4 Expert Tips To Choose Storage Bins And Boxes

The key to keeping a home neat and tidy is a good storage system. However, there isn't necessarily a one size fits all solution for every household. 

To help, here is a closer look at four tips for choosing the right storage bins and boxes for your lifestyle and needs.

How Large Should My Storage Bin or Box Be?

Finding the right size for your situation will depend on what objects you need to store and how heavy they are. 

When should I use large boxes?

  • For household storage, large boxes can be around 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide. 

  • Boxes of this size are well suited to hold light, bulky items. This is because you do not want to risk the box becoming too heavy to lift or move when needed. That means items such as books, old jeans, or heavy computer equipment should not be stored in large boxes. 

  • However, if you need to store some old stuffed animals, pillows, or a few bulky decorative items, large boxes work great. They work even better if you do not need to access the box often, and if you intend to store it at the back of a closet or storage building.

Large Gray Metal Box Set
Green Heavy Duty Plastic Large Tub
Clear Plastic Large Storage Box
Gray Fabric Rectangle Large Bin
Large Plastic Rectangle Storage Bin Set
Black Fabric Rectangle Large Bin

When should I use small to medium-sized boxes?

  • Small to medium-sized boxes can range in size from less than 6 inches wide to around 20 inches tall. 

  • Medium-sized boxes in particular work great for those heavier items that are too heavy to put in a large box. For example, if you are storing old books, it is best to split them up across three medium-sized boxes as opposed to one large box. 

  • For items that you use often, it's best to choose a smaller box that is around 10 inches in width and height. These boxes are not only easy to carry, but they can also be easily accessed when sitting beside an end table or on a shelf. This works well with items such as spare hand towels, magazines, and craft supplies.

Small Zinc Metal Glass Box
White Fabric Square Medium Box
Gray Medium Storage Fabric Bin
Clear Plastic Rectangle Medium Box
Rectangle Grey Plastic Medium Box
Manufactured Wood Narrow Stack Box

What is the Best Material for Storage Containers?

Boxes can come in many different materials to choose from. Again, you should take into consideration what you are storing, how you intend to use the box, and who will be using it. 

What types of objects are best stored in:

  • Plastic boxes?

Plastic boxes are great for items that you want to store and put away. Traditional plastic boxes are not the most stylish options, however, they are an affordable way to store extra toys, out of season clothes, or Christmas decorations at the back of your closet.

This of course doesn's mean that plastic cannot be fantastic. There are beautiful, decorative storage containers made of plastic that you can use to store cosmetics or groceries.

Almond Plastic Rectangle Pantry Basket
Pink Plastic Rectangle Bin Set
Pastel Plastic Rectangle Multi Purpose Bin
Gray Plastic Rectangle Rolling Bin
Santa's Design Red Plastic Storage Tote
Mini Clear Plastic Acrylic Caddy
  • Wire boxes?

Wire boxes work very well in the kitchen, office, or utility room. They not only add an industrial look, but they are easy to see inside and find what you are looking for. 

Additionally, wire containers are great for storing fruits or vegetables as they allow for good air circulation which can help to extend the life of your produce.

Brown Wire Wood Basket Set
Gray Metal Wire Basket Set
Black Tall Cylinder Wire Bins Basket
White Vintage Metal Wire Basket
Green Metal Wire Square Basket
Aqua Square Metal Wire Bin
  • Fabric boxes?

Fabric boxes can add a touch of comfort and warmth to any room. Typically, fabric boxes work great for transporting laundry, storing odds and ends next to a nightstand, or for keeping craft supplies such as yarn or fabric. It is best to not store bottles with liquids in fabric boxes, as they can easily spill, cause stains, or mold. 

Fabric boxes come in all different sizes and colors; making it easy to match with your existing décor.

Gray Rectangle Collapsible Fabric Box
Blue Rectangle Collapsible Fabric Bin
Gray Rectangle Fabric Basket Set
Beige Rectangle Collapsible Fabric Box
Black Rectangle Fabric Basket Set
Tan Square Fabric Cube Bin

Do I need a storage box with a lid?

Not all boxes have a lid with them, however, you may not always even need one. 

Which objects should be stored with a lid? 

  • Especially if you have young children, it is best to store dangerous objects inside a container with a lid. This includes cleaning supplies, batteries, or items that may pose a choking hazard such as small toys, paper clips, or buttons. 

  • It is also best to store items that you intend to store for longer periods of time inside of a box with a lid. This helps to keep bugs, water, and dust from damaging your items. 

  • Items that do not necessarily need a lid are fresh food items, frequently played with toys, or books/magazine that you or your guests read often.

Natural Water Hyacinth Wicker Basket
Gray Rectangle Fabric Storage Bin
Brown Rectangle Plastic Cube Bin
Silver Rectangle Polyester Fabric Box
Beige Wood Storage Box Set
Rustic Beige Fabric Storage Basket
Rectangle Gold Dots Fabric Bin
Square Storage Ottoman Mesh Bin

How Can I Make My Storage Boxes Enhance My Décor?

Storage boxes or containers may not be the trendiest décor items to have in your house, however, they are still necessary and can be a lot of fun. Here are some ways that you can use storage boxes and bins to enhance your existing décor. 

How can I make a bold statement? Play with color!

Plastic and fabric boxes come in a wide variety of colors, which is great when decorating the living room or a bedroom. 

Folding fabric cube boxes, in particular, are a great option - and you are sure to find some that match your accent colors. A row of cube boxes can look very chic sitting next to each other on a shelf. Try experimenting with alternating colors to turn a boring shelf into something both fun and functional.

Rectangle Fabric Storage Bin Set
Square Folding Fabric Cube Bin
Rose Storage Cardboard Bin Set
Pink Cardboard Fabric Bin Set
Stripes Folding Storage Fabric Bin
Rectangle Plastic Storage Container Box

How can I match my existing style? Add some texture!

  • If your house as a traditional or country feel to it, try to find some wicker baskets or containers. The textured and earthy tones will add a sense of warmth to any room. For this style, you can also try to add some wooden crates for storing extra towels, old records, or plush toys.

  • For modern and contemporary houses, fabric boxes in minimalist colors such as white, beige or black are a great choice for keeping your storage solution looking sleek and clean. You can also try some metal wire baskets for an industrial yet modern feel.  

  • For an eclectic-style kitchen, try a tiered metal basket unit to store fruits, vegetables, fresh bread, or even cookbooks. If you do not have space to put a full unit, try a tiered basket to sit on top of a surface or baskets that hang on the wall.

Silver Metal Round Tiered Basket
White Black Oval Metal Bucket Set
Brown Metal Solid Wood Basket Set
Brown Solid Wood Rectangle Crate
Walnut Brown Wicker Rattan Basket Set
Off White Fabric Large Storage Box

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.