Zip Ties Are Going To Be An Essential When Moving

People have gotten up to all manner of tomfoolery trying to keep the lids on their plastic storage and moving bins, from wrapping the things entirely in packing tape to driving drywall screws through the lids. Unfortunately, the worst way to keep these lids on is to trust the bin's built-in snap-fit joints. Any amount of heat (like you'd expect in a moving truck) or weight on the bin's top undermines them instantly, especially theĀ cheaper plastic bins. And even the sort of bin with integrated locking handles isn't to be trusted; at the end of a cross-town or cross-country move, you'll have more handles missing than present and accounted for. But all you really need to keep the lid on are a couple of zip ties.

If you're not familiar with zip ties, it's only because you call them something else. There are a lot of other terms for these little wonders. You might know them as cable ties, or possibly by the brand name Ty-Rap, which was the name given to them by the patent holder. The average zip tie is a nylon strip with teeth on one side and a jaw on the other, through which the strip can only be fed one way. When you tighten the resulting loop onto something, the usual zip tie won't ever let go, and you'll need to cut it when you're ready to undo the tie. Reusable zip ties, and many other varieties, are also available today.

How to secure your lids with cable ties

Using zip ties to finally solve the plastic bin problem is about as simple as a hack can be. You'll need a drill, a drill bit about the diameter of your zip tie's width, and the cable tie itself. Inspect your bin and find a spot near the handle at least twice as wide as your zip tie where you can drill through both the lid and the body of the bin while the lid is securely on. Drill through both at a moderate speed. If you have a large zip tie, start with a small drill bit and then graduate to the final size to avoid splitting the plastic of your bin. Attach the zip tie by looping it through the hole and then tightening it down fully to secure the handle. It's probably a good idea to cut off the tag end to keep it from getting entangled with anything during your move, but note that the cut end of zip ties tends to be quite sharp.

If you don't have a drill handy (perhaps it's packed away for your move), there are other ways to get achieve the holes. An awl or ice pick is ideal. You can certainly manage to make the holes with a knife or boxcutter, but be careful; this is not the most natural use of either, so slips are almost inevitable. You could even manage it with that soldering iron you bought to fix your flooring.