Moving day is done, and you’re finally in your new home. But as you unpack and settle in, you’ve likely discovered the mountain of empty moving boxes continues to grow. So, what should you do with all those moving boxes? White Glove Moving is here to help you formulate a plan.
The Aftermath of a Move
Once you’ve finished unpacking, you’ll have a pile of moving boxes, Bubble Wrap, tape scraps, and other debris left over. An average move leaves behind around 60 empty cardboard boxes, though that number can fluctuate based on the size of your move.
So, what should you do with all that cardboard? You can keep it, sell it, give it away, or recycle it!
Keep Your Moving Boxes
There’s always a need for cardboard moving boxes. Here are a few ways you can reuse them around the house.
Save for Your Next Move
Even though you’ve just settled into your new home, it’s a smart idea to save your empty cardboard boxes for the next time you move. Simply break them down flat, cover them with heavy-duty plastic, then store them in a safe, dry place until you need them again. Doing this helps you save money on moving supplies in the future.
Use of Inexpensive Storage
Sometimes, you don’t have space to unpack all your belongings or decide you don’t need some of your items immediately. In this case, you can reuse your moving boxes as storage containers; just make sure to relabel them so you know what’s inside.
Repurpose Your Move Boxes
When you have leftover cardboard boxes after moving, you don’t have to keep them as boxes. Let’s look at how to reuse moving boxes in different ways.
DIY Home Solutions
Cardboard moving boxes can be used in various ways around your home:
- Floor coverings — Lay flattened cardboard down to protect the ground while you’re doing activities that can stain, like painting or changing your car’s oil.
- Gift boxes — You can reuse small or large moving boxes to hold presents for birthdays or holidays.
- Structural support — Cardboard can be used as a structural backing for photos, posters, or other art projects to hold them in place.
Use in Your Garden
Flattened cardboard moving boxes make an excellent weed barrier in your garden; simply cover them with soil and start planting! Empty cardboard boxes are also a perfect starter for a compost pile if that’s something you’re interested in.
You can also kneel on flattened cardboard as you plant or weed to cushion your knees.
Come Up With Creative Projects
Are you ready to get creative with cardboard? Large moving boxes can be turned into forts, playhouses, or even mazes for your kids to play in. Tape smaller boxes together to create a robot, or cut pieces up for a sword and shield for a knight — the possibilities are endless when you and your children use your imaginations!
If you moved with your furry friends, you could use empty cardboard boxes as a pet bed. Just add some old blankets and let your pets curl right up.
Dismantle Boxes for Usable Cardboard
You don’t have to leave your moving boxes intact when you’re finished with them. Cut the cardboard down into smaller, more manageable pieces that can be used in different ways.
Line the bottom of a drawer, make a doorstop, or even stabilize uneven furniture with the cardboard strips you cut from empty moving boxes.
Sell Your Moving Boxes
If you don’t want to keep your empty moving boxes, you could try selling them. Moving boxes usually sell between $0.50 and $2, depending on the size and condition of the box.
Here are some ways you can sell your empty cardboard boxes.
Ask Your Movers If They Buy Back Boxes
Some moving companies will buy back empty cardboard boxes after you’re done unpacking, but the boxes must still be in good condition so the company can reuse them. In some cases, this buy-back process is included in your moving plan, but if not, you can ask about it.
Sell on BoxCycle
BoxCycle is an online marketplace where you can list empty moving boxes for sale, and interested parties can buy them. The process is extremely simple for you — just create a free listing, handle the transaction through the site, then arrange for the buyer to pick up the boxes.
Sell Locally Online
If you’re looking for more local options for selling your moving boxes, you can list them on sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, neighborhood or city pages, and even NextDoor. However, remember that many people list moving supplies for free on these sites, so keep your prices reasonable and ensure your empty moving boxes are in excellent condition.
Give Your Moving Boxes Away
After a big move, you may not want to deal with trying to reuse or sell your cardboard moving boxes. If this is the case, you can always give the boxes to people who need them.
Family, Friends, Neighbors, and Coworkers
Start by asking your family and friends to see if they are moving soon and could use the boxes. Next, reach out to your neighbors and coworkers to see if any of them would like the empty moving boxes.
H3: Post Online for Free
If you can list your moving boxes for sale on a site, you can also list them for free there. Post your boxes for free on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or neighborhood or city pages. You’ll likely have someone snag them quickly.
Give Away on Freecycle
Freecycle has the same premise as BoxCycle, except everything on the site is free. You won’t have to pay to create an account, and your cardboard moving boxes will go to someone in need instead of ending up in a landfill.
Leave Them Out to Be Picked Up
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to get rid of cardboard boxes after moving is to leave them out on the curb with a “free” sign. Before you know it, someone will have scoped them up, and you won’t have to worry about them anymore.
If you want to go this route, just make sure your building, neighborhood, or city allows for things to be placed outside for pickup.
Find a Charity in Need
Give away your moving boxes by giving back to others. Check with charities near you, including shelters or animal rescues, to see who could benefit from your empty cardboard boxes. Once you find a charity that wants the boxes, you can drop them off, and you’ll be done. You could also split your moving boxes between a few different charities if you have enough to go to multiple locations.
Recycle Your Moving Boxes
Another option for your empty cardboard boxes is to recycle them. This is a great way to ensure the cardboard gets reused instead of ending up in landfills, where it takes almost a year to decompose fully.
Use Your City Services
Depending on where you live, your city may offer both trash and recycling services, meaning you’ll have one bin for trash (green) and one for recyclable items (blue). Just make sure that you properly break down your cardboard moving boxes and follow the recycling rules for your area.
Drop Off at a Recycling Center
If you don’t have a recycling pickup program where you live, you should have a recycling center nearby. We recommend only using this option for moving boxes that are severely damaged or won’t work for anything else, as those are the best candidates for recycling.
Most recycling centers require you to fully break down the empty moving boxes before you drop them off, so do that before you go so you don’t have to take extra time when you get to the center.
Ask Your Movers
If your moving company doesn’t offer a buy-back program for your empty cardboard boxes, you can check if they offer any recycling services. With a recycling program, the moving company can pick up your moving boxes once you’ve unpacked them. This way, you don’t have to worry about what to do with the empty boxes when you don’t need them anymore.
Make It Part of Your Moving Plan
When making your moving checklist before a big move, include empty cardboard box disposal as one of your tasks. If you prepare for this and decide on a course of action before your move, you won’t have to worry about figuring it out afterward. This is also an excellent time to check with your moving company to see if they’ll handle this for you once you’re done unpacking.
Meet White Glove Moving
At White Glove Moving, we have decades of experience in local and long-distance moves and treat your belongings just like we would our own. If you are moving in or around the New Jersey or New York area, contact our team for white-glove moving services as you’ve never experienced before.