getting-creative-with-all-those-moving-boxesThe move is over and you’ve organized your home as you want it, but now you’re faced with a large pile of moving boxes. These ideas may help you decide what to do with those cardboard cartons.

Gift Boxes to Surprise Recipients

If you have the festive season coming up or family birthdays, review your boxes to see if any of them can be used as gift containers. They may be ideal for large or odd-sized items and save you having to purchase yards of wrapping paper. Or, play the old trick of placing a small, expensive item, such as a camera or tablet, into a small box and then inserting that box into a bigger one and so on until you end up with an enormous parcel that has to be unwrapped layer by layer. This builds up the anticipation as the recipient opens each box.

Playthings for the Kids

They do say that kids will play with almost anything, and the cheaper the item is the more fun they get out of it. Well, that is true. Children adore using boxes as playhouses or castles, trains, dolls’ beds, stoves, tables and anything their fertile imaginations can conjure up. Add some nontoxic paints, brushes, markers, glue, large and small piece of fabric, glitter and other craft materials, and your kids are sure to have hours of fun. Cats also love empty boxes so use them as a cat playground.

Comic-Con Costumes

Got a comic-con, Halloween party or fancy dress event coming up? Moving boxes make fantastic costumes with a little bit of effort. Anything that is rectangular or square in shape, such as a TV, flying machine, wheeled vehicle or even a fantasy animal, can be made from boxes. Simply cut and glue to get the required shape, and then decorate it with whatever is necessary.

Festive Ornaments

Make inexpensive holiday season or birthday party ornaments from your boxes. Cut out shapes of numbers, silhouettes of holiday figures like Santa, bells or Christmas trees, and spruce them up with metallic paint, tinsel, glitter and sparkly bobbles.

Give the Boxes to a Good Cause

Local charities may welcome boxes, especially if they are heavy-duty ones; they can be used to store thrift shop stocks, move items to other locations or for collections from other donors. Give boxes away to friends, family and neighbors who are about to move or who need boxes for a variety of functions. Libraries, schools and community centers can often use extra boxes, so contact those nearest your new home.

Repurpose the Containers

Crafters, artists and needleworkers are always looking for ways to organize and sort their tools and materials. Cover small and large boxes with attractive wrapping paper, hand-painted kraft paper or fabric, and you’ve got new boxes from old. Cardboard boxes can be clearly marked and used to store garage and workshop tools, garden implements and even an overflow of books. If stacked neatly and easily accessible, they’re just as good as cheap plastic containers.

Recycle to Help the Planet

Once you’ve done everything creative you can think of with your leftover boxes, send them for recycling. Many cities have recycling depots where you can leave unwanted cardboard boxes. You may have to deliver the boxes yourself or there may be a service that collects them from the curb.

Preparing for a move? Contact Jay’s Small Moves. We service the San Francisco and East Bay Areas. Our well-trained staff is experienced in moving contents of homes and offices.