In the quest to tidy, storage containers can make the difference between an organized home and one heaped with mismatched boxes in the closets and garage. To find the best, we tossed 32 bins and totes down a flight of stairs, left them in the rain, and stuffed them full of books and blankets. All of our recommended containers will stow your things safely and are easy to carry or roll.

I also dug into several technical papers and articles to learn about the durability of different plastics. They were also the tightest-sealing outdoor storage box mouse proof off bins we tested, thanks to a foam gasket in the lid and extra latches around the edges most bins have only two on each end. Iris manufactures the Weathertight in slightly different sizes and lid colors for The Container StoreZiploc, and Home Depotbut you can use them all interchangeably.

Staffers who have used these boxes for moving, and to store countless items over the years, highly recommend. We also recommend the under-bed size in our guide to closet organizing.

The Weathertight Totes receive strong owner reviews, with a 4. We took particular note that commenters—ranging from a personal historian stowing photos and personal documents to small-apartment dwellers—rave about the watertight seal and neat stackability.

If you live in a temperate climate you can probably get away with using these in a outdoor storage box mouse proof off or unheated part of the house. They chipped and lost latches in our drop tests, so look to our heavier-duty bins if you plan to treat them roughly. Several other Wirecutter staffers have used these bins for years, although outdoor storage box mouse proof off couple of people have noted that the bins can be smelly when you first get.

Because they stay so well sealed, the smell can transfer to outdoor storage box mouse proof off and linens inside, so one senior staff writer recommends throwing some cedar blocks in. These durable bins are best at surviving brutal cold, stack easily, and have comfortable molded handles to easily carry heavy loads.

The Brute comes in two sizes: 14 and 20 gallons. We tested the larger size and it held 59 books or eight throw blankets. In our drop tests down a flight of stairsthe Brute was one of our only picks to survive damage-free—the lid popped off, but the container itself was completely intact. On Amazon, the Brute receives a strong 4.

If you need something more accessible, the butterfly lid of the Akro-Mils bins we recommend might work better. We even spotted them in an episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo in a freshly decluttered garage. Even the smallest, gallon size is almost three times as big as the smallest Iris. The HDX totes are reliably available in Home Depot stores—many of our other picks are mostly sold online—so you can see them in person to figure out exactly which sizes you need.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: In our drop tests, the HDX cracked and lost a small chunk of plastic. The lid stayed on, though, unlike with the Brute Totes. Though the container would probably need to be replaced after a major fall, your stuff would stay inside. Long-term test notes: Test bins have held up after two years of long-term testing in an unheated workshop, and they seem to be pest-proof: At my house, we used to keep our animal feed bags on a shelf, but after mice began eating into them we moved them to these HDX bins, outdoor storage box mouse proof off the mouse attacks stopped completely.

In addition, one Wirecutter staffer says that at her previous job people used these bins to haul AV equipment back and forth to various locations, and they were durable and comfortable to carry. Just make sure you have the space for it. In testing we consolidated three bins of holiday decorations into the Sterilite and wheeled it into storage—quick and easy.

The Sterilite gets a 4. Commenters use them for everything from camping gear to outdoor storage box mouse proof off holiday decorations. Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Sterilite is too cumbersome to carry up and down stairs. The container was otherwise undamaged. One note: I noticed that while the bin was empty and in storage over this past holiday season, outdoor storage box mouse proof off critter got in and chewed up a small box.

So this one is the result of my own user error, not a fault with the bin. Nothing we tested, including the smaller and larger ActionPacker sizes, beat the gallon size for its combination of durability, security, and portability. In our drop tests, it outperformed everything else we tried. After we threw it down the stairs, a few corners were a bit dented but the latches held and the lid stayed tightly closed.

We prefer it to the Brute and HDX bins for long-term outdoor storage, too—those bins have lids with raised lips that help them stack securely but also allow water to collect. This bin is made with durable HDPE, so it will withstand weather better than many others we tested. Many commenters seem to use the box as storage. Long-term test notes: We know these bins can survive tremendous wear and tear.

Staffers have kept them outside for years in all kinds of weather one senior editor has stored hers outdoors in Los Angeles and in Maine. And one of our two-year-old test samples survived a bear attack last year and is still going strong.

The bear stole the bin from outside my chicken coop, dropped it on the latched outdoor storage box mouse proof off until it popped open, and made off with some chicken food. We like that this tote is easy to open, can withstand freezing temperatures and costs less than similar bins.

The KeepBox was just as sturdy as the one other butterfly-lid outdoor storage box mouse proof off we outdoor storage box mouse proof off the Quantum QDC but about half the price and more widely available. This style of container is used for industrial shipping because it can take a beating and it stacks neatly. To ensure the lid stays shut on things you want to store long-term, these bins have eyelets at their connection point that can perfectly hold a zip tie.

One of our staffers has owned several of these bins for years, so we know they hold up over time. The KeepBox receives an average of 4. One reviewer uses them to stow Legosand we saw several mentions of people keeping craft supplies in the boxes.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: This is the only plastic container we recommend that let water in when we hosed it. Water gets in, and bugs can probably also climb in. I switched to the Akro-Mils bin last year, and now she can easily manage the lid—and we never outdoor storage box mouse proof off carpet spills.

These inexpensive, breathable boxes are better than plastic bins for clothes storage and they were the easiest to load and unload. Retrieving items was much less frustrating than with the smaller and more expensive front-loading Container Store Sweater Boxwhich had to be completely emptied to pull out one thing. To find a range of containers that work for a variety of needs we researched a total of 82 outdoor storage box mouse proof off and used these criteria to narrow the field:.

Holds a lot: We considered bins that would neatly and securely hold a variety of items and stack without wobbling. Organizer Beth Penn told us to look for the outdoor storage box mouse proof off bins possible to maximize the space inside. Some popular bins were hard to find, so we focused on containers sold by multiple retailers or sellers with reliable inventory.

Sometimes you need to see a container in person, so we also looked for options that could be picked up in store. Outdoor storage box mouse proof off every bin needs to withstand heavy abuse, so we also considered some that were less durable but highly practical for storage.

Our plastic picks are made with polypropylene labeled PP, the most common plastic we found or high-density polyethylene HDPE, for heavy-duty containers. In we tested 11 bins; for our update we tested 21, in a range of sizes. If a container survived those tests, we filled it with household goods to see how much it held, if it closed when overstuffed, if it stacked securely, and how comfortable it was to carry.

We filled clothing boxes with sweaters outdoor storage box mouse proof off hoodies, noting how much the boxes held and how easy they were to pack and. We recommend investing in a label maker. Labels are easy to remove and replace if you decide to repurpose a box. If you still prefer writing on the bins, we suggest dry-erase markers instead of Sharpies, particularly on clear storage containers. A quick pass with a wet wipe or magic eraser will take off the marker so you can reuse the box.

The 35 Gallon ActionPacker and 8 Gallon ActionPacker are harder to find than the gallon size and neither was as useful. We prefer top-loading containers for clothes storage. The Sorbus Storage Organizer Bag holds a lot of clothes, but its soft sides made it the hardest one to load.

The Sterilite Gallon Industrial Tote is harder to find than the gallon size we recommend, and the lid had some sharp edges that made carrying the bin uncomfortable. The Sterilite Quart ClearView Latch Boxa former pick, is inexpensive and widely available, but the handles were flimsy and it strained visibly with outdoor storage box mouse proof off loads. Even when empty, the Sterilite Gallon Ultra Tote was warped.

Our recommendations are better-made. Beth Penn, home organizer and founder of Bneato Baremail interview, December outdoor storage box mouse proof off, Rebeca S. Lodi, B. Bueno, and J. Jackie Reeve is a senior staff writer covering bedding, organization, and home goods at Wirecutter since Her quilt patterns and her other written work have appeared in various publications. Our pick. Colors and sizes vary, but they all work together as a.

Photo: Rozette Rago. Rubbermaid Brute Totes Tough bins for extreme conditions These durable bins are best at surviving brutal cold, stack easily, and have comfortable molded handles to easily carry heavy loads.

Akro-Mils KeepBox Attached Lid Container An easy-access bin We like that this tote is easy to open, can withstand freezing temperatures and costs less than similar bins. Buying Options Buy from Amazon set of two. To find a range of containers that work for a variety of needs we researched a total of 82 bins and used these criteria to narrow the field: Holds a lot: We considered bins that would neatly and securely hold a variety of items and stack without wobbling.

About your guide Jackie Reeve.


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