Moving to a new home is never easy, but planning ahead is one of the keys to a successful transition. Add some green-minded ideals to the process and you may find a winning formula that can ultimately upgrade quality of life in your new space. Consider the following green tips when preparing to move.
DownsizingWhen moving, downsizing helps lighten the load and prevents hauling unnecessary clutter from place to place. When done thoroughly, it may even allow for the use of a smaller truck on moving day. Either way, for best results start well in advance so there is time to make potentially big decisions regarding particular belongings that may still hold sentimental value but no longer have practical use. For instance:
- Books: While digitized versions of books are gaining popularity, we all have a shelf or two of soft and hard covers that have not been touched in years. There may even be others sitting in boxes in the closet or attic. Go through them one by one, deciding if you’ll truly read them again. If they are not rare you can always pick up a new copy down the road.
- Letters: As time passes, so does our connection to certain things like old letters and greeting cards. If it is not truly sentimental, scan or take digital shots and toss everything in the recycling box.
- Clothing: Is the closet hard to close? Are your drawers overstuffed? Excluding seasonal wear or outfits for special occasions, if it has not been worn over the past two months, set it aside as a hand-me-down or for donation.
BoxesOnce you have completed downsizing it is time to start packing, but instead of purchasing new boxes, go green and reuse. Where is the best place to find boxes?
- Social media: Post on social media sites that you are seeking boxes and you are likely to get a few leads on where to pick them up. After all, people are moving all the time, and someone out there may be willing to pass theirs on to you.
- Stores: Ask at local department stores that discard a lot of boxes if you could take some after they restock. Otherwise, search recycling bins behind malls.
- Work: Bring boxes home from the office after deliveries are received.
PackingProtecting fragile items can be one of the trickiest parts of packing, especially when others may be doing the actual moving and you must trust them with your breakables. However, instead of buying polystyrene peanuts and other materials that are not easily recyclable, utilize things at your immediate disposal from around the home:
- Linens: Linens and articles of clothing that do not need special care can be used to wrap breakables.
- Newspaper: Crumpled-up newsprint and old magazines can go a long way in terms of wrapping glass when moving. Junk mail is another alternative, so put aside a box and start collecting.
- Toys: Items like stuffed animals can be used in the same ways as towels and winter jackets to help protect your belongings.
Moving dayWhen moving day finally arrives and it is clear what is being transferred to the new living space, don’t forget the following checklist:
- Recycle: Make sure to recycle anything left behind.
- Donate: All items that you are not taking but were not able to sell or give away can be donated.
- Clean: When doing the final cleaning, try to use eco-friendly cleansers that will not harm the environment or your health.