Should I Throw Away My Moving Boxes?

Should I Throw Away My Moving Boxes?

Once you’ve moved house and finally finished the mountain of unpacking, you will inevitably be left with an enormous stack of cardboard boxes that you don’t know what to do with.

The temptation can be just to throw them all in the trash and get rid of the clutter from your brand new home. Before you throw your boxes away, think about storing them for later, recycling or repurposing them.

Pack them down and store them

Cardboard boxes are always useful to have on hand for when you need extra storage, for when you need to pack something up and post it, or to be able to give to a friend who is moving (we all love being able to rack up some brownie points, right?)

Even if you’re intending on recycling your boxes, it’s a good idea to pack them down to keep them tidy until you get to the recycling center.

To do this, first fold them down flat. Next, cut away any parts of the boxes that have become wet as this will damage the cardboard, and if it’s contaminated, then recycling centers won’t be able to take it.

Finally, arrange your cardboard into piles and tie them up with baling wire, as this will keep them together and tidy. You can get baling wire from

Recycling cardboard makes a difference

People often talk about whether or not recycling is actually worth it. For some materials, like plastic and glass, recycling requires so many resources that it’s almost not worth it. With plastic and glass, reuse is definitely the preferred option.

However, for cardboard, aluminum, and paper, recycling is incredibly effective in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide that is saved by recycling. Plus, it makes sense financially, as the cost of cardboard manufacture is so high. 

Cardboard can be composted

Corrugated cardboard, the kind most commonly used for packing boxes, can easily be used for compost

You will need to break it into small pieces first, and you can also speed up the process by soaking the cardboard in water with liquid detergent. 

Your first layer should be made up of cardboard and high carbon materials such as straw, old hay, or dead leaves. Then you can put a layer of nitrogen-rich materials on top of that, such as cow manure or spoiled vegetables. Pop a layer of soil on top of this. Then continue to layer in this fashion until you have your pile.

Be sure to keep the pile moist and turn it every five days.

Use them to protect your floors from paint

A final use for cardboard, if you’ve just moved, is to protect your floors if you’re repainting! 

Due to the thickness of cardboard and the wide surface area, a flattened box can cover a lot of your floor, making cardboard boxes the perfect tool for protecting your floors while you are decorating.

Just take your flattened boxes and lie them underneath the area that you are painting, being sure to layer them one over the other at the edges of boxes to avoid paint getting in between the gaps.

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