I’ve moved a lot of times in the last 25 years but my move last month was the first time I’ve done a green move.
Now that I’m unpacked, I’m wanted to share my 6 moving tips to make your move more environmentally friendly.
1. Plastic Crates Instead of Boxes
Most people are aware of 2 options for obtaining boxes for their move.
Many people purchase new boxes from their full service moving company or the local UHaul.
Others save money and go greener by reusing boxes. When I moved the first few times, I would go to the local grocery store and ask for boxes. The last time I moved, I was offered boxes from a neighbor who had recently moved onto my street.
I also know people who have purchased used boxes on sites like craigslist.
But there is a better option than using cardboard boxes.
When STL Rent A Box agreed to let me try their plastic moving boxes for free in exchange for sharing my experience on my blogs, I was really excited to try an alternative to standard moving boxes.
Of course, one of the first things I did after my plastic moving crates were dropped off was to let Milo check them out.
Milo doesn’t seem so sure about the crates. I think they reminded him too much of shopping carts (which he is terrified of) and didn’t like being so far from the ground.
While Milo may not have been enamored with the crates, I loved them from the start.
Reusable plastic crates are much easier to use than cardboard boxes. They come fully assembled and stack out of the way until you are ready to pack. After packed, they nest securely and there are no worries that a heavy box will crush the box below.
And you won’t use a single roll of packing tape!
When you are done, the company providing the plastic moving boxes picks them up from your new home so you don’t have to figure out what to do with all of the empty cardboard boxes.
Here’s an overview video that I put together for my sponsored post on Arch City Homes.
If you are planning a move and don’t live in the St. Louis region, check to see if your area has a plastic box moving service. If you don’t find one, check for companies that provide moving services to businesses because these crates are also perfect for office moves.
2. Paper Bubble Wrap
Anyone who has moved knows that it takes a ton of bubble wrap to protect your breakable items in moving boxes.
The problem with bubble wrap is that it can’t go in your recycle bin.
I will admit that I did use a little bit of bubble wrap that I had saved over the years or was given to me by a relative who did a recent move. I’m a big believer in reusing items whenever possible. If you have access to used bubble wrap, go ahead and use it and then pass it on to someone else when you are done instead of throwing it into your trash.
The best alternative to purchasing bubble wrap is Green Wrap. I was provided a roll of Green Wrap to try from STL Rent A Box to protect almost all of my fragile items.
Not only did I use the green wrap for my glass items, but I also used it to wrap up all of my necklaces.
3. Use Your Linens to Protect Your Valuables
While I loved using the green wrap for protecting my dishes and glasses, I only needed one roll of green wrap because I used my towels and sheets to protect many of my fragile items.
Instead of packing all of my linens into a single crate, I used them between glass platters and wrapped all kinds of things in them.
Some of the items you can use to protect fragile items are:
- bath towels
- kitchen towels
- cleaning rags
You can even use tablecloths and throw pillows at the top of a crate to add additional cushioning and fill gaps so the things inside don’t move around.
4. Move Oversized Items by Car
If you are moving locally, the best way to move oversized fragile items is in your own car.
In order for movers to take lamps, they wrap each lampshade in a large box and then the lamp base goes in a second box. Large mirrors and artwork also go into huge boxes with a ton of bubble wrap to protect them.
Not only do these oversized boxes and bubble wrap cost money, but they end up in landfills or recycle bins. If you simply put these items in your car and use your pillows and blankets between them as cushioning, you will have a much cheaper and greener move.
5. Contractor Trash Bags
I didn’t realize how many pillows and blankets I owned until I started packing. I used most of the blankets and a couple of pillows to protect the items being transported by car, but the rest needed to get packed so the movers would take them.
You could use regular trash bags or yard waste bags, but it’s worth going to the hardware store and purchasing a box of contractor trash bags. These heavy duty black bags are huge and will hold several pillows and blankets each. When you are all unpacked, you can use the trash bags to get ride of things that would rip regular trash bags.
While my tips above are aimed at reducing the need for cardboard boxes and wrapping materials, it’s simply not possible to move without using some boxes and throw away materials.
After your move, save for future use anything you think you can reuse. Give away excess boxes and bubble wrap so it can be used again. If you don’t know anyone moving, consider placing an ad on craigslist. You can probably sell the items for a few dollars or unload them quickly by offering them for free.
Anything that isn’t able to be reused should go into your recycle bin if possible.
What did I miss?
Share your moving tips by leaving a comment below.
We have moved several times. Most of them have been long distance moves. We are moving again, but it’s only a few blocks away. So we will be doing more plastic bins and probably pack something in a box, move it by car then put it in the new house and continue to reuse the box. Will be moving clothes with plastic bags. Never heard of paper bubble wrap, I will be looking for that. And yes using towels and linen to wrap up fragile items has always been one of my favorite tips. Great post!
I’ve only ever moved twice and one of those was as a kid! We are moving in just a few weeks so your tips are very timely.
These are really great tips! Thanks for sharing at the Bloggers Brags Party this week. I’m pinning this to the Bloggers Brags board on Pinterest. Be sure to come back again this week!
We love green solutions! These tips are really great! I hope that the whole sector will start using reusable supplies!
I always opt for green ways. And I love all your tips here. It’s very timely because we are planning to move to another place in a month.
I usually go to a hardware store to get my boxes. They tend to have a bunch and they freely give them away. After I have moved I usually go and recycle the boxes. That way i don’t have to be wasting money and recycling material.
I love those green plastic crates. In all of my college years, I have used cardboard boxes, each time I’ve moved. They never seem to last in storage because the storage unit is typically outside the apartment and subject to the elements somewhat. These plastic crates could really be helpful in lowering those common moving costs.
Thinking of green solutions when moving house is great! almost nobody think of this when moving because of all the stress and inconvenience! I love to reuse materials and use environment friendly solutions. I love your suggestions and it will be great to find some plastic crates for our move next month! Thank you for the lovely ideas! The dog is adorable! 🙂
I’ve actually never heard of paper bubble wrap! I usually just use the packing paper because I figured it was more green than the plastic bubble wrap. I will have to look into this for my next move!
I’ve never heard of paper bubble wrap before. That’s a genius product! I like using bubble wrap on all my glassware because I feel like it protects them better than those boxes specifically for dishes. I’ll have to try some of that paper bubble wrap for my next move so that I can recycle it. Thanks!
I am preparing for a move, and one thing that people have been telling me is to get lots of packing tape and cardboard boxes. However, I hate to think of using those all just once and then never again, or leaving them lying around my house for years until I need to use them again. That’s why I like the idea of resuable plastic crates that you can rent for a while and then return!
Moving is really tedious, but it also causes a lot of waste. There is usually tons of garbage left over once the move is complete.. we truly are concerned about the well being of our environment and that we want to do our best to preserve nature.
In my profession as a mover, I’ve seen how stressful it is on the part of the families to move from one location to another. I could just imagine the emotional and mental stress they have to go through. I would definitely consider these helpful tips for our future customers.
Appreciated article post… This is better than the other moving post..! Thank you for sharing this by the way.