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Low Waste and Eco-Friendly Moving Tips and Tricks

This summer I moved once again. For this move I took more time to prepare than I have in the past and also was a lot more aware of the amount of waste that I could prevent creating throughout the process. In this blog post I will be sharing some of the tips and tricks that I discovered to not only help the process of moving be less overwhelming, but also low waste.                                                 One of the first and most important tips I have for you when moving is to look for second-hand items before purchasing new ones. Buying second hand is the best option for purchasing items for the environment because you are prolonging the life of an item that would otherwise be discarded to a landfill. Landfills are another issue in its self that I will not get into now. Another reason why you should purchase second hand whenever possible is because it is helping you to change your mindset and reversing the affect that consumerism has on our society. Consumerism can be defined as the need to purchase items in order to meet societal standards. While moving you should look to second hand websites in order to break this habit of consumerism. I would recommend looking at thrift stores and antique stores in your area and then look at second hand websites if you can not find what you are looking for in store. FaceBook Marketplace is great because you can narrow it down to your areas and then you can avoid shipping packaging like plastic. I also recommend asking friends and family if they are getting rid of any furniture that you could buy or have from them.

Second Hand Websites

  • FaceBook Marketplace
  • Ebay
  • Craigslist
  • Mercari

Do Not Buy Moving Boxes

One tip I have for you that saved me money and waste is by going to a grocery store and collecting produce boxes from them to move my stuff. When doing this I recommend calling ahead to make sure that they have some available for you. This way you are reusing a box that would just be hopefully recycled and giving it a longer life. If you really need boxes with flaps to close them then I recommend asking your friends and family to start collecting boxes for your move. You can also do the same. 
Another tip to avoid having to buy boxes is to use other bags that you already have. This could be reusable grocery or shopping bags, suitcases and duffle bags. I know that everyone has probably seen the moving tip where you use a trash bag to move your hanging clothes. Ditch that tip and instead lay them on top of things in the car when moving or take the time to fold them into boxes or bags. This eliminates the need to use plastic trash bags.


Moving and food can be a bit of a issue for most people. A way to tackle this challenge is to do a fridge and freezer clean out leading up to your move. This means accessing what you already have and making meals around those ingredients with the goal of avoiding having to buy more food. Another tip is to meal prep food or components of meals so that when it comes to eating during the move you have food ready so you do not turn to take-out which involves a lot of waste.


Similar to what I recommended with the second hand shopping. Shop your decor and reassess what you have before buying new pieces. This could mean changing the pictures in frames, repainting frames to give them a new look. There are loads of ideas on Pinterest and YouTube for how you can revamp the decor that you already have. Another idea is to change where you put the decor from house to house. Maybe this means putting decor from one room into another so that is does not feel like the same as the old house. 

Moving Prep

One of the most important tips I have for anyone who is moving, and I say this from experience, is one month before moving start decluttering you belongings. This means going through everything from clothes to kitchen utensils to junk drawers. This will not only help you to have to move stuff, but can also give you money to buy more second hand stuff if you choose to sell the things that you decide you no longer want or need. By doing this step a month or more prior to moving helps you are able to  properly depose of things and not end up sending them to the landfill because you are rushed to move out. I can say from experience that I personally had to do this because I ran out of time and energy to do so. Properly disposing of things means, donating or selling clothes and shoes, recycling glass, aluminum, plastic, paper, and cardboard.

Set up recycling and possibly compost. Depending on your housing situation you might be responsible for setting up your own recycling and compost service. By putting this on your to do list a month or so prior to moving in, it gives you time to research the companies that collect at your address. I was able to set up a compost service for my house where I was given a dumpster for outside and a small compost bin for inside. Unfortunately I was unable to get a recycling service because trash is included in my HOA and there is not a company in my area that just does recycling. So a tip I have for those who are in a similar situation is to research the recycling drop offs or centers near where you are moving so the that you can property dispose of your recycling from the move and going forward.


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