If you’ve ever moved, you know just how much waste and debris can be left over when you’re done. You’ve got all those cardboard boxes strewn about, old newspaper thrown everywhere, and you’ll be finding those packing peanuts for months. What a mess.
Not only is the traditional method of moving messy, but it’s also not environmentally friendly. By considering a few alternative methods when you pack and move, you can cut your clean-up time considerably and be more eco-friendly!
Consider box alternatives
While cardboard boxes tend to be the standard medium for packing, it will help to look for alternatives anywhere you can. Consider packing clothes and linens in duffel bags or suitcases, for example. Another good idea would be to use plastic storage bins – they’re relatively inexpensive, you can fit quite a bit in them, they nest easily to save space, and they can last years.
If you must use cardboard boxes, look for any that have the highest recycled content you can find. Find boxes from local businesses if you’re able — they usually have a pretty high recycled content. Or look into getting the heavy-duty cardboard storage crates — they are sturdier, will last longer, and can serve double duty as your spare storage containers later, much like the plastic bins. Check your local community board online for neighbors who’ve made the move and are looking to get rid of their boxes (i.e.: Craigslist or Nextdoor).
Use old towels and linens for breakables
Instead of bubble wrap, newspaper, or packing peanuts, consider using older cloth items to cushion your dishes and fragile items. Older t-shirts, worn out towels, sheets that sit at the bottom of the stack — all good examples of ways to protect those breakable pieces.
Skip worrying about packing your towels and linens separately! Protecting your breakables and cutting down on the amount of containers needed at the same time.
Decluttering by having a garage sale and donating unsold items is always a great way to help reduce waste when you move. If you aren’t using it, why pack it up and take it with you?