6 min read

What to Do with Moving Boxes After Moving

Havana Dauncey
What to Do with Moving Boxes After Moving

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Congrats! You’ve finally unpacked everything and finished your move! But wait, it’s not over yet — what are you going to do with that enormous pile of boxes sitting in the middle of your lounge? You know the pile that causes stress just by looking at it. Well, it’s time to say goodbye.

If the average move uses around 60 moving boxes and an average of 20 000 South Africans move houses each year, then that’s over a million moving boxes used per year in South Africa. The question is — where do they all go?

Fortunately, you have quite a few options when it comes to dealing with that pile of moving boxes. Some are quick and easy, while others may require a bit more time and effort but are worth it — it’s entirely up to which one is the best for you.

Here are 7 things to do with moving boxes after moving!

1. Throw Away Moving Boxes Responsibly

Probably the easiest thing you can do with your pile of moving boxes is throw them away - but do so responsibly.

You can either drop them off at your local landfill site, have someone come pick them up for you or simply flatten and stack them next to your black bin on black bin day.

While this may be the easiest method, it’s not great for the environment and it’s also just such a waste. There are many more clever and creative things to do with your moving boxes after your move — from earning a few extra bucks to helping your garden grow! Let’s check them out…

2. Recycle Moving Boxes

Moving homes, unfortunately, takes a big toll on the environment — from all the waste to the truck’s carbon emissions. One way to alleviate that stress, do your part in protecting the planet and have a greener move is to recycle your moving boxes and other packing materials.

Luckily, recycling in South Africa is pretty easy!

Here are different ways you can recycle your moving boxes :

  • You can drop your moving boxes off at your nearest recycling centre or drop-off.

  • You can even get a recycling collection team to come to pick them up from you.

  • You can even just sit them outside on bin day if you have regular recycling collection services in your area.

It’s a small consideration but it does wonders for the environment and isn’t even that much more effort than sending it to sit in a landfill.

3. Give Away Your Moving Boxes

With the stress of planning a move still fresh in your mind, we’re sure you remember the pain of having to find the right moving boxes. So now you have the chance to be the guardian angel in someone else’s life by giving your moving boxes away to someone who needs them.

Here are some options to explore:

  • Check with friends and family if anyone is in need of some moving boxes.

  • Post on your neighbourhood group if any of your neighbours are planning a move.

  • Chat with your colleagues at the office if they or anyone they know may want them.

  • Contact local moving companies — often, movers are more than happy to take moving boxes from you when you’re done.

  • Check out Freecycle — a non-profit organisation that’s created a global network connecting people who want to give away or get things for free.

While you're giving away those boxes, why not recommend the easiest moving solution in South Africa– Wise Move! The platform that connects you instantly to the top local moving companies with just a few clicks.

4. Donate Moving Boxes

If you can’t find anyone preparing for a move, you can always be very kind to donate your boxes to those you can never get enough:

  • Charities: It’s a small thing for you, but free boxes can make a big difference in the hands of a charity, especially if it aids them in providing resources to those in need.

  • Schools: Whether it’s for storing supplies, filing documents or child’s play, schools can always use a few extra boxes.

  • Local shops: Looking to cut costs, some small local stores would be more than happy to take a bunch of boxes off your hands to be used for storage or distribution.

5. Sell Moving Boxes

Moving houses probably took a nice big chunk out of the bank account — selling your moving boxes could be an easy way to make some of that money back.

It does require a little extra work to find those willing to buy it, but here are some good places to look:

  • Movers: Selling your quality boxes to movers could be a great way to get rid of them. Just note that the best movers won't take boxes that have any damage.

  • Local shops: Some stores may be interested in buying second-hand boxes at a bargain price.

  • Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree: Connect with people in your areas looking to buy cheaper second-hand moving boxes.

6. Reuse Moving Boxes

Before getting rid of your moving boxes, why not see if you can get some extra uses out of them? The moving box design is simple but surprisingly versatile. Here are some useful and creative ways to reuse your moving boxes:

  • Storage: You can use them for some extra storage, either around the house or if you need to store some of your belongings in a storage unit after moving.

  • DIY home projects: Moving boxes can be used in all sorts of creative ways, including:

    • A case for a special gift to be wrapped up all nicely with a bow.

    • Floor protection when doing a paint job.

    • Decorated napkin holders.

    • Home decorations made with some adult arts and crafts.

    • Clever and pretty organisers to hold household items.

    • A new scratch post or playhouse for your cat.

  • Child’s play: Give children cardboard boxes and some arts and crafts tools, and they’ll be able to keep themselves occupied the entire day.

  • Future move: If you only plan on staying in your new home for the short term, you can keep your boxes for any future moves.

7. Compost Moving Boxes

Did you know that moving boxes can do wonders for your gardening? Here are a few ways your pile of moving boxes can take your gardening to the next level:

  • Kneel on a flattened cardboard box to keep your knees clean.

  • Use a cardboard box as a compost bin.

  • Add them to your compost pit (only if it is uncoated and not heavily dyed).

  • Wrap a piece of cardboard at the base of your plant for some extra protection.

  • Build a raised planting bed with a cardboard box as a base.

  • Cover weed-filled areas with flattened boxes and mulch for a week to kill weeds without chemicals.

With so many great options, that pile of moving boxes in your lounge will be gone in no time! You just have to find the best option (or even options) that suits you.

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