Moving can be a pretty wasteful endeavor, from the piles of packing peanuts to the stacks of one-time-use boxes. Fortunately, it does not have to be this way if you're willing to put in a little effort. Here are four easy ways to reduce waste when moving.
Pack items inside your furniture, when possible.
Keep your clothes in your dresser drawers throughout the move. This way, you'll need fewer boxes. Just make sure you put the dressers in the moving truck with the drawers facing the wall, so they don't slide open and make a big mess. You can also pack kitchen linens in your small cabinets, bathroom towels in your nightstands, and the like. Pack soft items like towels around more fragile items to protect them from damage.
Start stocking up on used boxes in the weeks leading up to your move.
If you wait until the last minute to think about packing, you'll find yourself buying boxes. However, if you plan ahead, you can collect used boxes a few at a time as you come across them. Ask local businesses if they have boxes to spare, contact friends who have recently moved, and keep your eyes open for boxes by the roadside. When you're done with the moving boxes, place a classified ad for them and pass them on to someone else who is moving; they won't be wasted.
Donate items you don't need before you move.
Why spend time and money to transport that set of sheets you have not used in 10 years to your new home, just so it can sit there and go unused for another 10 years? Donate unneeded items before you move, and you'll create less waste because you'll need fewer moving boxes.
Pack towels and clothes around delicate items, rather than paper.
If you don't want to use a bunch of tissue or wrapping paper to protect delicate dishes and decorations, there's an alternative. Wrap these fragile items in your towels or items of clothing, and then pack them in boxes. The clothing or towels need to get to your new place anyways; you're not creating any extra paper waste.
Generating less waste during moving does require a little planning ahead. However, you're doing the planet a favor by minimizing the amount of packing paper and cardboard you're using. Pass the tips above on to friends who are moving soon to have an even greater environmental impact.
Ask a professional like Motion Express for more tips on moving efficiently.