Live Green and Earn Points


Packing Up: Tips to Keep Your Move Eco-Sane

Written by Leah Ingram .
Moving can be a headache, but it shouldn't put a strain on the environment. Follow these four tips to green your transition.
Originally Published: 02/11/10

Got a move in your future? If so, consider employing one or more of these green strategies that should also save you some green.

  1. Sell your stuff before you pack the truck.

    Put some cash back in your wallet by offloading your items via a yard sale, Kashless or eBay before packing up your home. I know we were able to get about $100 spending money just by taking the time to identify items we didn't want or need to take with us when we moved, so we sold them. Plus, by doing this, we created less trash after our move. Also, the fewer things you have to the move, the less you'll spend paying movers.

  2. A typical family spends around $45 on moving boxes, while renting only costs an average of $23.

  3. Rent boxes instead of buying.

    This saves big time in a number of ways. First, you don't waste gas driving around looking for empty boxes to use. Second, you don't have to drive to the store to buy boxes — companies like Rent Your Boxes will drop off the boxes for you and then pick them back up when your move is over. And third, renting is cheaper than buying. A typical family spends about $45 on moving boxes. If you rent them, you'll spend about $23. Plus, you'll get part of your money back when you return the rented boxes. I doubt you'll find the same deal from a retailer.

  4. Use environmentally friendly packing materials that are also free.

    I'm talking about using your clothing, throw rugs and rags to wrap your goods so you don't have to spend money on packing peanuts or bubble wrap. Shredded paper also works great to cushion breakables. Then, when you're done with your move, you can put the shredded paper in the compost, and the clothing, rags and rugs in the laundry to clean up.

  5. Rent the smallest truck possible.

    The bigger the moving truck, the more it will cost—and the more gas it will suck up. If you'd like to save some green—and do right by Mother Nature—figure out how to move yourself efficiently without having a big truck hauling all of your stuff. The folks at Flat Rate Movers also suggest asking if your mover has any green options, such a trucks that use biodiesel.

Any other tips to have a green move that saves green? Let us know in the comments below!

Leah Ingram is the author of Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less (Adams Media, 2010) and founder of the popular blog Suddenly Frugal.

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  • Elaine F. 4 years ago
    great ideas.
  • 5 years ago
    i reuse all packing supplies that come w/things i've ordered on-line
  • 5 years ago
    I am fixing to move and these ideas are very helpful. Thank you~~~
  • 5 years ago
    Have a yard sale and minimize your move.. If you dont think you will use it and you havent sold it.. Give to a non-profit organization. It will not only save your back on the big day but will also allow you to get a smaller truck to move.