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How To Move With A Green Thumb

Moving days are always hectic, no matter how much or how well you plan ahead. Nonetheless, as the world moves towards a more eco-friendly community, so should you, even on moving day. Luckily, there are plenty of tactics and strategies to ensure you move with a green thumb.


Garbage Bags

Take Inventory of What You Currently Have
Before doing anything, you need to organize your home or apartment. Chances are, there are plenty of clothes, old dishes, papers, and so on that you do not need. Once the pile accumulates, recycle it. Or, give the plates to a friend. Offer it in exchange to help you move. If you have more junk than you realized, have a garage sale!

Next, take inventory of the moving materials you already own. Whether it’s tape, plastic bins, garbage bags, luggage, duffels or old boxes, take note of what you currently own. Chances are, you don’t need to go to your closest box store to purchase more.

As you take inventory, remember to always overestimate the number of bags/bins you need. Underestimating is a very common moving mistake.

Use Garbage Bags & Plastic Bins
Using supplies that you already own or supplies that can be reused for another purpose is always ideal, especially when you are trying to move with an eco-friendly mind. Whether it’s currently used for storage or that big box of garbage bags you bought from Costco, chances are, you have plenty of both lying around the house.

Instead of using your car, taking up valuable gas, and purchasing extra boxes you do not need, use moving materials you already own. Fortunately, you can reuse most garbage bags even after the move.



Use Luggage & Shoeboxes
Most families and young adults have at least one or two large pieces of luggage. In case you didn’t remember, most of them have wheels. Rolling a suitcase full of clothes is much easier to move than a box full of the same. Make sure you cram as many items in your suitcases as possible. It may even help you avoid an injury when you move.

Next, and many of my female readers will appreciate this one, but try to use all shoeboxes for small items you don’t want to lose. Take the shoes in those boxes and place them in your rolling suitcases. Then, move all necklaces, earrings, passports, valuable papers, etc. and place them inside the shoebox. Make sure you either pack them tight or tape the cover on. You don’t want to lose your 50-year-old necklace during the move.

Bonus Tip: If you don’t have extra shoeboxes, plastic sandwich bags are perfect for moves. They can hold extra jewelry, screws, tools, and so much more.

Use Recycled Boxes
If you do not have enough bags and bins, look for recycled boxes. If you live in a big apartment building, chances are, boxes are lying around your garbage or recycling corner. If you live in a house, just look outside on garbage day. More often than not, someone is throwing away or recycling a large container you can use to move.

If you can’t find recycled boxes, try these seven places for free moving boxes and our great green moving guide.


Moving Truck


Use Newspaper Instead of Bubble Wrap
Keeping with the recycling theme, more likely than not, you have or will be accumulating newspapers up until the day you move. Or, just like my box example above, your neighbors are collecting plenty of newspaper.

As most of you already know, newspaper is perfect for wrapping all glassware, plates, silverware, and sharp knives. You can go and purchase bubble wrap, but why not use a recycled resource you already have?

Make Less Trips As You Move
Most readers will not enjoy this next recommendation, but when it comes to going green, certain sacrifices must be made.

Less gas or wear and tear on your car and moving truck is always ideal. Well, the easiest way to minimize both is with one big trip from point A to point B. Yes, it is more work and more strain on your back, but in the long run, it will save you time and money if your hire a moving company, and more importantly, provide less of a strain on the environment.


Moving Boxes

Research Moving Companies with Eco-Friendly Practices
Fortunately, there are companies that follow eco-friendly practices as they conduct each and every move. Whether it’s through Unpakt or another moving company, make sure you ask about their green initiatives.

If you need help finding a local moving company, see how much it costs to move in your zip code.

Rent Recycled Bins
There is always a time to buy and a time to rent. When it comes to recycled bins, renting may make more sense for your move. Luckily, Rent-A-Green Box lets you rent recycled bins days before your move. You pack them, move them, and then the company picks up the empty boxes later on. It’s as easy as that.

While I still recommend using what you already own, renting recycled bins is always a viable and eco-friendly alternative.


Jacob Hurwith is the content marketing manager at ImproveNet, your source for all home improvement resources. Before joining ImproveNet, Jacob worked for various publications throughout Chicagoland including the Chicago Sun-Times. When he is not writing, Jacob enjoys keeping up with Chicago sports, catching up on his favorite TV shows and of course, running along Lake Michigan.