* Prices may differ from that shown
The clue is in the name "Really useful" boxes. These boxes in our house our used to keep the toys tidy, since our daughter insists on making a mess that takes longer to tidy up than solving the mystery of the universe. These boxes keep all the Playmobil neat and tidy so they don't get broken or lost.
The boxes are well made from very thick plastic, and they last ages. The ones i've got we've had for a year and they've been a pleasure to use. They don't dent or crack easily, you can barely damage the plastic by hitting it or smacking it, and dropping them does very little damage at all. The lids are quite strong too and when a lot of weight is on top of them they do flex very slightly but don't crack, cave in or get damaged.
Practicality is the main reason we bought these. They're not heavy so you can move them around easily and stack them on top of one another. They are incredibly handy for moving house or storing things in, especially when space is a concern. I found that storing them in the loft and spare room was the best way to save space but keeping it all together in one box will consolidate lots of loose objects like the Playmobil people.
They're easy to use too, you just need to clip the flaps in place to secure the contents and then you can tip it about, drop it etc and stuff doesn't fall out. They stay secure on there own and don't need any tape to hold them down. They're quite strong and can take a fair few knocks without breaking.
Cleaning isn't too hard, there are a few ridges and bumps here and there but with a bit of dettox you can just wipe round with a jay cloth and use your finger tips to get in all the corners. They don't need more than that really.
Overall these are very handy and easy to use. They're also reasonably priced at around £5 for a 3 litre and £13 for a 35 litre box. You can buy them on Amazon or in home ware stores. I recommend these for children's toys or moving house as they provide excellent protection against fragile things when in transit. Highly recommended.
Like anyone who has kids, we have toys coming out of our ears, and it is a constant battle to keep their belongings and our own in some kind of semblance of order. We have invested in extra storage in a few different formats such as book shelves and fitted wardrobes, but something we find very useful around the home is storage boxes. We have a few different types in various locations round the home, such as in the bedrooms, the kids playroom, the loft and the garage to try and contain the clutter a bit.
We have 7 of the really useful boxes in the large size of 64 litres. We have these in the playroom and the kids bedroom to organise the toys.
What is really good about these boxes are they are see through and they have lids on them with handles. We tend to stack these on top of each other so that the kids then have some floor space to play in.
What we have done is stick pictures of the toys we wanted to put in each box on the side of it. It was simple enough to find similar toys to the ones we own in the argos catalogue and stick them on with cellotape. As the kids have got bigger and my eldest can now read, we have upgraded to writing on the boxes with a sharpie pen what we want to put in there.
The boxes have a large capacity which makes it super for putting all the toys you have on a certain theme within one box. Eg, we have lots of toy story themed toys which live in one box, then they have a large number of imaginext sets, so one is for the DC superheroes set and then we have another for the imaginext space and fire themed sets, and one for ben 10 and so on till each box has something in it. The dimensions of these 64 L boxes are length 710mm, width 440mm and a depth of 310mm. We have tended to pick these boxes up in January in the sales when they are a bit cheaper and we suddenly have more toys to home, but these boxes are usually around £15, and can sometimes be found on multibuy discounts.
The Really Useful boxes come in a range of capacities from a tiny 0.07L capacity to 145L capacity, and you can also get sets of drawers with these in. I have seen one of my neighbours use one of these out in the garden as they are an ideal size for putting in a few childrens garden toys such as balls and sports equipment. The fact it has a secure lid is good for keeping the equipment dry although it would not deter anyone who fancied helping themselves to your belongings.
I also saw one of my teaching colleagues using one of the smaller capacity boxes as a pencil case for carrying equipment round with her between classrooms. If I had more money, I think these would be a great way of storing supplies in my pantry as items in packets would stand up well and not be as exposed to the air, and I feel with the lid they would be great for storing perishable items in my garage as we have had a rodent problem in there previously where they got into some of my food stores from buying in bulk.
The downside to the really useful boxes is that I have found the plastic can be a bit brittle. Quite a few of the lids have chips missing from them where they have been stood on when left on the floor, and one of the boxes has a hole in the bottom, though I have no idea what caused that particular damage. I notice from the manufacturers website you can now buy these boxes in a tougher plastic which is white in colour, and you can also buy many different colours of plastic box now, which I have not noticed when shopping in store.
I find my sons cannot lift the larger boxes we have when full, and I can only just manage it, so it is worth considering what size you want and if it is manouverable once you put items in it. They hold a lot when you start filling them with fairly small toys, so its also a pain when my youngest decides to empty a couple of boxes out on the floor so he can then make a train out of the boxes, but the boxes are a fabulous size for him to sit in comfortably. I also find that the handles do come off more than I would expect, though again my youngest does seem to like taking them off. It doesn't stop the box being functional if they are missing.
I feel these boxes do live up to their name, and I think there is a box to suit every particular storage need I can think of from toys, to food stuff, to stationary, to files, to shoes, to sports equipment. The boxes are a little more expensive than other plastic boxes, but having a lid and having boxes that stack safely is worth paying a little more for. I wish I could train the kids to be a bit more gentle with them so they were still without chips, but I am happy with how they work in my home for solving the age old problem of where to put all these toys.
**Please note that this review is specifically for the 19 litre, plastic filing box by Really Useful**
In a bid to become more organised with the reams of paperwork I had to complete and the bills I had to set up when I moved into my new home I decided that I needed some sort of filing and storage system in place. I'm the type of person who will open a piece of post, leave it on the side and then either forget about it or, more likely, throw it away and over the years I've lost count of the times where I've needed something, been unable to find it and spent many frustrating hours searching for the 'safe place' I invariably put it. All my home bills are set up as direct debits so I receive regular paperwork from my suppliers, similarly I have warranties on household items and Insurance certificates that need to be kept safely away and I wanted something that would house all these things together in one place. Looking on amazon for something suitable led me to find the subject of this review, Really Useful's plastic filing box, it was available for a little under £15.00 and came with 10 suspension files, perfect I thought for what I wanted and so I went ahead and placed my order.
A Really Useful Box
Admittedly this isn't the most glamorous thing in the world to own and when I unpacked my box from amazon I did think that perhaps £15.00 was a little too much to spend on a moulded piece of plastic but my initial reservations were soon put to one side when I began to realise just how useful this actually was. The box isn't terribly big, mine measures up at 29cm in width, just under 26cm in depth and around 40cm in height and is constructed from thick, durable translucent plastic. It has a handle on either side and a removable thick plastic top and weighs around 1 kilogram so not all that heavy. There are 2 grooves which run down the top of the width inside the box and these are fashioned to hold suspension files and my order from amazon included 10 files which allowed me to start using the box for what I wanted straight away.
There is an indentation on the lid which enables you to stack another box on top if you have more than 1 and all in all mine feels incredibly sturdy and extremely well made. The plastic is of a good thickness that it doesn't bend or misshape and does feel solid to the touch, transporting the box is easily done thanks to the handles on the sides and again these are of excellent quality and are comfortable to hold.
The 10 suspension files that are provided in this package are OK, I don't think they're exceptional quality to be honest and the supporting clips do feel a little on the flimsy side but because I had 10 to use I made sure that I didn't overload the files with anything too heavy and this would be my recommendation to other people should they decide to buy this for themselves. I was able to sort through my paperwork and categorise it before filing it away and now that it's all in place I know where everything is and should I need something I know where to go to find it. My box has a 19 litre capacity which is more than ample to hold my 10 files plus their contents and there is still room for me to add more files should I want to buy extra. The box doesn't have to be used as a filing system if you don't want to hang your paperwork in suspension files as any piece of A4 paper fits into the box easily without the need for folding and because it does have a generous depth it could be used for tidying other things away.
Overall for something that is functional I do think that this is a very handy thing to own, it's certainly made me a lot more organised with my paperwork and it's made life that bit easier for me at the times when I've needed to find a specific bank statement or bill. There's nothing to criticise as far as the build quality of the box goes and as it's name suggests this is a "Really Useful" item to own in my opinion.
Five stars from me as a rating, I wouldn't want to be without mine now. Thanks for reading my review.
Everyone knows what a 'Really Useful' box is.. and as the name states they are actually really useful. I have a few of these plastic storage boxes as they come in a variety of sizes and can be used to store a variety of items. The boxes range from 0.07 litres (which is realllly tiny, ideal to store earrings, pins, staples elastic bands etc in) - to massive 145 litre boxes. They can be useful to stock your paperwork, files, even clothes, duvets, shoes and cd's in. The list is pretty endless. I have a few 0.7litres which fit store reciepts in perfectly.
The boxes can come in a variety of colours and you can still see through the box which is an element I quite like. It also ranges in prices. I find the boxes can be on the more pricey side compared to shops own brand storage boxes that are available but at times the useful boxes can be quite desirable especially due to the range of sizes, so you can be more fussy regarding what you need to fit in there. What also puts the boxes aside from other storage boxes are the blue clip handles which allows you to easily secure the box and allows quick access to open and close the boxes. The boxes are also stackable and so can be stacked on top of one another.
These can be bought from stationery shops such as Rymans and WHSmith and can also be found in Tesco's catalogue and Argos. I would shop around before purchasing these to see where it is cheaper, especially if you are going to be buying a few. Overall I give the product 4 stars as although they are very good and there is a large range of sizes, they are more expensive that other storage boxes available.
In my spare time I like to make cards and jewellery but having two young children in the house I have to make sure that my things are packed away out of harms way as such I use really useful boxes. It was my Mam that first found really useful boxes and started to use them for her business (she sells beads and craft supplies) and when I saw them I decided they were a brilliant idea and purchased a couple myself.
The boxes are made by Really Useful products Ltd and they are made in both the UK and the USA. The boxes have capacities from 0.07 litres to 145 litres so there really is a box for every need. Each box is see through and is very sturdy, my Mam keeps very heavy weights of beads in them and trust me it is very heavy to lift yet the box doesn't have a problem holding them.
The boxes have a see through sturdy lid which sits firmly in place on top of the box and there is a plastic clip which flips up to close the box at either end which blue in colour, the clips come upwards and clip over a bit of plastic on each end which sticks out to ensure they are secure. Each box is perfectly formed so that they sit nicely on top of each other and therefore no storage space is wasted, the boxes are square or rectangular and even come in colours now either transparent or solid colour although I prefer the see through ones and then you are able to see what is in each one.
The smallest box is 90 x 65 x 30mms and the largest is 810 x 620 x 430mms so you can see how large a range of sizes there are and I think there are around 50 different size options so there is no way you couldn't find a box suitable for our need. The prices range greatly, the smallest one can be bought at staples for 41p each and the largest one can be bought for £34.99 or £32.99 if you buy more than 3.
These boxes are fantastic they hold onto everything you can think of, they fit together brilliantly and they are secure. You can carry the boxes by gripping the bit of plastic that sticks out to secure the boxes and the one issue I can say there is with these boxes is that after a lot of use the blue clip gets a little slack and sometimes comes open if you are not careful but this is only after a lot of use so I would still highly recommend these.
Ah, where to start with Really Useful Boxes? They are a modern Wonder Product in my opinion! I get excited over household storage solutions as it is, but the list of possible uses for these is endless, and the choice in colours, sizes and even styles is vast. You get some that are aimed at administration and office work (and you get suspension files specifically for them!), you get those that are designed for CDs, DVDs, under beds, on shelves. Even stacked on top of each other. Drawer systems with teeny tiny ones for storing jewellery, screws, nails, beads etc are widely available too.
An alternative use that you may not know about is in animal keeping, particularly with snakes and small rodents. They can be used to house a huge array of animals though, with only minor customisations - drilling of air holes or adding of sections of mesh. The best thing about these in pet keeping above other storage boxes, is that they are perfectly square/rectangular inside instead of losing floor space and having odd nooks and crannies which make cleaning out a pain. Also a huge bonus is the handles on the boxes; these clip up and over the handles on the lid, making them super secure. There are even companies which manufacture racking systems to fit Really Useful Boxes, aimed specifically at breeders and those with huge collections of snakes! Their ability to be stacked (with or without lids) is another bonus for those looking to house large collections without having to pay out for a rack.
They are so so strong, I never feel paranoid about them bursting or breaking, even when crammed full of stuff. I use them for animals (amphibians, invertebrates) as mentioned, as well as storage and these boxes just continue to perform. I even have little blue and pink ones for storing hair accessories and other girly paraphernalia! These were the first ones I ever bought and I first saw them in PC World of all places. I just thought they looked great and had to have them. Truly, for a plastic storage box they do look good. I think it's due to their shape, the handles and the neat lids. Even the coloured ones are semi transparent, so you can generally see the contents without opening them. I also used my stash of Really Useful Boxes when moving house and it's amazing just how much you can actually get in the bigger ones. You can really pack since they are strong and don't bow or bend.
I am planning to use two 9L Really Useful Boxes at the end of the month for transporting two turtles 500 odd miles. I am perfectly confident with their durability, safety, and inescapable lids to do this on such a long journey and I'm sure my turtles will be very comfy in there!
Prices vary hugely with sizes and styles, but overall they are definitely not the cheapest. However, they are probably the best value, all things considered. I'm sure I'm not alone in having experienced cheaper plastic storage boxes getting cracked, losing clips that keep the lids in place and so on. This has never happened to me in many years of using Really Useful Boxes; I have never had to throw one away, or had them suffer any kind of damage. They certainly deserve their name, their usefulness just goes on and on since they are so highly adaptable.
A point worth making is that in terms of pet keeping, they are massively cheaper than alternatives (such as aquariums, cages, wooden vivariums) and you get much more space for your money which is important to me, since I strive to not simply provide my animals with the bare minimums..
I would definitely recommend Really Useful Boxes for storage, animals, moving house and transporting stuff if you can afford the initial outlay. You can be rest assured they will pay you back pretty soon by not breaking, and doing almost whatever you want them to do. If only they would pack themselves for moving house though, that would certainly earn them an extra "Useful" in their name!
I have to admit, I'm a tiny bit obsessed with Really Useful Boxes. It's something about the way they stack so neatly, but I think it also has to do with the way that there is one in a size for ANYTHING you want to put in them. OK, maybe not an elephant. But anything household that you want to tidy away neatly can be found on the sheet that the company provide inside their larger boxes, from DVDs to files to clothes to toys.
We use ours mostly for toys, but we do have some of the teeny tiny ones (so cute!) that we use to keep the magnetic stars in for the childrens' reward chart. I like the way they clip at the sides, and they really are strong - our larger ones have been climbed on a few times. They do seem to be the best storage solution available currently; it's easy to see what's being stored, especially in the larger ones, and they are much better-looking than anything else i've seen. Can be more expensive but definitely worth it in my view!
I'm sure that many of you watch BBC2's "Dragon's Den", where hopeful entrepreneurs pitch their product and business idea to a team of self-made millionaires to try and get financial backing for their venture. What do you think their reaction would be if a man had walked in a few years ago and stated that he wanted an investment to make plastic boxes? I think incredulity would have been the polite way of putting it - after all, surely there were a lot of other plastic boxes on the market, how could such a simple idea hope to make money? Well, the simple ideas are often the best, and Really Useful Boxes are one of those simple ideas that work so well that it makes you wonder why someone didn't come up with the concept years ago.
The basic idea behind Really Useful Boxes was to produce a range of plastic boxes that were created from the user's viewpoint; they claim to be the first company that manufactured plastic boxes from this perspective. It all started back in 1999, when an accountant at a plastics company wanted strong, transparent, stacking boxes to archive his records in, but couldn't find anything suitable. Being a resourceful chap, he instead designed the sort of box that he wanted to fill the gap in the market. This initial idea has since expanded into the World's largest range of such boxes, currently standing at 46 sizes of box between 0.2 litres (suggested for business cards, tacks, pins and paper clips) up to the enormous 84 litre box (suggested for storage of clothes, blankets, duvets, etc), and including extra strong and collapsible versions of some of the larger models. The range regularly has new sizes, shapes and innovations added to it.
But what is so great about these boxes? Well, the description I gave above holds the key - they don't just produce boxes, they produce boxes with a specific user purpose in mind. For example, the 3 litre and 18 litre sizes are the perfect size to stack CDs in; the 4 litre is A4 sized; the 22 litre holds exactly 22 DVDs; the 2.1 litre works as a card index, and the 24 litre box is intended to take foolscap suspension files. They are also really strong. The promotional literature boldly states that they will take " a person's weight", and while I don't feel brave enough to do a practical test of this, they did withstand my house move with no sign of damage to them or their contents, despite having a load of other heavy objects piled on top of them in the removal van. The next good thing is that they have separate lock-on lids, and are stackable (with or without lids), which makes them amazingly versatile and the ideal thing for the storage, archiving and movement of goods. I had actually first come across Really Useful Boxes when I worked in museums; the quality, durability and range of sizes made them great for the long-term storage and protection of artefacts in museum stores, and the fact they were transparent meant you could seen what was in the box without having to constantly move them around, open boxes up, and handle delicate objects. The same features meant they quickly sprang to mind when I was considering how best to pack up my things to move house.
Although the full range of Really Useful Boxes is available online and at a 10% discount from the recommended retail price, I unfortunately had to do things at short notice - which meant offline shopping. One of the major retailers of the boxes is Staples, and my nearest branch happened to stock a good selection of sizes (although at what I now realise were uncompetitive prices). After careful consideration of (a) how much crap I had to pack, and (b) how many boxes would fit into my little car, I decided upon three 5 litre boxes (which cost around £4 each) for loose stationery and other odds and ends, two 18 litre boxes for our CD collection (around £9 each), and three huge 42 litre boxes for kitchen items and other breakables (about £16 each). This would have come to a much more reasonable £58.40 including delivery from the Really Useful Products website (www.reallyusefulproducts.co.uk), so I would recommend using that as a source of these boxes in future - you even get to choose different colours if you want something funkier or a dark colour to protect light sensitive objects inside the box. Had I the luxury of time or a bigger car I would have bought more, as the packing process proved them to be far superior to other boxes we used. Other (cheaper) plastic boxes we had broke, chipped or dented en route (though fortunately the books they held survived unscathed), while the cardboard boxes were in no real state to be used again, so proved to be expensive in relation to the time span of their use.
The Really Useful CD boxes were the first ones to be tried out. Being specifically designed for this purpose meant that packing became a doddle; I knew exactly what was going into the boxes, knew they would fit perfectly, and when the box was full you simply use the handles to lock the lids securely onto the boxes. The handles were a bit stiff at first (especially on the bigger boxes), but this also meant that the lids were never going to come loose in transit. The smaller boxes proved ideal for taking up the sorts of odds and ends you might otherwise lose during a move, and the large boxes protected delicate objects such as our cups and glasses perfectly. One of the large boxes has since been transformed into a recycling box after unpacking, while the others store things we don't use very often (like camping gear) in our store cupboard, so they will be getting ongoing use over the next few years.
I think these boxes are brilliant and really deserve the name Really Useful Boxes! Although they were quite a high initial expense, the extended and varying use of them means I think I will get long-term good value, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy more the next time I have to move house or store goods.
Other suppliers: Staples (www.staples.co.uk), Ryman (www.ryman.co.uk), Hobby Craft (www.hobbycraft.co.uk), Argos (www.argos.co.uk), and Woolworths (www.woolworths.co.uk).
Really Useful Boxes' size ranges from 0.2 litre to 84 litres.