What to do with leftover moving boxes


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You might find yourself swimming in leftover packing materials after you unpack and settle in. If your household is huge and you had a lot of items to pack and transport, chances are high that you have some boxes left. No matter the size of the boxes, it is good to know what your options are once the relocation is over. Some people throw them away as they unpack gradually, while others pile it all up and remove it in one go. Luckily, most of the packing materials can be repurposed somehow. But leftover moving boxes are quite lucrative. They can be reused in many ways, and best movers Ottawa are there to show you how.

First things first, at what stage of the move are you in?

Right off the bat, we must check if you are still in the process of moving or if you have already relocated safely. Do you have your moving checklist in place and your budget dedicated? Have you covered the packing process and your personal documents and legalities? And finally, have you found the best local movers Ottawa to assist you on this journey? If not, you should complete all those tasks at least 2-3 weeks before your moving date. Having a good plan means taking care of all this in advance!

You will find your relocation much easier to carry out once there are certain steps to follow. And what’s even more important is that we will probably not have any packing material left. As a result, you will have more time on your hands and fewer boxes to deal with after your move. The most important is to contact your moving company on time as that is where you should provide an inventory list. If you had some dilemma at first, everything will be much clearer and you may proceed to your next step.

Make great use of your leftover moving boxes.

After the move, you’ll probably have 20 to 40 moving boxes of all shapes and sizes. What to do with it? Even if you fold them nicely, they will take up a lot of space wherever you put them. So, the best solution would be to keep them in your garage, attic, shed, or in some storage unit Ottawa residents reccomend, of course, if you you rent one. But if you have no desire to keep any of them, simply throw those leftover boxes out.

Cardboard box full of clothes
You can use your leftover boxes to store stuff inside your home and have a good temporary solution.

You can also give them to your friends, donate them to a local shelter, or recycle them. Keep in mind that shelters and charitable organizations are in great need of leftover moving boxes. Of course, you will need to get to know your new area to achieve this. With a quick internet search, you will find all the local shelters and organizations that you will be able to reach in no time. Therefore, that would be the most satisfying solution for all parties involved.

Find another purpose for leftover boxes in your garage!

By finding another purpose for leftover boxes, we mean keeping them as packaging for some other items. If you have a garage, you probably have a lot of tools in there too. You can use smaller moving boxes to place them in there. As soon as furniture movers Ottawa leave, you can set the boxes aside and focus on your garage later. While in there, look for other items you can place in boxes as well. These could be equipment pieces, smaller devices or appliances, and everything that is just sitting in your garage without protection. Proceed to label each one of them and place them neatly where suitable. Your future work and the entire garage space will be much more organized once you know where your tool pieces are. 

woman surrounded with moving boxes
Just take some time to look around your household, and you will find new solutions for your boxes

What you need to avoid when it comes to moving boxes and your tools is placing dangerous liquids and solutions in them. Even though boxes are pretty strong, they won’t be if this particular liquid touches them. It will create a mess and your boxes will be completely destroyed. All chemicals should be stored properly in metal containers away from your kids and pets.

Make a couple of cool drawer dividers!

People tend to organize their homes better after every relocation to avoid having to clean and create a mess all over again. You will most likely end up getting a couple of new items for your new home, but you can also make some from your leftover moving boxes. Drawer dividers are something every household must have, especially in bedrooms and bathrooms. The process is more than easy and all you need are your small and medium boxes and some nice paper or wrapping material. Take everything out of those drawers you wish to divide and carefully place boxes inside. If you want, you can measure them prior to this so that everything can fit properly.

Proceed to use wrapping materials and decorate boxes the way you want. Everything will be over faster than you thought and your new drawers will be ready to use. As a result, you will be able to place more items and know where everything is all the time. Keep in mind that if your boxes are dirty or damaged, the results will not be as satisfying. Besides that, it will not be healthy to keep them where you sleep, so it is best you skip this part. For longer use, only boxes that are clean and whole should be placed in these rooms. And even with these cool solutions, some of you may not have enough time to deal with the rest of the boxes. In that case, your good plan and residential movers Ottawa will guide you through the entire process without expenses and excess.

Make yourself nice plant boxes!

Do you have a nice and cozy balcony that you wish to decorate with some plants? There is no need to spend money on actual plant boxes when you have enough material to make them at home. Your boxes will do just fine, and all you need to do is to shape and secure them properly. Begin by removing dirt and leftover tape from your boxes. Then cut them into the shape you need and form small holes at the very bottom. You can even place a piece of the garden net at the bottom for extra protection of the roots. The last step is to place soil and your plants in a good spot on your balcony.

green plants
Place some plants in your leftover boxes

You can make as much as you wish as your new plant boxes will last for a long time. If you recently finalized office moving Ottawa, your boxes will probably be of high quality. They will serve you and your plants well in the sun, but once the weather conditions become harsh, make sure to protect them. You can simply place something to cover the boxes and roots, or simply replant them in a different box.

The bigger your home is the more options you will have

By the time you decide what moving services Ottawa you need, you will know what kind of relocation is coming your way. If you are moving to another place temporarily, then there is only one use for your leftover moving boxes. Set them aside until you start using them again and repeat the process for as long as your boxes last. If your new home is huge, trust your instincts and leave boxes for some time. Even if none of these ideas work for you, you never know what the future may bring.

After all, if there is enough space, they won’t be in the way and you will even forget that you still have them. Just be careful about the place you decide to store them in your home. Avoid wet places and rooms where your kids can reach them. Before you know it, your boxes will be ruined or will become your new favorite toy. When you notice that something similar happened, just throw them away as they won’t be able to hold anything in them ever again.

Prepare gift cards for the upcoming holidays!

Nowadays, people are getting more and more creative in every aspect of their lives. Thanks to the internet and information flow being super fast, you probably noticed that a lot of people are turning to DIY holiday crafts. Your leftover moving boxes are more than perfect for this occasion, and you should definitely try them out. This would be an even better solution if your relocation was carried out by small movers Ottawa and you just had a couple of moving boxes. What you need to do is get some cool markers, glitter, and other things you need for making cards. Decorate them the way you want and send them out to the people you love.

DIY Christmas cards
Make your friends and family happy with creative DIY gift cards

Using dry plants is an awesome idea as well and will go hand in hand with the material the cards are made of. Of course, don’t forget to use pain if your boxes have labels on them. Your family and friends will love the idea and will keep their cards forever. In case there are no upcoming holidays in the near future, why don’t you send out some invitations for your moving-in party? The message will be fantastic, and you won’t be spending money on getting real invitations. Always rely on your creative side and you will always win.

People need cardboard boxes every day!

As we mentioned before, you can make great use of your leftover moving boxes even if you do not need them. Check with your friends, relatives, coworkers, and neighbors if anyone needs some. People are moving constantly, and we are sure that someone knows someone who needs them right away. They will be grateful to have a couple of free moving boxes apart from those included in the packing supplies Ottawa service. You will get rid of them without spending money or having to go somewhere to leave them. Feel free to get in touch with your entire community and offer boxes. This will be a great way to bond with them and show your good spirit in times of need.

If not for moving, they can be used to pave the floor while doing construction, painting, fixing your vehicle, or as an in-home storage solution. Not to mention that you’ll save them a lot of money because you are providing moving and packing materials for free. And if they have a big relocation on hand, it can easily add up. In the end, you can use them yourself for the same situation we mentioned already. Check your new home for additional renovation work and leave boxes in case you may need them in the near future.

Think about re-selling leftover boxes

Now, probably the most beneficial solution is to sell your boxes online. The best way is to list them on Craigslist or any similar platform. And remember when you were packing fragile items in those better-quality boxes? Those boxes will come into play now. Moving companies, recycling centers, and direct buyers will pay from 50 cents to $2 bucks for a moving box. Prices vary in size and the quality of the box. Of course, the shape of the box matters as well. What you need to do is take them out, get a couple of good photos, and put them on a website of your choice. Make sure to include all the details and the fact that boxes have been used so that buyers can deal with them easily. 

Piggy bank and coins on the table
Think about re-selling leftover packing materials and reducing your moving costs a bit.

Boxes that are torn apart should be recycled. Therefore, after doing the math, you can end up with $50-$100 bucks depending on how many boxes you have. And this is not something you should only do when moving. Boxes accumulate in the average household over the year. If you start saving and if you have space for it, you can do this once every three months. Gather all the boxes you have in your household, from shoes, clothes, and other items, and act like a real professional. Put those boxes back in circulation, and raise your yearly home budget a bit.

Boxes can be fun!

Carton boxes are fun indeed. If you have kids and a backyard, get ready for some quality time. You can use cardboard boxes to create science projects for your kids. Or you can assemble a fort, dollhouse, or maze, and have a blast. Moreover, you can make puzzle games, picture frames, jewelry, and many more. Your kids will appreciate the effort and the outcome. Try to be as creative as possible and entertain your kids after the relocation. They may find it difficult to adapt in those first weeks, so make them feel like they are a huge part of the unpacking process. Place a couple of boxes in their room and ask them to categorize their toys or clothes. They will enjoy every single second of it while you deal with other tasks in your household. More importantly, you’ll have a ton of fun in the process!

You can have tons of fun with leftover moving boxes
You should use your boxes and have some fun with them. Your kids will find many ways to use it.
Let’s not forget your pets. Your cat will appreciate a good box from where they can observe the crazy human world. And your dog will love to chew on it as much as possible. For those who keep rabbits as pets, get ready to enjoy watching them run through all those boxes. Also, keep in mind that you can use it as a litter box or a temporary housing solution. There are tons of ideas and we are sure you’ll figure something out and make your boxes useful.

There will be no leftover moving boxes if you hire movers to pack you instead

We have a great solution for you if you do not want to meddle with the whole packing process. If you have packing services Ottawa at your disposal, let your movers bring the supplies, pack, and unpack you. They will also take away all leftover packing materials so you won’t have to worry about a thing. But you should know that you can get a partial moving services as well. You can obtain your own packing materials or re-use the old ones while movers help you pack. It is a great service you shouldn’t neglect to use, so keep that in mind.

What about other materials?

Of course, there are plenty of other packing materials involved, but not all can be re-used for a great purpose. So, we will make a shortlist of materials you can put back into service:

  • Styrofoam
  • Blister pack
  • Plastic bins
  • Packing paper
  • Tarps and covers

All other materials are pretty much unusable. For example, packing tape loses its bonding power and you can only throw it away. The same goes for labels and wrapping paper. There is no need to try to use them again as you will only waste your time and become anxious quickly. They served you well, and when the time comes, simply throw them away for a more neat home.

Other things to know about leftover moving boxes

With so many options in front of you, it seems like moving boxes won’t be an issue for you or your household. If you don’t find them suitable, don’t waste your precious space and throw the boxes away. You will be less anxious in a neat home, no matter how many boxes you have to get rid of. Even though all these ideas are pretty different, they still have a lot of things in common, and that leads us to everything you should avoid. To help you understand the importance of that, here are some of the things you should keep in mind:

  • Avoid gifting or giving away boxes that are damaged or used a couple of times
  • Don’t take more boxes on purpose 
  • Avoid leaving them outside for a long time
  • Ask the movers to help you if you can’t think of a good solution for your leftover moving boxes

Final word

And there you go, we provided a few good ways to reuse leftover moving boxes. We are sure you’ll find many more if you use your imagination. And remember, do not throw your boxes away. There is always someone near you who can put them to great use. The city of Ottawa has many places you can check out and offer your boxes to. If you don’t manage to make yourself happy by reusing them, somebody else will appreciate your decision to share them.

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