Handling All Those Leftover Boxes

As if moving weren’t enough, dealing with all those leftover boxes after you move is a big chore all on its own. Establishing a disposal strategy beforehand solves the challenge of what to do with them as you empty them, and where to stack them in the meantime.

Recycle Them

By far the best thing to do with all those boxes is to recycle them. If it’s too difficult to knock them down into a size that fits into your recycling container, look for a municipal dumpster that accepts cardboard.

Virtually all cities and towns offer these to the public and they’re usually located in areas near the public library or city offices. Be sure to collapse the boxes first. Tossing intact boxes into the dumpster uses up a good deal of space you and others could use.

Sell Them

You won’t get full price for used boxes, but you may get enough to defray the cost of the boxes by selling them to someone else who is planning a move. Make sure the boxes are clean and relatively free of markings. Check out the pricing for new boxes at home improvement centers to establish a pricing baseline and apply a discount since they’re used.

Withhold any boxes that disclose any expensive items you may have, like jewelry, pricey electronics, or antiques to safeguard your home. Schedule the pick up from your curbside and make sure you don’t handle the transaction alone if you must go outside.

Give Them Away

Spread the word that you have moving boxes available. You can do this within your community and by posting an ad online, especially on Craigslist, where moving boxes are a common item for sale or free.

Use Some of Them

  • Flatten to find a leak underneath a car. Once identified, leave the cardboard in place until the leak is fixed.
  • Use them for sledding down a hill in the winter.
  • Make a solar oven. Make two or three more. Once you see how easy and fun it is to solar cook, your neighbors will want their own too.
  • Turn it into a cardboard desk for kids to use on long road trips
  • Fill it with emergency road essentials, like blankets, sleeping bags, food, flashlights, map, a few gallons of water and road flares.
  • Pad it for a pet bed. Cats in particular love to crawl into boxes for a good night’s (and day’s) sleep. They also love to claw cardboard surfaces and you can make your own cardboard cat scratchers, please your cat and save money too.
  • Transform the wardrobes into playrooms for children. Cut windows in, place a throw rug on the floor and let the kids decorate the inside and outside with washable markers.

Store Them

If you keep cardboard away from moisture and direct sunshine, it lasts many years. After knocking down the boxes, tie them snugly together with sturdy twine and put them in an out-of-the-way place. Sometimes cardboard attracts insects, especially termites, crickets, roaches, and spiders. Place them in large heavy-duty trash bags to keep the dust and critters out.

Simplifying and expediting the move-in process is the key to settling in comfortably and quickly. Whether you toss the all those leftover boxes after you move in the recycling bin, sell or give them away, or let your kids have some fun, developing a plan before the big day solves the problem of that inevitable pile of leftover moving boxes.