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Moving Boxes: 10 Tips You Didn’t Know You Needed

moving boxes 10 tips you didnt know you needed

Are you are moving house again? You’re not alone. Statistics show that the average person moves 11 times during their lifetime.

They also use up to 60 boxes every time they relocate. That’s a lot of moving boxes to clog up the environment once they have fulfilled their purpose.

Packing is stressful enough without having to worry about overburdening our landfills while you are at it.

Read on for 10 ways to make your move easier on yourself and the environment.

Let’s get packing!

1. Less Is More When It Comes to Moving Boxes

Planning ahead prevents wastage and unnecessary stress. Work out in advance how many boxes you need for your big move.

Several factors will impact this decision, namely:

  • The number of rooms in your current house
  • How many people are moving
  • How long you have been in residence

There are ways that you can reduce the number of boxes you use no matter what your circumstances are.

Check if your movers provide items that can reduce the number of boxes you need. These include wardrobe boxes for your hanging clothing and moving pads for your furniture.

Our detailed checklist for moving house suggests that you start packing at least 4 weeks in advance. This will give you enough time to implement these other handy tips along the way. You can also get boxes as you go along and avoid ending up with too little or too many at the last minute.

2. De-Clutter and De-Stress

Hoarders, we’re looking at you here! However, we all have extra items that we purchased on a whim or inherited from someone else.

When you start packing, think about when you last used each item and whether you will need it in future.

This is a ‘yes/no’ question. ‘Maybe’ is not a good enough reason to keep something you haven’t used or worn in years.

Set aside a large box for all these unnecessary items and donate them to a worthy cause. Many charities run thrift shops where they will sell your unwanted goods to benefit the less fortunate. If you don’t know who to contact, the Salvation Army will collect, or put you onto someone who will.

A ruthless clean up can reduce the number of moving boxes you need considerably.

We’re not done yet. There’s still one more way to cut down.

3. Use What You Have

Think ahead. Having less moving boxes to load and unload is going to save you time and hassle. Pack your small appliances back into the boxes they arrived in if possible and fill in any gaps with smaller items.

Use dish towels and other soft items as padding around your glassware or fragile items. This saves you on bubble wrap and separate boxes for these soft items.

As you go through each room, use containers that you already have to pack small items. Pots with lids can be used for spice bottles and tinned goods, laundry baskets and trash cans are great for bulkier items, and suitcases are made for transporting clothing.

Make a mental note to keep a spare box and a large bag for essential items.

4. Make Your First Night Easy

There will be items that you cannot pack in advance, such as the things you use every day. Keep these in one place in each room so that you can scoop them up into a single box at the last minute.

Pack an overnight bag with vital toiletries and spare clothing. Don’t forget the toilet paper, toothpaste, towels and phone chargers.

Place these essentials in your car for the move. You should also keep valuables, important documents, and irreplaceable sentimental items with you during the move – accidents happen.

5. Choosing the Right Boxes

If you choose to purchase boxes, it is worth paying more for double-walled boxes, especially if your items will be in transit for a long time. These are also preferable for items that will be placed in long-term storage.

Plastic containers are an eco-friendly option and you can use them for other applications afterward.  If you really don’t have space or want to spend money on boxes unnecessarily, there are loads of places where you can get your moving boxes for free.

6. Get Free Boxes

Getting your moving boxes for free ticks all the boxes. You will be reusing something, reducing waste, and you will save money.

Some of the places that will assist you with free boxes are:

  • Liquor Stores – Sturdy boxes with lids
  • Grocery Stores – apple boxes are great for glasses
  • Starbucks and McDonalds – frozen goods boxes are clean and sturdy

You can also check Craigslist, FreeCycle and U-Haul Box Exchange for free boxes.

7. Pack Wisely

Throwing things randomly into your moving boxes is a waste of space. Maximize each box by packing things inside one another.

Slip your socks and underwear into your shoes. Roll clothing for a tighter fit, and slip bin bags over batches of hanging clothing, and move it like that, hangers and all.

8. Screens and Televisions

Fragile LCD screens are best transported in their original packaging. If you don’t have these anymore, ask at your local appliance store if they have any from their display items.

Otherwise, you can wrap them in a thick blanket or comforter and burden one of your passengers with them on the trip to your new home. Professional movers will be able to advise on alternatives.

9. Labelling Your Moving Boxes

Clearly, label your boxes with a sharpie according to which room they belong in. Write on the sides so the markings are still visible when the boxes are stacked.

Color-coding or marking your boxes according to their importance will help you to unpack in a logical way.

10. After The Move

Find out where your nearest recycling station is before you move. Flatten each of your moving boxes out and stack them in a central location as you go along.

This way it will be easier to collect them all and deliver them to your nearest recycling plant. You could also check out our list of clever things to do with all those extra boxes.

Contact Us

Jay's Small Moves
1760 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 999-6795

2525 Mandela Pkwy
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 501-5800

Business Hours

Monday - Sunday: 7am - 7pm

Licensed & Insured: CPUC
CAL-T #190688