7 Creative Ways To Reuse Moving Supplies After You Settle In

Posted on: 17 July 2015

You spend a good portion of your moving budget on quality moving supplies like boxes and tape, making it painful to just toss that stuff in the trash as you unpack. Reusing the materials you used for moving can help you enjoy your new home faster and reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill. Try these seven creative ideas instead of heading for the dumpster.

1. Turn Tape Into Dry Erase Labels

The smooth, non-porous surface of packing tape allows dry erase marker ink to wipe right off. Instead of buying expensive dry erase tags for your refrigerator organizing project, just stick on a piece of leftover packing tape for the same effect.

2. Insulate Windows with Bubble Wrap

Want to keep the rooms of your new house a little warmer in the winter without blocking out light? Grab one of those pieces of bubble wrap you used to protect your dishes or picture frames, lightly wet the flat side of the plastic sheet, and press it against the glass to adhere it without glue.

3. Protect Plants with Bubble Wrap

Since the same air pockets protecting your stuff give bubble wrap surprising insulating properties, you can also use the packing material outdoors to protect tender plants from unexpected late spring frosts. Wrap one sheet around the plant and top it with another piece to trap warmth and keep leaves and flowers from freezing. Be sure to remove the insulation each day to prevent sunlight from overheating the inside of your makeshift shelter.

4. Compost Boxes and Newspaper

Want to get your landscaping efforts at the new house off to a good start? Set up your new compost pile by starting it with the ripped up remains of your cardboard moving boxes. Stick with plain brown cardboard only -- find another usage for moving boxes coated with white or colorful dyes to keep heavy metals out of your compost.

5. Build a Cardboard Box Fort

If you moved a large family or a business along with your home's furnishings, you likely have 50 or more large boxes sitting around waiting to get reused. Put some tape or staples to good use and assemble your very own cardboard box fort. Keep the fort indoors if you want it to last for a little while, or let the rain soak and collapse it if you plan to compost the cardboard anyways.

6. Smother Weeds in the Garden with Cardboard Boxes and Newspaper

The dramatic-sounding garden practice known as kill or sheet mulching is a fast and environmentally friendly way to put an end to the most stubborn weeds. Layer down all that leftover brown cardboard from the boxes and the sheets of newspaper to create garden paths or establish beds for planting in a few months. If the cardboard isn't completely soft and ready to mix in with the soil when you're ready to plant, relocate it to a compost pile for further decomposition. Again, avoid coated or colored cardboard, and check that the newspaper was printed with soy-based ink.

7. Insulate Pipes or a Well Pump with Moving Blankets

Most people only rent or borrow moving blankets, but if you ended up paying for some because the fabric was damaged, you can still use them around the house. Try wrapping pipes in the basement to keep them from freezing. This also works great for preventing freezing in pumps when you rely on a well for water.

Don't let all those moving supplies you purchased just sit around in the attic and take up valuable space. Organize your new home and improve your yard while getting more out of those boxes and rolls of bubble wrap. For more about this topic, talk to your movers and ask them what options you have for recycling your moving supplies.