You’ve finished moving. You can feel the stress slipping from your shoulders and the exhaustion setting in. But now you have a giant pile of used moving boxes in the middle of your floor, and you can’t stand to look at them anymore. You have too many to fit in your dumpster, but you probably wouldn’t throw them in your dumpster anyway. That’s a lot of cardboard that’ll go to the landfill-so it’s best to recycle them somehow instead.
In an earlier blog post, we gave you a couple tips on how to recycle your boxes. However, this blog will go beyond recycling and give you other creative solutions as well. You could simply recycle your cardboard moving boxes at the nearest recycling facility, or you could just keep them in storage. But why not use them to help put your new life together? You can use your cardboard moving boxes for all kinds of tasks all over your home.
To get you started, we’ve given you a few creative ways to reuse your moving boxes below:
1. Storage Organizers
Even if your new home has a lot storage space, you still have to create a working system for organizing your storage. You could spend lots of money constructing a storage system, or you could use a resource you already have: your moving boxes. They can help you store several different items, including:
- Food storage
- Christmas decorations
- Halloween costumes
- Winter/summer clothes
- Important documents and keepsakes
- Crafts and art projects from your children
- Any extra dishes, sheets, electronics, etc.
Just remember to sort and label the boxes after you put storage items in them. After you’ve done that, you’ll have a storage system in place-and it won’t cost you a cent to create.
2. Weed Killers
Don’t have time to sit there and pull weeds as you acclimate to the new town? No problem. Your cardboard moving boxes can do it for you. Simply follow these steps, and you’ll have a weed-free yard in no time:
- Flatten the boxes and tear them into single-layer sections.
- Place the boxes over particularly weedy areas in your garden.
- Cover the cardboard with mulch.
- Wait until the cardboard heats the ground and kills any weeds and weed seeds. This could take a few days or a few weeks.
The cardboard keeps weeds and seeds from getting any sunlight, which prevents them from growing. It also insulates the ground, heating it until it kills any plant life beneath it. Remember that you can’t plant any desirable greenery in these areas while the cardboard does its work. You’ll have to wait until after the weeds have died.
3. Mess Guards
Need to check for leaks under your car or in your sink? Need to paint something? Put cardboard down under the area to protect your floors from damage. You should flatten the boxes if you plan to do a paint job, but you should keep them taped and whole if you want to protect your home against leaks. The box will catch any escaping liquid/debris and hold it until you can dump it out.
4. Toys for Kids or Pets
Cardboard boxes also make great toys for the little critters in your home, be those critters children or pets. If you have children, you can turn your cardboard boxes into a creative project. Some great projects include:
- Creating a puppet theater out of a larger box
- Building a backyard fort out of several boxes
- Making a costume-you can create a robot, knight, or simple “box man” costume out of a few smaller boxes.
- Creating a temporary sled out of a collapsed box-you can even use these sleds on grass in the summer
- Building play furniture
If you have pets, you probably won’t have to alter the box much to make it entertaining. Cats love cardboard of all kinds. You can build a miniature house for them, or you can leave the box whole-they’ll still love it. Dogs will also love chewing on or sleeping in the box, especially if they have blankets and toys to accent their new play space.
5. Gift-wrapping Boxes
Sometimes you need to put a gift into a box before you can wrap it. Stuffed animals, clothing, and other soft or abnormally shaped items don’t wrap well by themselves. If you keep your moving boxes around, you can simply place your gift in one of them and easily wrap the entire ensemble.
6. Mountings for Posters
Have posters that you want to frame? You can keep them from drooping inside their frames by giving them a cardboard backing. But even if you don’t want to frame them, a cardboard backing could also keep them from drooping on the wall. Glue the poster to the cardboard and pin or tape it to the wall from there.
Don’t think of that pile of cardboard boxes as a curse. Even though you’ve finished moving, those boxes can still have useful purposes. Use the tips above to reprocess your box pile and take control of your new home today.