When you are buying or selling a home, moving is probably one of the last things you want to think about. Let’s face it, moving is not easy. It is an arduous task that creates a lot of stress in one’s life whether you are moving across the country or across town. The journey starts with collecting moving boxes, organizing, packing, and then making breaking your back loading up a truck.

After you finished your move and unpacked all your possessions, you are left to settle into your new home. But there will still be some loose ends to tie up. For anyone wondering what they can do with their leftover moving boxes, the short answer is there are other options besides throwing them in the trash.

Fortunately, recycling cardboard boxes is not that difficult. When you recycle old cardboard, it can be turned into new boxes, lessening the damage on the environment. Cardboard box recycling uses less energy than manufacturing new boxes, produces less sulfur dioxide, and reduces the use of raw materials. There are other alternatives too.

Let’s take a deep dive into the subject to see what you can do with your boxes for moving, staying green into the bargain. There are quite a few options you may not have thought about.

Piles of used cardboard moving boxes

Preparing your moving boxes

Whether you decide to keep your boxes for when you move again, give them away, recycle them, or use them in another way, it’s worth ensuring they will not take up too much space and are in good condition.

Make sure to flatten your moving boxes

Cardboard boxes are much easier to store when they have been broken down. Make sure your boxes are emptied, then tear off the tape and flatten them. Although it isn’t vital to entirely remove all the tape — any that is left will be taken off at the recycling center — it will be easier all-round if you can do it.

Make sure boxes are in good condition

If any of your moving boxes have been damaged by something leaking inside, remove the affected section. Soiled cardboard can be very problematic for recycling centers to deal with even when it has dried out fully. If the boxes are in poor condition, they might be rejected by recycling centers and anyone else you might want to give them to.

How to recycle your boxes

You can typically find out about your recycling options from the board of health or waste department in your town, perhaps at city hall. The chances are that others have asked before, so there will be employees there with a firm handle on the answer.

Keeping your boxes dry is essential

Don’t store your boxes outside if you want them to be collected by your waste management company. Doing so could lead to them getting damp and being much more difficult to recycle, so it will be better to store them indoors until recycling collection day comes around.

Understand waste collection rules

Before putting your boxes out for recycling, ensure that the waste management company will in fact collect them. Not every recycling business will remove objects that have not been placed in the bin. Ensure you are sticking to the rules for waste collection if your cardboard won’t fit in the recycling container.

Recycle using a drop-off center

If your waste management company isn’t going to collect, you should be able to find a local drop-off center for your recycling material. This might be the best option if you have lots of boxes or if the waste management company wants to charge you extra for collection.

Compost the cardboard from your boxes

This is a form of recycling that doesn’t occur to everybody! Avid gardeners can add shredded cardboard to their compost piles to create a mulch that will help plants thrive. It doesn’t matter if the cardboard has been damaged by water, though if other substances have leaked into the box, you might have to be more careful.

Offer your boxes to other people

If your moving boxes are still in reasonable condition, other folks may be able to use them when they move to a new home.

Think of your friends

Lots of folks are frequently on the look out for places to get moving boxes. You will find plenty of friends who are either moving now or will be in the future, so keep this in mind because they may become candidates to take some of your boxes in a heartbeat.

Consider others, and get your boxes picked up for free

Alternatively, offering cardboard boxes to others on sites like Craigslist or Freecycle is commonly done. Just post a listing, and someone will probably be happy to collect them from you.

Alternative ways to use your moving boxes

There are many different options for reusing moving boxes besides giving them up for recycling, and cardboard can be very useful in a surprising number of situations.

Use boxes for storage and better organization

Moving boxes can be great if you have a lot of items to store in garages or outbuildings. You can also use them inside your house by covering them in fabric and turning them into attractive storage furniture. Another idea is to reuse the cardboard by turning it into drawer dividers, helping to organize the items you keep there.

Cardboard is great for flooring protection

If you plan on redecorating your new home, cardboard can come in very handy for protecting your floors. You can cut moving boxes into flat pieces to cover a large area and use painter’s tape to fix them in place. They are also great when used in this way for when you are moving as well. So, if you know you will be moving again soon, keep some of the boxes handy.

Creating a playhouse can be a lot of fun

If you have small children — or even cats! — you can recycle boxes into a fun playhouse or fort. Cardboard boxes always seem to be a hit at play time, so make the most of  yours by turning them into something that will keep your little ones amused for hours. You can then recycle them later.

A cardboard moving box used as a play center

If you have somewhere to store your cardboard boxes, keep them there until you need them, either for a future move or perhaps some other reason — you might need boxes to ship something in. If you don’t have enough space at home, a self storage unit can be rented at a very reasonable cost and all your flattened boxes kept safely in that.

Moving boxes can be used more than once and not just for their intended purpose, You can keep them until you move again, let somebody else in the process of moving benefit from them, or put them into action in another way entirely. And by utilizing our suggestions you can do the environment a favor rather than just consigning your old moving boxes to landfill.


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