When you help someone up a hill, you get that much closer to the top yourself. -Anonymous
Question #93213 posted on 07/05/2020 12:57 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I hate moving. Mostly that is because I hate packing and unpacking stuff. But, I came up with a cool idea - if I store everything in stack able cubes, with each cube being a separate box so I just have to stack and unstack to move, that would make it easier. The problem being, I've searched for years and not found anything that matches what I want. The closest I've come is milk crates that can stack on the side, but they're 5-8 bucks each. Yikes.

Then I decided, I can 3-d print what I want. Except printers are fairly expensive as well. Right now I've just got cardboard boxes stacked, which works fine for now but will fall apart pretty quickly when I move them.

What kind of cheap/free building materials could I use to build stronger boxes? Would paper mache work if I layered it enough? I'm planning the inside to be 12 inches cubed, with the sides being 1/2 inch thick. They would mostly be used for books, but I wouldn't stack them more than three high, so maybe able to stand up to a weight of 25-50 pounds.

What do you think? How can I use recyclable and cheap materials to make customized storage?

-Zwerg Zwei


Dear Zwerg,

I feel you on hating moving. I've got to move again in August and I am not looking forward to it.

You're right that 3D printing would add up, both because of the printer cost and the filament cost. Apparently you can make a strong version of paper mache if you use wood glue, but I still doubt that it would be sufficient for your purposes. Plastic moving bins are pretty similar to what you've described (and will save you a lot of tine), but if you really want customizability, I'd suggest going with some type of wood or wood-like material - either plywood, particle board, or MDF. They're cheap enough, but much more durable than cardboard. Check your city's guidelines for recycling, though. Particle board and similar materials can be pretty difficult to reuse and recycle, although some cities will take them.