Moving house can be an expensive and waste intensive activity, beginning with the belongings, boxes and packing material that end up in landfill, straight through to the large moving trucks and harsh cleaners that are used during the process.
There are a number of things that you can do to both minimise both the cost of moving, as well as its impact on the environment.
Start decluttering early
Your best intentions for all of those old belongings go out the window when it comes to crunch time. If possible start six to eight weeks early so you have time to declutter responsibly. Everything that your removalist moves for you costs money, and burns petrol. If you have not used an item for a year, think very hard about letting it go.
Sell or give away unwanted belongings
Before you move, take the time to simplify your life. Sites like Gumtree and eBay have made selling your unwanted items even easier, and the extra money you make can be put towards starting afresh at your new home.If you don’t think you can sell your unwanted items, why not donate them to friends, relatives or charity. If you can’t think of someone who wants an item, then why not advertise them on Gumtree for free. You’d be amazed at some of the things that people want to take off of your hands.
Rent your boxes
Many removalists allow you to rent plastic containers for the period of your move, often for less than buying cardboard boxes. Even if cardboard boxes are reused (which many aren’t), they can usually only be reused three to four times. Plastic moving boxes can be reused many hundreds of times, before being finally recycled and made into new boxes.
Reuse packing materials
If you’ve moved before, you may be familiar with having to store masses of leftover moving and packing supplies. No matter where you live, there’s a good chance you’ll know someone moving, and you can give them your packing paper and bubble wrap. If you don’t know someone moving, list the packing materials on Gumtree and they will be snapped up very quickly.
Use what you’ve got
When packing up breakable items, use t-shirts, socks, pillows and blankets to help protect them. This not only minimises excess packing material waste, but it consolidates your belongings into less boxes (and saves you buying extra packing materials).
Put everything in a box
Saving money by using fewer boxes is tempting, but when you are using removalists, time is money, and every time one of them takes a trip out to the truck with a loose item, they waste a few minutes and those minutes begin to add up.Making sure everything is packed and labeled in a box ensures that the process is efficient, at both ends of the move, and your belongings will arrive safe and secure.
Before handing over the keys to your old home, you’ll need to ensure that it’s thoroughly cleaned. Put together a small cleaning kit that you can carry easily. The bulk of your cleaning supplies will be boxed up, but if you plan ahead, you can ensure that the cleaners you use are biodegradable and non-toxic.Also consider using rags (from some of those old clothes) to save on paper towel waste.
Buy used items
Once you arrive at your new home, you many need a few additional pieces of furniture.
Consider the environment and check back on Gumtree or eBay before heading off to scour the furniture stores. You could help out someone moving getting rid of items they no longer need.