Day 221 – moving and packing tips


Hi all! As you know by now, the hubby and I are moving cross country back to the old homestead in “Joizey”. Despite it being my 9th interstate move, it doesn’t mean it gets easier! Some things work better after experience and I have a process for other things, but the some of the same dilemmas exist. Where did I pack my socks? Did we throw out the bins from the kitchen? How in the world did this dead mouse get in here?
I’ve been more stressed than usual this time around, not just because I’m (gasp) getting older, but because I’ve been working in the environmentally friendly industry for the last 5 + years and I strive every day to reuse things, to recycle and compost the very best I can. I know where all that trash goes and moves are a huge source of trash! It’s convenient to get it out of your house, but bad things happen in the landfills. A head of lettuce can remain in its rotting stage in a landfill for 40 years! Yes! That’s pretty bad in my opinion.
Anyway, this sort of stuff is adding to my stress. I don’t want to throw out mounds of trash on our last day in the house. So, I have been bringing as much food items to work as I can to be composted in our commercial compost bin. I have also had a garage sale and have been putting out other items for free on my sidewalk. Ok, you say. “I do that stuff anyway. What is something new you can share with me?” Just bear with me a minute and we’ll get to the good stuff.
Although we had 2 moving companies lined up, they both fell through which is ok with me. I was hoping to get away with “them” moving and packing my stuff but I wouldn’t be in control of how they pack, how much packing material they use and where they dispose of it. So I am pleased to say we got these “cubes” or “pods” so we can be in control of our own mess instead. 🙂 It’s also cheaper and if we need storage, they will conveniently store our cubes until we’re ready to unload.

Ok, now to the good stuff. Here are some things I have learned this time around, in order to make a more environmentally friendly move.
1. Keep all your newspapers and junk mail for the preceding 2 months. It works great as packing material. Also, save any peanuts and shredded material to use for breakable items. Even cardboard boxes can be used if you cut them into pieces and fold into shapes. Plastic grocery bags work well for packing too. If you don’t use them all, be sure to recycle them at your local grocery store before you move.
2. Instead of bubble wrap, wrap large items such as mirrors and pictures in your own blankets. I even saved out a thick comforter for the most fragile mirrors we have in the house. We will either shrink wrap or tape the blanket securely around them.
3. I do not like buying boxes, but some of our cardboard boxes that were saved in the basement from the last move were a little too shabby. So we got some from Home Depot and I’m pleased to say they are made from recycled material! Otherwise, if you can find some good, used boxes around, go for it.
4. Did you know that those plastic totes and bins do not hold up as well as regular cardboard boxes? That is something I learned and am glad to know because I had packed my glass ware in them! The moving industry says that they don’t hold up as well as standard (sturdy, not flimsy) cardboard boxes.
5. Keep your dressers and chests full. I remember the days when they wanted you to empty them out. Now, they say to keep them full and either tape the drawers or shrink wrap. That saves a huge amount of space!
6. Another cool thing I learned, instead of buying large boxes for your beds, they now sell plastic bed bags. Yet another thing to reduce your waste. And they can come in real handy after you’re done with them. Keep them to store extra linens or other bulky items.
7. Schedule a Disabled Veterans or Goodwill truck to come pick up anything you don’t want on your last day. Don’t stick them with all your trash, but anything reusable. Also, make your friends come see you off and give them the leftover bag of white flour, the condiments and any houseplants instead of just throwing it away.
8. If possible, leave things for the new owners or tenants of your home such as paint cans they can use for touch ups, any specific fertilizer you may have used for the garden or various other things pertaining to the house. There’s no need to throw that stuff out when they will probably have to go buy it all again. Just be respectful and don’t leave them with a trash mess.
9. When you get to your new place, don’t forget, cardboard and newspaper is recyclable. I hope your local municipality recycles there, so you can recycle most of your packing materials instead of putting out in the trash.

Can you tell I’m putting off getting back to my packing? 🙂 That’s it for now. Some environmentally friendly tips to help your next move make a small difference to this great planet.


  1. Thanks for the tips! We planning to move across a couple of states in the Spring. It’s been 10 years since we’ve moved and I’m not looking forward to the actual moving process, but can hardly wait to get settled in the new location.

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