What to Do With Boxes After Moving

Michael Miller is a reputable author at Great Nation Moving and an expert in moving, packing and storage topics.

What to Do With Boxes After Moving

So, your move is finally over and you have just finished unpacking and setting up your new home. Yet, the place probably looks more like a warehouse rather than a cozy home right now – with piles of cardboard boxes everywhere! You need to get rid of the empty boxes as soon as possible, so you can make the space tidy, functional, and beautiful.

Just throwing away the used moving boxes, however, is not a good idea – you have much better options.

So, what to do with boxes after moving? Should you keep them for future use? Give them away to people who need them? Recycle them in an eco-friendly manner?

Read on to find out what you can do with your used boxes after the move and pick the options that make the most sense for you:

So, what to do with boxes after moving? Should you keep them for future use? Give them away to people who need them? Recycle them in an eco-friendly manner?

Read on to find out what you can do with your used boxes after the move and pick the options that make the most sense for you:

Keep the boxes

Cardboard boxes are very versatile and can be used for a number of purposes, so it makes sense to keep any used moving boxes that are still in good condition:

  • Store the boxes for your next move – If you intend to move house again in the near future, it will be wise to keep the cardboard containers so you don’t need to go looking for free moving boxes or spend money to purchase new ones. Just flatten out the boxes, place them in large plastic bags (to keep dirt, dust, moisture, and pests away), and store them in a dry place, away from direct sunlight;
  • Use the boxes as storage containers – Cardboard boxes are very convenient for storing and organizing household items. You can fill the empty moving boxes with items you don’t need for the time being, seal them with tape, label them with their contents, and store them out of the way (in the basement, attic, garage, or any other dry and safe storage area);
  • Re-purpose the boxes – When wondering what to do with cardboard boxes after moving, remember that you can simply break them down and use the large cardboard pieces as protective and cushioning materials (to protect floors, to protect furniture, to kneel or sit on while working in the garden or in the garage, etc.). You can also use moving boxes as mailing boxes, gift-wrapping boxes, compost bins, pet beds, etc.;
  • Use the boxes for entertainment – It’s no secret that cardboard boxes can offer hours of entertainment – especially to younger children. When you finish unpacking, you and your little ones can use the empty boxes to build cardboard castles or cardboard mazes, make cardboard costumes or cardboard robots, construct a dollhouse, etc. – your creativity is your only limit.

If you decide to keep some of your used moving boxes for future relocations or to use them for storage, gift wrapping, or packaging, be sure to pick only the ones with minimum wear and tear. If you’re going to break down the cartons for some projects around the house or garden or to use them for entertainment, it won’t matter what condition the boxes are in.

Despite the many uses of cardboard boxes, however, you may not want to keep your used packing containers. In such a case, you will want to know how to get rid of moving boxes.

Sell your packing boxes

If you don’t want to keep your moving boxes, you can try to earn some cash from them. It should be fairly easy to sell packing boxes that have remained in excellent condition after the move (clean, strong, and intact) – especially specialized moving boxes (wardrobe boxes, picture boxes, dish barrels, etc.) that are usually quite expensive when bought brand new. (If you have invested in specialized moving boxes, make sure you won’t need them again before you decide to sell them after the move).

So, where to sell used moving boxes? You can list your boxes on Craigslist, BoxCycle, U-Haul Box Exchange, eBay, or other websites that will help you connect with people who are looking for moving and packing materials. You can also put an ad in the local newspaper or use the social networks to let people know that you have good moving boxes for sale.

Give away your used moving boxes

When not sure what to do with used moving boxes in good condition (in case you have no use for cardboard boxes in your new home and don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling your old packing containers), the simplest solution is to give the cartons away to whoever needs them:

  • Friends – If any of your friends plan to move house soon or need storage containers or packaging boxes, be sure to offer them your empty moving containers. It’s a win-win situation – you will get rid of the packing cartons you don’t need and your friends will get the boxes they need for free. If you don’t know whether any of your pals need cardboard boxes, just create a post in Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network you use, informing your circle of friends that you’re offering good moving boxes for free – if anyone is interested, they will contact you;
  • Colleagues and neighbors – You may not yet know your new neighbors or your new colleagues (if you’ve started a new job after the move), but it will be very easy to tell the people next door and the people you work with that you’ve just moved house and you’re willing to give away good packing boxes just for the asking. If anyone wants them, they’ll be happy to come take the cartons from you;
  • People who are looking for free moving boxes – If none of your friends, coworkers, and neighbors need cardboard boxes, you can give away your used packing containers to strangers who are looking for free packing materials. There are several websites where you can list used moving boxes for free – Freecycle, Craigslist (in the free section), U-Haul Box Exchange (specify that you’re offering your old packing boxes for free), etc.;
  • Charities – Many charitable organizations need storage boxes, so you can contact the charities in your new area and ask them if they want your empty boxes.

Bonus tip: The easiest way to give away your unneeded cardboard boxes is to place them on the curb – someone will most likely pick them up within the hour. However, before you put your unwanted packing containers on the curb, you need to make sure the local regulations allow it.

Recycle your old moving boxes

Some of your moving boxes may have got damaged during the relocation or may be too worn out to be used again – such boxes need to be properly disposed of.

So, how to recycle moving boxes? You have several options:

  • Moving companies If you’re not sure how to dispose of moving boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and other packing materials after you finish unpacking, your easiest option is to call the movers you hired for your relocation (or any local moving company) and ask them to pick up your unneeded packing materials for recycling – most professional movers provide that service for a small fee;
  • Recycling centers – Another good way to get rid of unwanted cardboard boxes after a move is to take them to a local recycling center. Remove any packing tape from your used moving boxes, flatten them out, stack them together, load them in your car, and take them to the nearest recycling center. If you have a lot of cartons to recycle, you may even qualify for a pick-up;
  • Recycling bins – Without a doubt, the easiest way to get rid of damaged packing boxes is to place them in recycling bins designated for cardboard.

Now that you know what to do with moving boxes, you will be able to get them out of the way immediately after unpacking – and your new place will start looking and feeling like a home from the very first day after the relocation. Happy new life in your new home!

By Michael Miller

Michael Miller is a reputable author at Great Nation Moving and an expert in moving, packing and storage topics.

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