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Old 09-09-2017, 06:49 PM
Location: the Pacific North West
43 posts, read 243,375 times
Reputation: 48


We are moving cross-country using ABF in about 2 months. I have several things stored in plastic totes (Christmas decorations, camping supplies, off-season clothing, etc.) In previous (company-paid) moves with a full-service mover, the movers have packed the entire bin into a cardboard box and shipped it that way. Would that be the best option again? Some other ideas I've had:
- Empty all of the bins into well-packed cardboard boxes for shipping. Nest the bins to keep them safer.
- Pack the bins as I would a box (packing material, padding, no shifting) and stack inside the trailer.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:09 PM
Location: Bloomington IN
6,470 posts, read 7,702,323 times
Reputation: 15734
If you're asking about typical rubbermaid type bins, I'm not sure why you would remove any contents. The last time we moved we left things in the bins and taped the lids securely using packing tape. Most of the bins contained clothing and toys so breakage wasn't an issue. The bins with breakable items were originally packed to prevent breakage so nothing changed. The professional movers had no problems with it.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:46 PM
3,549 posts, read 3,117,208 times
Reputation: 10637
My plastic bins suffered in moves. They were just taped up and moved. I had a few cracked lids and bins. The contents were ok. I would never have thought of putting them in a box. If I had to pay for the move, I'd probably just leave them packed as is and replace bins as needed later.
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:09 PM
Location: North Dakota
7,634 posts, read 8,911,426 times
Reputation: 10877
I've never done anything special with plastic bins. Just toss them in the truck and go.
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:20 PM
Location: Silicon Valley
17,932 posts, read 22,609,476 times
Reputation: 34770
I moved myself, and most of my belongs I put into these plastic bins from Walmart:


They nestle inside each other, so stacking them is stable. I actually stacked them into the back of my pickup, and ran bungie cords through the handles, and secured the bungie cords to the sides of the pickup.

The last time I paid for movers, they didn't care at all about whether my things were in totes or boxes.

What is really great about the totes, is that they are waterproof and pretty much damage-proof. Plus, you can always use them later - or if you want to be really cheap, you can return them to Walmart after you move LOL.

I wrapped each one with shipping tape, too, and wrote on the shipping tape what was inside.
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:03 PM
Location: Mars City
5,092 posts, read 2,086,401 times
Reputation: 7483
I love using the plastic bins. Between my wife and I, her boxes are lettered, and mine are numbered. I have a list of what's in the boxes, and it's very handy to find things when stored. It's important to pack them a little more than full, so when they're stacked, they have enough sturdy volume to resist the weight of boxes above them, pushing down on them.

I'm not sure if any of this helps with movers, because we always do it ourselves, but it's good to have them modular, and in separate containers. And when emptied, they are just nested together with the top ones covered.
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:22 AM
Location: Southern Nevada
2,826 posts, read 1,184,261 times
Reputation: 3104
We've been using the 18 gallon plastic bins to pack for our upcoming move and they work out great. I've found they're actually cheaper than cardboard boxes (if you had to buy them) and I got about 2 dozen of the bins on sale.

Once we get settled in at the new place I'm sure we'll keep most of them for storing things. I've tried to be careful not to over pack and make them too heavy, which is easy to do.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:06 AM
Location: Oregon Coast
4,998 posts, read 1,999,177 times
Reputation: 6600
Almost everything I own is stored in hard plastic bins in my closets. If I had to move within 24 hours, I could be packed and ready. I would just have to clear out my drawers and drop that stuff into other soft plastic bins, along with other random items, and I would be ready to go.

The last time I moved, plastic bins were a lifesaver. The night before I un-loaded my U-Haul truck it rained and the truck's roof leaked water all over everything. I just used rags to wipe the water off the top of the bins before taking them off the truck. I would have had a lot of ruined stuff, if I had it packed it in cardboard boxes. I'm not sure why anyone wouldn't pack in plastic bins.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:31 AM
Location: Chasing horses and watching circuses in Atropia.
219 posts, read 108,798 times
Reputation: 362
Some full service moving companies will dump the contents in a box and ship the plastic bin separately. Had to do with either company policy or their contract with whomever was paying for the move. Probably about 50% of my moves have been that way, but none in the last few years or so.

The bins I move myself are left full with a few turns of stretch wrap around it. The stretch wrap will keep the lids on and keep the plastic bins from sliding around.

I bought one of each a couple of moves ago and still have a ton left. I use the two handed version to wrap large boxes such as wardrobe boxes, and the one handed version for the plastic bins as mentioned above.


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Old 09-12-2017, 04:35 PM
609 posts, read 362,845 times
Reputation: 1473
Perhaps in your previous case, the movers felt like they had to put them in a box because the lids weren't taped or otherwise secured? Or were you paying them to do all of the packing for you? If the latter, then yes, they typically box up everything. Even your trash, if you've left it for them.

I've done several cross-country moves with totes, and never had them put the totes inside boxes. But I always had them shrink-wrapped and labelled and ready to go. If I'd seen a mover putting totes (or anything not in a box) into a box, I would challenge them on it--especially if it seems like they are doing it just to charge me added fees for the boxes.
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