Blog / Postal NEWS

Issue 9

Both cardboard and plastic boxes have their advantages and disadvantages, learn about them so you can pick the correct packing supplies for your move

Making sure that your relocation goes without any issues should be your number one priority. Among all moving tasks, packing your belongings proved to be the most tedious and challenging assignment. When it comes to packing supplies, you have to choose the right packaging material. The goal of this article is to compare the pros and cons of plastic boxes vs cardboard boxes. In the end, you should have enough knowledge to properly pack your items, and save some money in the process!

Packing Supplies: Plastic Boxes vs Cardboard Boxes

While you always have the option to hire a packing company to help with your relocation, it is smart to learn DIY packing techniques. You never know when you might need them. Furthermore, if you are on a budget, you will want to do most of the packing yourself.

When it comes to packing, you must decide whether to use plastic boxes or cardboard ones. To be able to make an informed decision on the right type of boxes for your relocation, I will talk about the usability of plastic and cardboard boxes from different angles.

Availability - where to get boxes for moving

Acquiring boxes for moving is the first step in packing. Cardboard boxes are almost always free since you can get them in any grocery store in your neighborhood. Of course, you can buy them from the stores selling packaging material. Have in mind that most of the cardboard boxes you buy will have to be taped together.

On another hand, plastic boxes are usually rented by packing companies. Many companies also make custom boxes by order. However, while renting saves time and effort, it also costs more.

Plastic containers are easier to open, and you can stack them one on top of the other

Packing and accessibility

The decisive factor when choosing the right type of boxes will be the type of items you want to pack. You will use a cardboard box if you wish to pack:

  • minor appliances
  • tools
  • books
  • blankets, pillows, linens
  • clothes

Plastic boxes are good if you wish to pack oddly shaped items, toys, electronics, or anything fragile. Also, you should use plastic containers for any items you think you might need during the move, or for last-minute packing. If you find something you forgot to pack, or you want to take something out, a plastic container is easy to open. It is usually closed with a clip lock or a zip tie. If you wish to open a cardboard box, you will have to cut the tape and re-tape it again. 


You can't really write on a cardboard box. While you can write a category like clothes or fragile, you can't really know the specific items you placed inside. You can use a pen, but the writing may disappear if you are handling the box too much. Also, the walls of the box may be punctured, so it is common to create a list of items and tape it on the box.

When it comes to plastic boxes, you can write as much as you can. Furthermore, it is easier to open them and check if all of the items are inside. After you are done, you can erase the writing with a sponge. Just make sure to use alcohol or erasable markers.

Stacking plastic and cardboard boxes

Plastic containers are easy to stack. They are all in the same shape, and you can put them one on top of the other. Also, they are sturdy, and in most cases, it doesn't matter if you put the heavier ones on the lighter ones.

Cardboard boxes usually take more space. Also, you have to be careful when stacking them. Heavier boxes always must go at the bottom, and the lighter ones on top.

While cardboard boxes are easier and cheaper to obtain, you must take great care when handling them


When comparing the durability of plastic boxes vs cardboard boxes, a point goes to plastic containers. They cannot tear, and they are not affected by water. However, they can break if you drop them.

Cardboard boxes are easy to tear, and you must handle them diligently. Furthermore, they are susceptible to insects. There are many cases where termites, roaches or beetles find a home inside.

Environmental angle

Both cardboard boxes and plastic containers are made with recycled materials. The difference is that the cardboard boxes are biodegradable. On another note, you can use plastic boxes many times. Cardboard ones will lose their sturdiness after some time.

Both cardboard and plastic boxes are made from re-usable material, but the plastic boxes can be used over and over again

Unpacking process

When the move is done, it is time to unpack. If you used cardboard boxes, you will have more time since you own them. You can stretch out the unpacking for a whole week, and take your time. Still, you can make a mess. Every box needs to be cut open.

Plastic containers must be unpacked faster because you must return them to the renters. However, it is easier to open them, and there is no mess afterward.

After the unpacking

Once you are finished with unpacking, you must return the plastic boxes. If you used cardboard ones, you must figure out what to do with them. If you wish to keep them for the next time you might need them, it is convenient to have a storage or a garage. Otherwise, you can throw them away or give them to friends. Finally, you can recycle them.

Hiring a moving company

If at any moment you decide that packing is too complicated for you, you can always go to a moving company. Hiring professionals, like, will make relocation easier since they will cover everything from packing, moving, and unpacking.

Calculate your moving costs.

Before you start packing, you can get your moving costs calculated online. Knowing how much everything wouldcost will help in forming a budget for the move. Once you know how much money you can allocate for packing, you can start obtaining packaging materials.

Good luck with packing

I hope that this useful guide has helped you see the difference in packing supplies. You should know the difference between plastic boxes vs cardboard boxes, and your packing should be much easier. What else to add here but good luck with packing!


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