The Best Storage Bins and Totes for Your Next Move

Paper or plastic? When you’re moving, this can be a tougher decision than at the grocery store. Cardboard boxes are stackable and budget-friendly, but plastic bins are (somewhat) weatherproof and protect against damage in transit.

Plus, you can hang onto your bins for long-term storage once you’ve arrived and unpacked. Cardboard boxes are less likely to survive a trip in your moving truck or container.

If you’re using storage bins for any or all of your packing, choosing the right type matters—and you may need different bins for your clothes than for your Christmas decorations. Use this guide to our top specialty storage tote picks to find the best bins for your move.

Compare the best storage bins

Best valueBest heavy-dutyBest for clothing storageMost portable
ProductSterilite Latching Storage BoxRubbermaid Brute TotesIRIS Weathertight TotesSterilite Footlocker Storage Box
ImageStorage binStorage bin
Where to purchaseHome DepotAmazonThe Container StoreWalmart
Where to get itView ProductView Product View ProductView Product
Product
Image
Where to purchase
Where to get it
Best value Best heavy-duty Best for clothing storage Most portable
Sterilite Latching Storage Box Rubbermaid Brute Totes IRIS Weathertight Totes Sterilite Footlocker Storage Box
Storage bin Storage bin
Home Depot Amazon The Container Store Walmart
View Product View Product View Product View Product

Best value

When moving a whole house worth of bins, balancing affordability and secure storage matters. These totes offer a good bang for your buck and are reliable for most belongings, but we don’t recommend them for fragile goods or items needing protection from the elements.

Sterilite Latching Storage Box—Our pick

Sterilite Latching Storage BoxWhere to get it
Buy from Home Depot
Sterilite Latching Storage Box
Where to get it
Buy from Home Depot

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Transparent with latched lid

CONS

  • Lacking interior organization
  • Heavy when full

If you’re seeking both security and affordability, choose Sterilite’s 64-quart Latching Storage Box. The latched lid ensures the top stays on to protect your belongings. Plus, the totes stack with ease (whether they’re full or empty), making them a great option if you plan to purchase a bundle and store them after your move.

We also love the clear plastic design, which lets you see what’s inside at all times.

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MOVING FUN FACT

MOVING FUN FACT

Ever wonder how many boxes a move takes? We’ve got numbers for that. Sixty boxes: that’s the average used for a move in the US.1

HDX Tough Storage Tote—Runner-up

HDX Tough Storage ToteWhere to get it
Buy from Home Depot
HDX Tough Storage Tote
Where to get it
Buy from Home Depot

PROS

  • Stackable
  • Available in five sizes
  • Affordable

CONS

  • May crack when dropped
  • Not temperature resistant

When you need a bunch of bins to haul your stuff, the HDX Tough Storage Tote is another affordable, all-around great option. It’s available in five sizes ( 12-gallon, 17-gallon, 27-gallon, 38-gallon, and 55-gallon) at Home Depot, it fits practically anything, and it stacks easily.

However, while these polypropylene bins are fairly sturdy, they’re not built to withstand extreme temperatures or major drops.

Best heavy-duty

Whether you’re packing your Oktoberfest stein collection or your kids’ pottery projects, the last thing you want is to open a bin full of broken prized possessions. Use these ultra-sturdy, weather-resistant bins to move fragile items without worry.

Rubbermaid Brute Tote—Our pick

Rubbermaid Brute ToteWhere to get it
Buy on Amazon
Rubbermaid Brute Tote
Where to get it
Buy on Amazon

PROS

  • Made of sturdy polyethylene
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Weatherproof and watertight

CONS

  • Heavier than other totes
  • Not transparent
  • Tricky to open

The polyethylene Rubbermaid Brute Tote is more temperature-resistant than the polypropylene containers we recommended above. Plus, its molded handles make it easy to carry—even when it’s full of dish sets or power tools. However, if you want to see what’s inside your bin, you’ll find the opaque plastic disappointing.

IRIS Store-It-All Tote—Runner-up

IRIS Store-It-All ToteWhere to get it
Buy from Home Depot
IRIS Store-It-All Tote
Where to get it
Buy from Home Depot

PROS

  • Stackable with many tote sizes
  • Durable
  • Lockable (lock not included)
  • Airtight with a protective seal

CONS

  • Not transparent
  • Available only in packs of four

The heavy-duty IRIS Store-It-All Tote mixes and stacks with the clear plastic storage bins (ranging from 3-gallon to 19-gallon) from the same brand. Durable plastic construction and an airtight seal make the Store-It-All an excellent choice for shoes, clothing, home goods, and camping gear. And you can use other IRIS bins to pack the rest of your stuff.

If you’re packing into a trailer or open truck bed, use the built-in channels on the lids to secure your bins with a bungee cord or strap. These bins can be locked, but locks are not included.

Best for clothing storage

If you’ve ever pulled clothes out of storage to find them mildewed or moth-eaten, you need these apparel-safe bins. Airtight and water-resistant seals protect bin contents whether you’re moving or storing your seasonal wardrobe.

IRIS Weathertight Tote—Our pick

IRIS Weathertight ToteWhere to get it
Buy from The Container Store
IRIS Weathertight Tote

PROS

  • Airtight and watertight
  • Easy to stack
  • Transparent

CONS

  • Not designed to be submerged
  • Not built for extreme temperatures

Available in 12 sizes, the clear polypropylene IRIS Weathertight Tote is perfect for organizing your apparel. Stash hats and gloves in small bins and bulky sweaters and coats in larger ones.
Thanks to strong latches and an airtight and watertight foam gasket, everything from your Patagonia puffy to your Givenchy dresses are sheltered from the elements. Also, straight sides maximize interior space (perfect for clothing hoarders), and stack easily.

Ziploc WeatherShield Storage Box—Runner-up

Ziploc WeatherShield Storage BoxWhere to get it
Ziploc storage binBuy on Walmart
Ziploc WeatherShield Storage Box
Ziploc storage bin
Where to get it
Buy on Walmart

PROS

  • Stacking grooves that lock boxes in place
  • Foam seal to keep out mold, water, mildew, dirt, dust, etc.
  • Black or transparent exterior

CONS

  • Opaque lid
  • Higher price point

Safely stash clothing in Ziploc WeatherShield Storage Boxes, which feature an airtight foam seal designed to keep mildew, pollen, dust, mold, and water out. Lock stacked boxes in place using lid grooves that prevent shifting and boost stability.

These are bins you’ll want to keep long after your move for seasonal storage. Choose clear bins if you like to see what’s inside or black bins to protect fabrics from fading.

Most portable

If portability is important to you, choose bins that feature built-in wheels, comfortable handles, lockable lids, solid stackability, and sturdy construction.

Sterilite Footlocker Storage Box—Our pick

Sterilite Footlocker Storage BoxWhere to get it
Sterilite Footlocker in TealBuy on Walmart
Sterilite Footlocker Storage Box
Sterilite Footlocker in Teal
Where to get it
Buy on Walmart

PROS

  • Lockable clasps
  • Rugged, sturdy design
  • Wheel and handle options

PROS

  • Not watertight
  • Not transparent

Wheel or carry your cargo from your current home to your new one (and beyond) with the Sterilite Footlocker Storage Box. Use the wheels (just like a rolling suitcase) when you’re weighed down, or carry it with the comfortable bail-style handle. You can also lock the front clasps with a standard padlock for added security.

IRIS Weathertight Tote with Wheels—Runner-up

IRIS Weathertight Tote with WheelsWhere to get it
Buy from The Container Store
IRIS Weathertight Tote with Wheels

PROS

  • Clear polypropylene construction
  • Airtight and watertight
  • Wheeled
  • Secure stacking design

CONS

  • Only one handle
  • Heavy when full

When you’re transporting heavy items, a wheeled tote is your best friend. We love the IRIS Weathertight Tote’s double wheels and comfortable handle for easily getting your box from point A to point B.

Plus, the weathertight seal keeps out water, critters, dust, and dirt to protect your belongings while en route to your new home or in storage for months and years after. This bin is designed to stack easily—even when mixed with different-sized totes.

Specialty storage bins

Oddly sized items and specialty goods may not fit in basic bins. Try these specialty totes for organizing trees, toys, and tiny items.

Christmas tree storage

If fresh pine’s not your jam, use a dedicated box to stow your artificial tree the other 11 months of the year. Choose from a rolling tree duffel or a budget-friendly artificial tree bag. Add on plastic ornament totes to individually pack and protect heirloom family baubles and souvenirs from your last Florida beach vacation.

Totes for kids

Keep Junior’s stuffed animals and crayons all in one place with colorful kid totes that serve as permanent storage once you reach your new home. Color-code plastic bin sets for each child to keep fights to a minimum and make unpacking a breeze.

Totes for small items

It’s easy to lose track of jewelry and smaller items during a move. Stash small (but important) items in little containers that you can pack within a larger tote or box. We love Sterilite’s value pack of 6-quart bins that cost just $2 a pop (a dozen per pack) and hold up well over time.

Underbed boxes

Monsters don’t really lurk under beds, so it’s wise to use this empty space for extra storage when you need it. Try long stackable drawer sets from IRIS for small items like socks and underwear, or use wheeled plastic bins from Sterilite when frequent access is key.

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MOVING TIMING TIP

MOVING TIMING TIP

Looking to avoid crowds and high costs? Move on a Monday. Most people move on the weekends,2 which means moving companies and rental trucks are more difficult (and expensive) to book Friday–Sunday.

Recapping our best storage bins and totes

Whether you’re packing a heavy load or need a tote for fragile items, use this list to pick the best storage bins for your next move.

Storage tote tips

How to pack plastic bins or totes

Thinking of moving with storage bins instead of moving boxes? It’s important to note that cardboard moving boxes are built for relocation and designed for easy stackability. While plastic storage bins are more durable and great for long-term storage, some are oddly shaped or less than ideal for moving.

If you’re relocating using plastic bins and totes, use these tips to pack them right for the journey:

  • Protect your goods. Use packing paper and bubble wrap to fill empty space and wrap fragile items, preventing them from shifting in your bins.
  • Tape it up. While plastic bins may come with sturdy lids, you’ll want to tape the tops to the sides to keep them sealed during transit.
  • Stack it right. Bins can break if heavy items are stacked on top. Stack bins together by type, and avoid weighing down the lid with other heavy items.
  • Choose the right bin. Clothing demands weathertight protection, while Christmas trees require specially-built long boxes. Go through your goods to determine the best bins for your move.

Where to buy plastic bins and totes

Whether you’re an online shopper or prefer in-store pickup, you’ll find all the storage bins you need for your next move at big-box retailers like Walmart and Target, at home improvement stores like Home Depot, and (of course) one click away on Amazon.

Where do you buy cheap storage bins?

Find the best deals on name-brand storage containers on Amazon or at Walmart.

Tip: Score the storage bin deals by shopping Walmart’s Rollback discounts.

Where do you buy Rubbermaid storage bins?

Find Rubbermaid bins at Home Depot, Target, Walmart, and Lowe’s—in store or online.

Tip: Need a bunch of bins? Buy in bulk to reduce costs and make sure you have similar models for easy stacking.

Where do you buy Sterilite storage bins?

Head to your local Target, Home Depot, or Walmart to find Sterilite storage bins—or shop online at Amazon or other store websites.

People also asked…

About Jenny Willden

Jenny Willden
Jenny’s been writing stories since she first picked up a pencil and is lucky to call it her profession. She’s lived in five U.S. states (and counting) and uses her mishaps to help you master your next move.