What To Do With Your Old Moving Boxes

Published on 4/1/2021

In our last blog post, we talked about ways to incorporate green, ecofriendly practices into your self-storage plan. This time around, we’re going to follow up on that a little bit and talk about what to do with all those cardboard boxes you accumulated on your last move. Whether you spent money for new boxes from a moving company or spent weeks scrounging around in dumpsters and stalking supermarkets looking for used ones, chances are you’re left with dozens of cardboard boxes that have to be dealt with once you’re unpacked. Here are a few ideas for getting rid of them. 

 Storage unit buildings at Volunteer Mini Storage

1. Recycle

This is one of the easiest and most obvious options. By recycling, the materials can wind up back in the manufacturing stream and conserve resources. Most communities have recycling centers that accept cardboard, and if you’re lucky, your center is a mixed-stream facility so you don’t have to separate the cardboard from the other materials. Most centers do appreciate your taking the time to break down the boxes first.


2. Use them as storage bins

Whether you’re storing items at home or at your storage unit, cardboard is an effective container for housing the things you’re not currently using. As we discussed in our previous blog post, plastic storage bins are sturdy, but their production contributes harmful pollutants to the environment. So consider using your sturdier leftover cardboard boxes for storage of clothing, books, keepsakes or whatever you’re putting on the back burner for a while. 


3. Donate them to people who are moving

At any given time, chances are you know someone who is about to move within the next month or two. You can save them a lot of the legwork you went through by passing along your boxes, and it will probably save you from having to break them all down. They’ll be grateful, and you’ll be able to unload most, if not all, of your boxes in one fell swoop. Don’t know anyone who’s about to move? Post your boxes’ availability on Facebook or craigslist, and you’ll probably get more takers than you can handle. 


4. Convert them into kids’ playhouses

Unfortunately, this won’t get rid of all your leftover boxes (unless you’re building a human Habitrail in your backyard), but it can help you dispense with some of the larger ones. You might need to help younger kids cut out some doors or windows, but if you hand a kid an empty box and some crayons or markers, you’ll probably see their imaginations run wild.