Protocols: Milk Crates
I'm starting to publicly document the techniques I use for going about things, not because my ways are the best, or I am some kind of authority, but because improvement comes when previously unacknowledged things get shown and shared, and improved upon.
Reasons to use milk crates
To be clear, I use ones I picked up at Walmart and various other places, so I really don't know what "real" milk-crates are like. But here's why they're the best option for long-term storage:
They won't hold small items or dust. Small things will fall through the holes, and so you're forced to either bag the small item with others like it, or to discard it. Because it won't hold dust, your stuff will not be as nasty when you go in to retrieve it.
They stack to infinity. There's really no limit to how many you can stack. With my second favorite storage technology (18 gallon tubs), more than two or three and the lids will start caving in.
They are fairly neat. With their cubular shape, a room full of milk-crates will just look like someone's attempt at archiving human history. Put that same room full of stuff into assorted containers, and they're going to be calling "Hoarders" on you.
They can be used as file drawers. They hold hanging file folders, and so are a perfect alternative to a "real" filing system.
They won't hold things that are too large. Because they have set dimensions, which can be used to hold everything from tennis balls to newspapers easily, they work for almost everything. Things that are too big for those dimensions need to be reconsidered. Or at least, dealt with differently.