The Item Box is used for storing items that are not needed by the
player. Items are deposited directly from the player's Inventory.
Introduced in the first Resident Evil, Item boxes are usually found in safe rooms along with Typewriters. Characters can only carry a small number of items at any given time, which makes inventory space valuable. The Item Boxes allow the player to deposit unwanted items such as key items that are not yet needed or weapons that are out of ammunition. In nearly all games item boxes carry the same items no matter which one is accessed. Resident Evil: The Director's Cut and REmake's Real Survival mode removes this function, but the overall function remains the same. In some games, items from past playthroughs or things left by other characters are placed inside upon the player's first encounter with one.
In the early games of the series the player is not able to freely drop items outside of item boxes unless prompted by the game. Resident Evil Zero was the first game to allow players to do so, and so the item boxes were removed.
The concept seemed to return in Resident Evil 5 in the form of the Item Management screen.
Item boxes do reappear in games that retread events of older games, but are not accessible. Such as the ones in the Chronicles games and the one's that appear in the Raccoon City Police Department during the "desperate times" scenario in Outbreak File #2.