Moving is always going to be a stressful experience, and this is largely due to the fact that unpacking and getting rid of moving materials can be such a hassle. However, you can make your unpacking process so much easier and even beneficial to your future life in your new home if you follow these tips to creatively recycle and reuse your leftover packing materials. You can use everything from cardboard boxes, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and plastic bags for these tips.
Cardboard boxes are particularly useful due to the fact that they come in so many different sizes. This makes them much more malleable and adaptable to your many needs. Here are some great ideas for reusing your cardboard boxes:
- New, organized storage. This is perhaps the most obvious thing to do with all of your leftover cardboard boxes. You can simply put new labels on each of the boxes and use them for storage in your garage or attic. Or, you can turn them into a fun arts and crafts project by decorating them and displaying them in the house to store charging devices, shoes, or anything else that comes to mind.
- Make a playhouse for children. This is an easy and super efficient way to kill two birds with one stone if you have young children. After the move, it may take a while to unpack all of your child’s toys and entertainment. Simply stand the box upright, cut a few holes for windows and doors, and you have a playhouse! You can also let your kids decorate it and draw on it as they see fit.
- With some creative out of the box thinking, you can easily come up with hundreds of ways to reuse your cardboard boxes. They perfectly fit the needs of everything from a work mat to bottle storage. Here’s a list of some other uses for your leftover cardboard boxes. You may be surprised at all the different ways you can use them!
Packing peanuts have such a special design and are made from such a unique material that they can be reused for various odd yet important tasks around the house.
- Drainage for plants. The unique design of packing peanuts allows for easy absorption, so they would make a great drainage system when placed below potted plants.
- Makeshift cushions. Once again, the unique material of these packing peanuts will make a great makeshift cushioning system. Place an abundance of them in zipped covers to create soft cushions for your couch or your pets.
- Protect yourself from sharp edges. Silly as it may look, you can always place a packing peanut on the tips of knives, scissors, and other sharp tools to protect your fingers when you are searching around a small kitchen drawer or toolkit
Like cardboard boxes, bubble wrap has proven itself to be extremely useful and easy to reuse long after the last boxes are unpacked. It can be used around the house, on the car, and even in your office! Read on for more inventive and creative techniques to reuse your many sheets of bubble wrap.
- Packing and shipping. No surprises here – bubble wrap can be used and reused almost endlessly as the perfect packing material. As long as you don’t relieve your stress by popping all of the bubbles, you should have plenty left over.
- Relieve stress. Now, if you do decide to relieve your stress via the bubble wrap method, feel free to do so! Keep a sheet in your desk at work for those long, stressful days. You can also keep a sheet in your car if you find you have an incredibly long and stressful commute twice a day.
- Insulate your greenhouse. This is a pretty creative idea, for sure, but it really works! Simply cut the bubble wrap to the right shape and size, and then fix it to the frame of the greenhouse by using nails, drawing pins, or wires.Be sure to keep it tightly affixed to the walls to really mimic the effects of insulation.
- Home Insulation. Speaking of insulation, you can also use bubble wrap as effective insulation in your home by lining your windows with it.
- Cool down drinks faster. Place a room-temperature bottle of whatever beverage you like into the freezer, after wrapping a sheet of bubble wrap around it. This will considerably cut down on the time it takes to cool down your beverage. It should be chilled enough within just thirty minutes.
- Protect your car from snow and frost damage. If you have big sheets of bubble wrap, you can place it on your car’s windshield, windows, and moonroof to protect from an early morning frost or snowfall. This will save you time in the morning, as you won’t need to scrape or defrost the windshield.
- Recycle Thoughtfully. If you now live in California, Kentucky, North Carolina, Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas, or New Jersey, you can send your bubble wrap to a Sealed Air Corporation location. There, your bubble wrap will be able to be reused in a highly sustainable manner.
- If you can’t keep it around, simply list it on Craigslist under the “free stuff” section, or post on Freecycle. There’s always someone who needs free bubble wrap!
Plastic bags can be practically reused in a few different ways.
- Carrying groceries. Since many big cities are charging for grocery bags, it would be wise to reuse the ones you have already.
- Lunch boxes. The handles and relative sturdiness make these great for transporting your meals to work.
As you can no doubt tell by now, there are hundreds of ways to reuse almost all of your leftover packing materials. Following these tips will save you time and money, and it will effectively de-clutter your home. This in turn will help keep your stress levels low, as unpacking can be a very harried and overwhelming process. Even using some of the more creative methods of recycling can channel your stressed energy into a calmer direction. You’ll soon find out that reusing and recycling is a great way to decompress from the moving process.
Written By:Joe Webster
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.