Moving can be a costly affair, especially when you add in hidden costs such as packing supplies (cardboard boxes, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, packing tape, etc.). But, what if you could save a buck or two on these kinds of supplies during your next move? Take a look around your house and you may find that you can!

Many household items can be substituted for traditional moving supplies with the same protection needed to keep your items intact. To figure out what you can use, think of all the specific supplies you would need to pack up your house for moving. Then tour each room of your home and find items that would work just as well.


The Kitchen

Packing up the kitchen is probably the most delicate part of your moving journey because the items being packed are usually breakable. You may find yourself going through mountains of paper and bubble wrap to properly cushion your china into the best-boxed configuration.

Instead of reaching for the bubble wrap, try wrapping your dishes in the alternative, reusable wrapping. Plates can be separated and cushioned from each other by a few layers of paper plates in between. You can take a few t-shirts nested into themselves and slip a stack of paper plate buffered plates inside. Fold the extra fabric over and gently place in the box. Repeat until all of your plates are packed snugly inside.

Glasses can be treated in a similar manner. All you need is a few soft clothing articles or towels. Stuff the inside of the glass with whatever garment you’re using, whether it be a sports sock, a t-shirt, or a tea towel and wrap the extra fabric around the exterior. Wrap and repeat, placing each glass snugly inside the box. Use throw pillows from around the house to fill up extra box space and prevent the load from getting too heavy.


The Library

If you have a library filled with a sizable amount of books, skip boxing them up altogether. You’ll save a pretty penny in moving boxes if you bind the books together instead. Use rope or bungee cord, whatever you have in the house, and wrap a stack of six or seven similarly sized books together much like you would put a ribbon on a present. If you want to protect the books a bit, consider wrapping them in a towel first.


The Bedroom

There’s no sense taking clothes out of the dresser just to put them right back in when you get to where you’re going. Instead, protect the clothes by putting them in grocery bags or garbage bags, then place them right back in the drawer you pulled them from. They can sit in the drawer while in transit. Then the drawers can be removed when you’re ready to move the dresser into your next home. The drawers can be carried in individually to lessen the burden of carrying a full dresser inside your new home.


Don’t Buy Boxes

There are only so many containers you’ll find lying around your home you can use to hold items during your move. When you’ve filled those, you may be tempted to go to your local storage center or home improvement store and pay an arm and a leg for new boxes. Don’t bother. With a little planning ahead of time, you can coordinate with friends, family, and neighbors to hold onto boxes they come across six months out from your move date.

Or you can cruise behind local stores and supermarkets to see that there are plenty of boxes to be had. Wine stores carry just the right boxes for packing your more fragile glassware. It may be worth popping in one and asking them what they have available. Often, there are specific days that are best for picking up boxes, so best to ask.

If you or people you know shop online frequently, ask them months ahead of time to start saving their package filler such as bubble and pillow wrap. You may be surprised at how much packing material you’re able to collect if you ask enough of the right people.


Container Rental

Reusable moving tubs are starting to become more popular as an alternative to cardboard boxes. These tubs and similar containers, such as crates and cartons can be rented at a local storage or moving company.  The cost of renting these containers may be comparably cheaper to purchasing brand new cardboard boxes, and it’s a lot better for the environment.


Moving Blankets

Chances are you may have an ugly blanket or two lying around the house you won’t mind destroying. Consider using these instead of rental blankets to protect scratchable furniture when loading into the moving truck.



Tape is a kind of an inevitable part of moving when you’re using cardboard boxes. It’s a necessary cost in making sure the bottom doesn’t fall out from under while you’re hauling a heavy box up a set of stairs. But the top of the box is a different story. If you don’t think it’s necessary to tape the top up, then don’t bother. Yes, you still have to use tape, but at least you can cut down on how many rolls you’ll have to buy.



Whatever you do, don’t pack up liquids in a box and expect them not to leak all over. If you do, it may result in a mess of soggy cardboard all over the moving truck floor. Instead, save some money and a headache by reusing those open face boxes available at the local warehouse store. By arranging liquids such as soaps, shampoos, and detergents together in one of these open boxes, you can keep an eye on the lids and help out the environment by using one less brand new box.

Of course, there are plenty of other options to go green during your next move. Just take a few minutes to look around your home and do some brainstorming, and you’ll be sure to come up with a few. By doing so you’ll be saving money on a costly venture and preserving valuable resources in the process.


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