man bringing the boxes out the car

How to Minimize Waste During a Move

Moving (and packing for a move) is a challenging task. Worrying over which items you’re going to pack and how to do it is only the icing on the cake; you also have to think about hiring the best movers for your specific situation and locale. Plus, your family might need additional support during this period, especially if you have older folks.

What most people don’t know is that moving creates a lot of waste. If you are one of these people, you’re in luck as a result of there are a few ways to cut back on or at least manage them. Here are four strategies you can use.

Smart Use of Boxes

While it’s easy enough to use cardboard boxes during your move and assume that they’re biodegradable, more of it is still waste. If you need several boxes for the move, ask your local mover instead for larger boxes where you can cram your items in. In Louisiana, for example, a home-moving service can usually offer huge boxes with dividers and additional protection, such as bubble wrap and packing tape.

Also, remember that the boxes depend on the items you need to pack. Larger items need smaller boxes (that will fit them, of course), but more trivial things, like trinkets, need larger ones. Finally, when you’re done with the boxes, find a use for them around the house; you can even store unused items in them and place them in the attic if you don’t need their contents that urgently.

Look at Alternative Packing Materials

Most homeowners use packing paper for the move. While they’re not exactly wasteful, you’re still going to waste money on virgin paper. Instead, use various packing materials for your fragile things, like newspapers or old or used articles of clothing, such as towels and socks. This way, you’ll hit two birds with one stone and make packing easier. Pay special attention to fragile things, like glass, and wrap them extra carefully (or with extra paper, if needed).

Sell, Donate, or Gift

Throughout your packing, you’ll doubtless realize some of your things don’t need to come with you to your new place. Before they take up space in your box, segregate what you would like to keep from those you’d rather dispose of—by selling, donating, or gifting them. Most of these are old clothes that don’t fit you anymore or those that had outlived their fad. A garage sale is an excellent way to dispose of these old items; that way, you not only free up space, but you also get something for it.


person piling up things to recycle in a box

So you’ve dealt with the items that you no longer need but are still in good condition, but what about the ones that can no longer be used? If you find items that can’t be recycled out of the blue, consider searching for a recycling center in your area before you relocate. You can bring your broken items or electronics to the recycling center so they can repurpose them into something useful in the long run, avoiding any additional waste that can harm the environment. Look out for batteries, as they need special consideration to dispose of (and recycle) safely.

Moving doesn’t need to be wasteful. With a few tricks like these, you’ll not only do your part for the environment but lessen the hassle on your end, too.