Four Things to Look for In Your Next Plastic Storage Bin

Storage bins that nest on top of one another are a great way to pack the kids off to college or simply store just about anything at home. Here’s what to look for in solid storage bins.

It’s that time of the year. College kids are getting ready to head back to school and they’re bringing all of their stuff with them. How do you get all of those belongings organized and up to the dorm room easily? Simple. Buy yourself so sturdy storage tubs with good handles for carrying and lids that lock down securely.

How do you know which ones to buy? Here are three quick options when choosing solid storage tubs. And if you’re worried that you’ll never see them again once they head off to school, don’t. You can bet you’ll see those bins again come holiday time when the kids come home. Just don’t be surprised if they’re filled with dirty laundry.

See-Through Plastic Offers Easy ID

IRIS USA, Inc. TB-28 Stack
See through tubs make remembering where you packed something much easier.Amazon

Durability is key, so look for models that are strong enough to stand up to bumps and bangs. See-through plastic models are perfect for quickly identifying what's inside from shoes to school supplies to sweaters. And lock-down lids will help keep the dust bunnies out.

Nesting Tubs Maximize Space

IRIS USA, Inc. CNL-17 17 Quart Non-Latching Box
Non-latching lids nest nicely and you don't have to worry about breaking latches.Amazon

Look for models where the lids snap down securely for a tight seal, particularly if you plan on storing sweaters or other woolen garments, like hunting pants and shirts, in mothballs during the off-season.

Wheeled Models Add Mobility

Sterilite 14699002 40 Gallon/151 Liter Wheeled Industrial Tote
These are also a great option for couples with small children who are looking for a toy chest that can be easily moved around a room for quick clean-ups.Amazon

Got a lot of heavier/bulkier items to store, like boots, books, or tools? Many manufacturers offer lidded storage bins with wheels and beefy handles—perfect for those long bag-drags from the car to the dorm room.

Strength Matters

Rubbermaid Commercial Products
Beefy, commercial-grade bins are the way to go for storing and transporting items, particularly if you're hauling items in the back of a pickup.Amazon

Good grips reduce finger and back strain, ribbed construction allows these to be dragged out of the back of a pickup without scraping up the bed, and holes in the handles allow water to drain—perfect if you're transporting tools to the job site or clothes to the cabin on a rainy day. Some models even have holes molded in for attaching a padlock.