There’s so much to think about when moving that it may not occur to you that you’ll have to do something with all those moving boxes after you unpack. Depending on how much you had to transport, you may have anywhere from thirty to a hundred cardboard boxes and nothing to do with them.
Before you simply toss them in the trash bin, consider these options.
Use for Self Storage
Let’s say you’ve unpacked your boxes and arranged your home, but your realize that it would be a good idea to put some things in self storage.
Since you still have moving boxes left over, use some of them to pack up those items. Then, rent a self storage unit, preferably with climate control to better protect your belongings, and put your stuff in storage until you need it again.
Save for Another Move
If you know you’re going to move again in the next year or so, fold up your boxes and save them for your next move. Consider putting them in the attic, garage or in a storage unit. They should go somewhere that remains dry, as humidity can damage the boxes. Then, when it’s time to move again, you won’t have to buy a bunch of new boxes.
Let the Kids and Pets Play
For a little while, at least, you can let your kids play with the boxes. Young children love building forts of boxes and blankets, so let them do this in the living room while you’re unpacking. You can even join in on the fun.
You may have noticed that cats seem to love boxes better than the toys that come in them. If you have cats or dogs, put a few boxes out and let them play or hide inside.
Giving any large presents to family or friends, either for the holidays or for birthdays? Save some of the boxes and use them for gift wrapping.
If you have several presents to send a particular person or family, you may be able to ship all of them in one moving box.
Arts and Crafts
Many craft projects involve using cardboard. These include dioramas, dollhouses, toy cars, and more. For Halloween, you can use cardboard to make haunted houses, cut out decorative bats, or even make costumes. For Christmas, use the cardboard for ornaments or get creative and make a wreath of cardboard. For Valentine’s Day, cut out hearts, paint them various colors, write sweet messages on them, and hang them up to surprise your partner.
You won’t get a fortune for them, but if you’ve used 50 boxes for your move—a typical number— and sell each for a dollar, that’s $50 back in your pocket.
You can also look at BoxCycle, which is a website that lets you buy and sell boxes locally. Or try Nextdoor, a neighborhood message board, and see if you can see your cardboard boxes to people near you.
Give Them Away
If you’d rather speed things up and give the boxes away, you can do that using the same websites listed above. In addition, consider making a Facebook post informing your friends that you’re giving away moving boxes. You can also give them away on sites like Craigslist and Freecycle.
Whatever you do, please don’t just throw away your cardboard boxes. Recycling them means fewer trees need to be cut down to make new cardboard boxes. If your local waste management company handles recycling, great! Put them in your paper recycling bin. If not, find out where the closest recycling center is and drop them off there.
Using a combination of these ideas, you should be able to reuse all the boxes you need, make good use of others, and get the rest into the hands of others who need them.