As summer is coming to a close my boss decided it was time to clean out our office at the pool. This meant that piles of items were being donated to local organizations and my fellow lifeguards and myself began begging for items. I know they do not seem like much, but I am pleased with the crates I received (after begging and excellent persuasive skills I got 4 milk/grocery crates).
Why do I think these things are so awesome? Because I can do so many things with them. They are wonderful to pack with because they have handles, you can see through them, and they stack easily without bending out of shape or sliding around too much. They are also great once I am moved in because I can stack them together in different shapes to fit various needs. I used two stacked together last year to make a bookshelf/night stand, and this year with so many of us in such a small space I have a feeling they will be incredibly useful.
If you are jealous of my luck, you can score some for free as well. Often grocery stores give them away for free. You can also use recycling bins and other similar shipping containers. Garage sales may also be a good place to find yourself some. If you really really cannot find used ones, many stores sell new crates — however they are creating new plastic to create them and they are often not as strong as the ones intended for shipping.