You’ve finished unpacking, the kitchen is set up, and everything is starting to feel cozy in your new home! The last bit of chaos is that giant pile of cardboard moving boxes. You want to get them out quickly, but throwing them out with the garbage just feels wrong. So how to get them gone? The benefit of cardboard moving boxes is that they’re recyclable — in a number of ways! We’ve pulled together our best tips for recycling your moving boxes after the unpacking is done.
Before you recycle, reuse
If your moving boxes are still in great shape and have some life left, consider breaking them down carefully to be reused. Your local moving store might have an area where people can drop off gently-used boxes, or if you have quite a few boxes in good shape you could sell them on Craigslist or post them to NextDoor. And since you’re new to the neighborhood, NextDoor is also a great way to get a pulse on what’s happening locally once you’ve offloaded your boxes!
Use some of your boxes for storage
Now that you have settled in, you might be noticing the need to put a few things in storage. Keeping your seasonal items in a storage unit can free up closet space, or a storage unit can serve as a temporary place for items that you don’t know what to do with. To keep your collection of throw pillows, or to donate them? Maybe just put them in your recycled moving boxes in storage and see how you feel in a month!
Save a few for art projects
Whether you’re planning to paint the walls or you have a few artistic kids, cardboard boxes are a great resource. Lay them out as floor coverings, build a castle, create a pet playground, or transform your children into robots or astronauts. You could also use the boxes as canvases for creative kids! Recycling your moving boxes can simply mean transforming them into something more fun.
Donate them to be composted
Ever heard of “lasagne gardening”? Many community gardens use layers of cardboard in the soil to suppress weeds and hold in moisture. Cardboard can also be composted in some facilities (where the compost gets hot enough), then put back into the soil to become food or flowers. This method of recycling requires no additional energy inputs, making it an environmentally friendly approach!
Save your boxes for the next move
If you anticipate that you or someone close to you might be moving again soon, it may make sense to keep your boxes. You could put them in your storage unit or, if you have space in your home or building, keep them close by. Go through your boxes and discard any that have gotten wet or damaged, and save only the moving boxes in excellent condition. This could save you time, money, and precious energy on your next move. Of course, there’s the added benefit of wasting fewer paper resources, too!
Bundle them to be recycled
If you still have boxes left after going through the options above, it’s time to bundle them up for recycling! Most areas accept cardboard (even large bundles) as part of the regular service. However, there may be requirements about how it is prepared. Some recycling companies will only pick up materials that are inside of your bin, so give a call to find out the specifics. You may need to flatten your cardboard and bundle it with twine. If that isn’t an option, you may just need to recycle them in batches. There may also be a local dropoff that will accept all of your recycled moving boxes at once.