How to Make Good Use of my Empty Boxes?

There’s nothing more satisfying than waving goodbye to the movers and settling into a new house. Everything is clean and shiny and ready for you to make your mark…except for all those boxes your belongings came in.

A large part of moving is finding or buying the boxes you’ll need to move all your stuff. Whether you DIY your move and handle all the packing yourself, or if you hire a moving company to handle that part for you, you’ll end up with a stack of cardboard boxes at the end. While you might be tempted to start tossing those boxes out with the weekly garbage pickup, there are ways you can reuse or donate the cardboard. 

> Box Donations: If you live in a larger city, chances are there’s a box recycling service or company that can take the boxes off your hands. If the boxes are going to be reused for moving, they’ll need to be in good, sturdy repair. If they’re just going to be recycled as cardboard, you may be able to get away with donating boxes that have rips and tears. 

> Resell Value: It may seem strange, but you could actually make some money on your boxes by selling them on Craigslist or through a moving board. Because moving supplies can quickly become expensive, people may be willing to purchase your bulk boxes for a discount price. This is especially true if you have a large quantity of boxes in multiple sizes. 

> Organize Your Storage: One positive side effect to moving into a new house is your ability to start organizing with a clean slate. If you’re trying to make your home less cluttered right from the start, reuse your boxes to seasonally rotate your belongings or to make a storage unit more organized. 

> Save Them for Later: Cardboard boxes are great at breaking down into flat, storable items you can save up and use for later. If your move is only a temporary one, or if you have plenty of storage room in your new basement, consider keeping them on hand. You’ll want to make sure they stay dry, though, since wet cardboard can’t be reused and can contribute to mold problems. 

> Compost: Cardboard boxes make great compost bins because they eventually break down. If you’re interested in gardening, you can start a cardboard compost project in your own backyard. 

> Mix and Match: There’s no rule that says you have to take an all-or-nothing approach to your boxes. Donate half of them and keep half for projects around the house. Store most of them while using a few for composting. Different sizes of boxes work well for different things, too, so you’ll want to gauge all the possible uses. 

If you’re having your moving company do the unpacking for you, you can also have us haul away the boxes when we leave. This gives you more time to focus on your new home and your family—and less time to worry about what to do with all that leftover cardboard!


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