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Renting Plastic Moving Bins

The Secret to My Easiest Move Ever

Since graduating from college, I have moved nine times — twice cross-country — and I get better at it every time. I achieved a new personal best with my recent move, and I did it without a single cardboard box. Instead, I rented reusable plastic bins from a company called BungoBox and eliminated one of the most stressful parts of the process. Here's why it was awesome.

I Cut Out Cardboard

One of my least favorite parts about moving is procuring boxes. In the weeks leading up to a move, I become a crazy cardboard scavenger, visiting liquor stores, grocery stores, and sidewalks on recycling day to collect as many boxes as possible. I will do anything to avoid paying money for a cardboard box, though I usually end up having to buy some anyway. As someone who is eco-conscious and abhors waste, it pains me to break down all those good boxes and recycle them after a move. Using plastic bins also removed the need for tape, since the lids lock when closed. All I had to buy was bubble wrap and packing paper.

It Saved Time

We researched several bin companies available in our area, including JuggleBox, BoxUp, and Bin-It. We ultimately chose BungoBox because it's available in 13 markets across the US and it offered extralarge boxes. Companies vary based on location, so I urge you to research the offerings in your local market.

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Some companies allow you to keep the boxes for one week, while others offer two weeks for a higher price. All of them give you an estimate of the number of bins you'll need based on your apartment size, and we ended up having a near-perfect amount of boxes.

The bins were delivered to my apartment before the move and picked up when I was done. You can keep the bins for one to two weeks around your moving date. I opted to keep mine for a little longer before the move than after. The company also provides wheeled carts so you can move the boxes around as you pack and stickers so you can label them.

The Price Was Right

The four companies I researched offered similar pricing. Quotes vary depending on how many boxes you need, what size box you want, and how long you keep them, but the general range was $150 to $300 for a two-bedroom apartment. We rented a mix of large and extralarge boxes for two weeks, and the cost was around $200, including delivery and pickup.

Renting bins from BungoBox was more expensive than scavenging for cardboard boxes but still very affordable — especially compared to buying cardboard boxes, which can become absurdly expensive. BungoBox estimates that customers save as much as 50 percent versus buying cardboard boxes.

I Couldn't Procrastinate

Because you only rent the boxes for a maximum of two weeks, your move doesn't drag on forever. Renting bins forces you to pack and unpack quickly, which I considered a gift. I speak from experience when I say that if you start packing too soon for a move, it feels endless, and unpacking quickly allows you to feel settled faster than if you leave boxes piled up for months.

The Pros Outweighed the Cons

As long as you can deal with the two-week window, renting bins makes for a far more enjoyable moving experience than using cardboard. It's better for the environment and cuts out a huge, unpleasant step in the moving process.

The only downside is that BungoBox offered only large and extralarge bins. Because the bins are heavier than cardboard, they are very heavy when full. I felt bad for my movers. Were I to do it again, I'd choose a bin rental company that offers a wider variety of sizes. But I'm definitely going the reusable bin route from now on.

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