You have probably wondered at the quantity of waste your and about every other household produces. Now imagine the mountain of waste of packing and moving supplies you’ll face after you’ve relocated to your new home and unpacked everything.
Your first impulse would probably be to sort everything into corresponding recycling bins. That is doubtlessly a good idea, but it will not work for disposing of big cardboard boxes and some other packing and moving supplies. Besides, there are other eco-friendly ways to deal with packing waste.
This post will cover ideas for recycling, reusing, or repurposing boxes, bubble wrap, and other packing supplies. Read on to find helpful tips on how to declutter your home after a move and minimize moving supplies’ waste at the same time.
Let’s consider what packing and moving supplies you need when relocating.
Firstly, you’ll need lots of sturdy cardboard boxes of different sizes. Then, several rolls of packing tape, packing paper, markers, cutters, scissors, and plastic sheets. You’ll also need bubble wrap for fragile items, although protecting them with the towels and sheets you already have is a more eco-friendly and cheaper solution, if you’re looking for free packing supplies. To fill in empty spaces inside boxes, use packing peanuts or, even better, socks and scrunched newspaper.
The cost of packing supplies adds up quickly, but don’t be tempted to go for something flimsy. You could end up with damaged possessions if you go for cheap packing supplies, especially boxes. Instead, try to get free packing supplies. You can often obtain used packing boxes in good condition at your local shops.
When deciding where to buy packing and moving supplies, check the online offer and compare prices. Then you can either order from an online shop or visit a neighborhood store. Many moving companies will supply all the packing materials you need. Some can also pack and unpack all your belongings.
Save all your undamaged, used packing supplies if you plan to move again or if a friend is moving house. Flatten all boxes except the biggest. Store in it the folded boxes, as well as bubble wrap, plastic sheets, and packing peanuts. Then put the box away in your garage, basement, closet, or attic.
Even if you don’t want to save everything, keep the expensive custom-made containers, for example, for wine bottles or antiques.
Repurposing your packing and shipping supplies is another excellent way to help preserve the environment and save money. Here is how you can repurpose almost all of your packing supplies:
Cardboard boxes: Use cardboard boxes for storing clothes or magazines, or turn one into a bed for your pet.
Since cardboard is a compostable material, it can be put to good use in your garden. Break a box into pieces and place them around plants. Water immediately to keep the cardboard in place. This will prevent weeds from overtaking your flower beds.
Packing paper: You can use packing paper for wrapping gifts or book covers. If you want the paper to be perfectly flat, iron it first.
Plastic sheets: Next time you paint your walls, spread the plastic sheets you saved on the floors and furniture to protect them.
Newspaper: The scrunched-up newspaper pages you placed into boxes to fill the gaps are perfect for cleaning windows and mirrors. You will get a shiny, smudge-free surface.
Bubble wrap: Handbags, shoes, and boots stuffed with bubble wrap will keep their shape better. Bubble wrap is good for insulating windows.
Packing peanuts: Use Styrofoam packing peanuts to fill the bottom of large planters or to form a drainage system at the base of standard pots. They also act as great toe separators when you want to apply a perfect coat of nail polish.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to repurposing your packing and shipping supplies the creative way. All you need is time and patience. As for ideas, you will find heaps of them on the internet, often with detailed instructions. Here are several examples:
● If you are artistically inclined, packing paper is suitable for creating works of art with charcoal, oil pencils, or colored chalk. You will achieve interesting effects by painting with bubble wrap on paper or fabric.
● Packing peanuts are good stuffing material for bean bag chairs or toys. You can break them into smaller pieces to make the finished project smoother and softer. And with just a needle and some thread, create lovely packing peanuts garlands for your Christmas tree.
● With some imagination and paint, you can turn a few cardboard boxes into a rocket, a mailbox, or even a medieval castle, to the delight of little ones. If you are good with your hands, you can even create pieces of furniture out of cardboard, for example, a shelf for displaying lightweight decorations.
Never consign your used packing supplies to a landfill. In other words, do not toss them into your trash.
Small items such as newspapers, used-up rolls of tape, or packing paper can go in a paper recycling bin. Take big cardboard boxes and biodegradable packing peanuts to the nearest drop-off recycling center.
Plastic sheets and bubble wrap are not to be placed in bins designated for articles made of hard plastic, such as water bottles. Instead, take them to a shop offering recycling bins for plastic bags and similar items made of soft plastics. Alternatively, find out where to recycle bubble wrap at websites like Earth911 and Plastic Film Recycling.
Traditional packing peanuts made of polystyrene, usually known as Styrofoam, are not recyclable. They remain in a landfill for a very long time. Since they are light, they often fly around, contaminating the soil, waterways, and oceans.
Biodegradable packing peanuts are made of natural materials like wheat and corn starch. They quickly dissolve in water. Unfortunately, biodegradable peanuts are rather expensive. They are also heavier and more fragile than Styrofoam peanuts.
So, if you are environment-conscious and budget-conscious, adopt our suggestion and use scrunched newspapers instead of packing peanuts whenever you need to fill gaps in your boxes.
A full-service moving company will supply all packing materials, pack all your belongings, transport them, and unpack them at your new house. They will also take with them all the packing waste.
To be sure your packing and shipping supplies do not end in a landfill, ask your mover what they do with them.
When you hire a mover through Shyft, you can rest assured that you will get a professional moving company that can handle just about anything you throw its way, including disposing of packing waste.
Shyft has a network of hundreds of vetted moving companies. Whichever company you entrust with your relocation, you will have peace of mind knowing from the outset that you will be working with a reputable mover.
Also, know that Shyft will not simply pass you over to the mover you select. On the contrary, Shyft will assign you a dedicated Move Coach who will oversee the whole process from start to finish. You may contact Shyft anytime, day or night, including weekends. There will always be someone to assist you with your concerns or questions.
When Shyft organizes your move, everything is done with the least possible amount of fuss and stress for you. Your moving inventory is created during a video call, and you will get several quotes. It’s as easy as that! You don’t need to research moving companies, ask for quotes, or have people visit your house to survey your belongings.
To round up the advantages offered by Shyft, know that AARP members get an exclusive discount of up to $250 for every move they book.
Are you an AARP member? Simply go to AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft and fill in the short form you’ll find there. If you prefer, you may call Shyft at 1-888-501-3181.
You will be asked to download the free Shyft Next app for your iPhone or Android device and schedule a video chat with a Shyft representative, your dedicated Move Coach.
During the 30-minute video call, the Move Coach will take a video survey of all your belongings destined for relocation. Just walk around your house and point the camera on your device at the items you want to take to your new home. Your Move Coach will advise you on your options and approximate costs, and you may ask any questions you can think of. If you remember anything later, that’s not a problem, simply reach out to Shyft.
You will receive an inventory list about half an hour after the video call. This initial inventory list is typically 95% accurate. You can change it and add or remove items and services to make it 100% accurate.
When you are happy with your inventory, send the list to your Move Coach. They will forward it to the secure Shyft platform where vetted moving companies bid for your business. This process ensures that you get competitive pricing. When you book your move through Shyft, you save money.
Your Move Coach will present at least three top quotes from different moving companies. The quote you accept becomes locked. That means it is binding. The price cannot change, provided you don’t alter specifications (such as move distance or size of the shipment) or fail to book the move before the quote expires.
Shyft takes pride in its transparent process and is committed to providing excellent customer service. Your Move Coach ensures that your possessions are taken care of and that your move is as stress-free as possible.
Book your move now, get up to $250 off, and enjoy the Shyft moving experience.