It’s been a little over a month since my partner and I moved into our forever home. The dream has finally come true and we were beyond excited to move one last time (at least for a very long time).
As you know, moving is exhausting and stressful. But also very wasteful. The last time we moved we had just arrived from a 9 month trip around the world and we didn’t have much furniture at all. None in fact. So we had to start from scratch and ended up buying more new stuff than expected. We had lots of waste BUT it was a blessing in disguise. When unpacking last year, I’ve saved bubble wrap and other plastic bags because we knew we would be moving in a short time (plus we had plenty of storage in our garage).
Combined with some second hand boxes from friends, we didn’t have to buy anything new for packing and moving.
Here are some tips to help you reduce your waste when moving next time and doing it as minimally as possible.
How to Reduce your Waste when Moving
- Get Used Boxes
Instead of running to Bunnings or Officeworks (hardware and office ware stores) to buy new boxes, talk to friends who may be able to get you some or do a run in a local bottle shop or grocery store who are happy to give away boxes. We never bought new boxes as we always managed to search for used ones. TOP TIP: don’t forget to label all your boxes.
- Save packing paper and plastics
If you know in advance that you will be moving, start saving wrapping paper and plastic (bubble wrap is even better) to wrap your fragile items. Since we use Who Gives a Crap, we saved the wrapping paper from the toilet rolls and they were perfect for wrapping glass and plates. Now that we are not moving, we use the paper to add to our worm farm (win win!).
- Be prepared
Being prepared to your move can save you time, money and so much headache. Trust me, I’ve done it enough in my past 9 years. If you are moving in the next month, start packing items with low use and take the time to also purge on items that no longer serve you. Donate what is still in good condition or gift it to others. Reuse what you can for other purposes or in the last instance recycle or dispose. By starting you packing process in advance you’ll be prepared on the date and stress less by having it all prepped up and ready. If you can, do one room per week (in the coming 4 weeks) and pack everything that is not an essential.
- Use what you have
If you have extra bags, use them to carry soft items or loose stuff that can be lost easily. Pack a large beach bag with all items that you’ll need as soon as you move, like toilet rolls, scissors, pens, tape, cloths and cleaning items. This way you’ll know where to find your most essential items and won’t have to go running to the shops to get what you know you have.
- When all is done, recycle
After you unpack, separate your rubbish in piles of paper, plastic and other materials and recycle all you can. Bonus points if someone you know is moving and you can just pass it on. Here in Australia is possible to recycle soft plastics (bubble wrap inclusive) in collection points in almost all supermarkets through REDcycle. If you’ll be moving again in the near future, create a moving pack and keep all you’ll be able to reuse for next time.
Moving is not easy and being zero waste is not always possible, but we can reduce and reuse most of it to help decrease our impact in the environment. As a rule of thumb, always try second hand/used items before going new and when disposing, try passing it on instead of recycling.
Do you have any other tips to reduce your waste when moving? Share them in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
Peace & Love,
Kevin06/03/2019 at 12:43 am
If I ever move again, I really want to be able to do it without buying any boxes. If I can reuse ones, and get enough from friends and family, I’ll be happy. I’d also need to look into if I can pick any up from local businesses, although I haven’t a clue if it’s an option here in the UK. I’m sure it must be!
Thanks for sharing your tips Larissa, and congratulations on the low waste move and your forever home.
Larissa Tedesco14/03/2019 at 1:54 pm
Yes, you should definitely try. Most bottle shops and smaller retails would be happy to give away some boxes. You just gotta ask!
Hope these tips are helpful for your next time moving! x