Eco-Friendly Moving and Packing Tips for Reducing Waste

eco house move

Planning a move takes a lot of work and can be challenging. Today, the average cost is about $1,200 for a local move and nearly $5,000 for a long-distance move. The cost of transporting your things from one point to another is a necessary expense. However, you can reduce expenses by cutting waste while you pack and move. Since you also help the environment, this is a double benefit.

Below are some of the top ways you can cut waste as you pack up and move to your new home.


Use Containers You Already Have

You probably already have some containers that are suitable for moving. Many people have things they can use to pack away belongings and reduce the number of boxes they need. These are some examples of containers you may have and can use for moving:


  • Trash bins
  • Laundry hampers
  • Suitcases
  • Desk or dresser drawers
  • Reusable shopping bags
  • Duffel bags or gym bags
  • Empty totes
  • Large buckets

Use Packing Materials You Already Have

Another way to reduce waste is to find items in your home that you can use to pack around or protect your belongings. For example, you may need to wrap dishes, glassware and some collectibles. Old newspaper can help protect delicate items that you need to pack. These are some other items you can use for packing around breakables, wall art and other things that need to be protected:


  • Old mail
  • Used shopping bags
  • Old clothes
  • Rags
  • Sheets or pillowcases
  • Towels

Recycle and Donate

Discarded food and belongings both create more of a burden on landfills. Many of the items people throw away are things others can still use. You can recycle and donate both before you pack and after you move. For example, you may not want some things or may not be able to use them where you are going. After you are settled in, you may realize that there are several other things you no longer need or want. You can donate clothes, books, food and many other items.

As you pack, create recycling piles and donation piles. In some areas, recycling centres and organizations that accept donations will pick up what you collect. Food banks, churches and some organizations may accept several types of packaged food. However, you may need to drop off some items. Be sure to properly dispose of batteries, pesticides, old electronics and other hazardous items by contacting your local hazardous materials office.


Have a Yard Sale

If you have time to acquire the necessary permit, a yard sale can be a great way to cut waste and make some extra gas money for your move. Many people have new or valuable belongings that they may not want to take along or donate.

If you would rather see how many things you can sell, you can start with a yard sale. You can donate the items that do not sell. Alternatively, you can advertise items with local online circulars, in social media groups or on local bulletin boards in businesses. If you have electricals and appliances that you can sell, then consider responsible appliance disposal.


Consider Reusable or Used Boxes

Even if you use containers you already have at home, you may still need boxes. Instead of going to a supply store and buying boxes, you can cut waste by using boxes that have already been used or are reusable. If you live in an urban area, look for local reusable moving boxes. Some companies that focus on green moving solutions offer reusable plastic boxes that people can rent for a week, and prices may vary between $50 to $200 on average. The cost depends on the company and the number of boxes needed for the week.

Not everyone lives in an area where they can find rentable and reusable moving boxes. However, many people give away or discard boxes every week. Look for local groups on social media or local online ads for free moving boxes. Many stores give away the boxes their products come in, and they often set them out in certain places. Check with local retailers or grocery stores for free moving boxes.

Also, office buildings, schools and apartment complexes may be places where you can find empty boxes near dumpsters or curbs. When you are done with the boxes, you can give them to someone else or drop them off at a local moving company to recycle.

When you purchased a new television or computer, the box it arrived in had materials designed to keep it safe in transit, so you can use those boxes to pack your electronics.

Work With an Established Moving Company

If you are hiring a moving company to transport your items or you're renting a truck, it is important to work with a reputable company. This may not seem like something that relates to waste. However, it can. For example, if you hire movers who do not accurately estimate the size of truck you need, you may feel forced to leave behind some belongings or throw away some things. To avoid such unpleasant surprises on moving day, work with an experienced company.

A reliable moving company can also assist you in other ways. For example, you may get injured unexpectedly and need assistance packing, loading and unloading. A moving company that offers multiple services can help meet your needs. Also, reputable companies know how to reduce waste throughout every step of the moving process and can provide you with tips and solutions along the way.


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