If you need items stored, it is important to work with a reputable moving and storage company. That way, you will feel confident knowing that your belongings are being stored in the right type of unit, but also at a facility that is clean and secure. As for the actual storage containers, there are a number of things to consider.
Obviously, the two most common types of storage containers include boxes and plastic bins. While both are good options, there are certain scenarios in which one is better than the other. Starting with cardboard boxes, you either need to purchase sturdy boxes from the moving and storage company, or dumpster dive, but only for boxes of high quality. In other words, if you choose to find cardboard storage containers on your own, make sure there are no stains, rips, holes, or other damage that could ultimately compromise your personal possessions.
Something else to consider is that if you choose cardboard storage containers, it is always best to rent a climate-controlled unit. That way, you do not have to worry about mice, weather damage, or elemental decay. Now, if you plan to stack your goods, cardboard boxes are not recommended for long-term storage in that over time, they will begin buckle and give way. However, if you plan to keep your items in storage for just a few weeks to months, then stacking cardboard boxes would probably be okay.
In some situations, plastic storage containers are better than cardboard boxes. When you need to store more delicate items, plastic is the better option. As long as the goods inside are not sensitive to heat and humidity, plastic storage containers would be fine in a standard unit opposed to one that is climate-controlled. However, if you put anything in plastic bins that is sensitive to heat and humidity, and do not choose a climate-controlled unit, you can expect for your good to be damaged.
Two advantages of using plastic storage containers compared to cardboard is that for long-term storage, they stack well. In addition, when placed inside a standard unit, your possessions are much better protected from mice, insects, dirt, and debris. Especially for long-term storage, plastic is the better option. You need to inventory your items and then determine which type of container is best. Of course, you can always use a combination of the two.