Whether you’re moving an office, getting settled into a new home, or taking goods out of storage, one thing is certain. You’ll end up with a whole lot of boxes at the end of the process. In order to make your new office or home look the way you want it to, all those messy boxes will need to go.
There are four options open to you at this point. First (and laziest), is to throw them away. That’s a terrible waste, especially if you paid good money for the boxes when you were moving to storage or packing up your old home.
Option two is to flatten the boxes as much as possible and pile them up in the basement or the attic. That way they will be there if or when you need them again, but take care- cardboard boxes are a magnet for damp, especially if stored in a basement. Make sure they are placed loosely on end, with a little airing space in between, rather than left in a pile.
Option three is direct recycling. Thick cardboard like the stuff used to make boxes usually needs to be kept separate from paper and other recyclable goods, but it certainly can be recycled and this is much better than throwing it away to end up as landfill.
However, from an environmental perspective reuse is better than destruction, even if recycling is involved. If you can pass a box on to someone else to use, no energy needs to be spent making a new box from your recycled cardboard. And of course, it’s also great from a social perspective. You can save someone else from paying for boxes or taking the trouble to collect them from local stores.
The first step is to break down your boxes so they can be transported and stored flat. Whenever you unpack, take care not to rip or damage the box. Use a sharp blade to cut through the tape holding the flaps closed, not through the cardboard. This also helps make sure you won’t accidentally slice too deep and damage your belongings.
Once the boxes are flattened, ask around your friends and family. Someone might have a use for them. You don’t need to spend all day on the phone. Just post a quick ‘Anybody need good cardboard boxes?’ message to your Facebook profile or send out a tweet.
Free services like Craigslist are happy to take ads from people looking to give things away, or you could join your local Freecycle group. Freecycle operates at a local level almost worldwide and aims to connect people who have things to give away with the people who want or need them. You might even find one or two things for your new home being offered by other members.
If nobody replies or you still have some boxes left over, ask a local storage & moving company if they want them. A quick call to the manager of the nearest storage complex and all your box problems could be solved.