and wheeled it off just as easy."
- Available size: 40 gallons (two-pack)
4. Large Soft-Sided Storage Containers With A Clear Viewing Window
With more than 2,000 reviews on Amazon and a solid 4.7-star rating overall, these large, soft-sided storage bags from Lifewit are perfect for transporting items like clothing, bedding, towels, and more. Each of the containers in the set has a see-through window, which helps you identify its contents quickly — no digging required.
The containers are made of a strong, non-woven fabric with reinforced seams, and the handles are sewn with two layers of fabric for added strength. The two-way steel zippers are both durable and functional. Each container can hold around 24 gallons of stuff which, according to Lifewit, amounts to about one king-size comforter or 35 items of clothing. Choose from three colors — black, blue, or gray — in packs of three or five.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "We ordered these for our upcoming move and I’m glad these bags are so big! They hold a lot more than you think and it’s perfect for holding all of our towels, linen and clothes! I’ll be ordering a couple more to pack all of our clothes - more eco friendly [then] cardboard boxes and easier to maneuver!"
- Available size: 24 gallons (three- and five-pack)
5. A 4-Pack Of Heavy Duty Storage Containers That Are Lockable & Weather-Tight
If you’re in need of some truly heavy-duty storage containers, this four-pack of IRIS USA totes features a durable, rugged construction, and a weather-tight seal that’ll protect your items from moisture, dust, pests, and more. The bins are lockable, too, so you can feel safe storing them wherever you need to. The storage containers are made of a sturdy polypropylene plastic. Buckle latches keep the lids securely in place.
While these bins do come with a higher price tag than most, many reviewers on Amazon commented that these bins are the strongest and most secure bins they’ve ever used, which totally justifies the cost.
Choose from four different color options. The bins can hold just more than 20 gallons of stuff — just under 22 if you heap the bin full of items all the way up to the top of the domed lid.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "[Without] a doubt the strongest, highest quality and most secure storage bins I've found. These bad boys could be thrown off a moving train, down 10 flights of stairs and tossed around by a family of gorillas and aside from being scratched up, they'd be fine. (Whatever you have inside them, perhaps not so much...) Plenty big enough for most of your indoor or outdoor goods, these might be more expensive than your average storage bins, but they're also way more durable and hardcore. The tops secure much more tightly than standard bins, and the locking clamps double as sturdy handles. [...] A person could easily stand on these (not recommended), and they're also lockable, thanks to holes on each of the corners for a padlock or heavy-duty plastic ties. I'm confident that I'll have these for MANY years, and confident that they'll hold up and protect whatever I put inside."
- Available size: 20.5 gallons (four-pack)