9 sustainable tips for moving house

Moving to a new house can be stressful, so it’s no surprise we can often opt for efficiency over sustainability. These simple tips will help show you how you can make your next move more eco-friendly without slowing things down.

1. Rent a truck

Moving house can require a lot of driving, especially depending on where you’re relocating to. As tempting as it may be to do multiple trips in your car if you’re moving nearby, it’s not exactly environmentally friendly – so consider renting a truck instead. Not only will this cut down the number of trips you’ll need to take, you’ll be minimising your emissions and reducing your carbon footprint too.

2. Declutter your current space

Who wants to haul a bunch of unwanted items only to have to sort through them after moving house? No thanks! Start off fresh in your new place by going through your items as you pack and reducing waste. Save some cash to put towards your moving expenses by listing the items you no longer want online or consider having a garage sale before your moving day.

If you’ve got enough on your plate with moving, or you’d prefer to be charitable, donate your unwanted items to local thrift stores or shelters for those in need.

3. Create rags from unwanted fabrics

It’s no secret one of the other not-so-fun jobs that comes with moving house is cleaning. In the lead-up to your move, grab unwanted linen (or tattered clothing) that’s not suitable for donation and tear the item up into rags. This will avoid the need for buying cloths or paper towel, and save you some extra coin in the process.

4. Plan your meals

Food can be a hassle while moving, especially when you’ve got a lot of it. Ahead of your move, plan out ways to use up what’s in your fridge and pantry. Sites like Super Cook are great for combating food waste, simply pop in the ingredients your working with and it’ll share recipes that match what you already have.

Got a little time up your sleeve? Spend an afternoon prepping meals you can freeze. Not only will they transport well, you’ll just need a cooler, you’ll also be less likely to order take-out while you’re settling in.

Tip: If you’ve done a pantry clean out and discovered you’ve got too many canned goods, find out where your closest Foodbank or shelter is and donate the item to them rather than throwing them away.

5. Collect used cardboard boxes from local businesses

Boxes are one of the most important items when moving but buying them each time isn’t eco-friendly or cost effective. Go for a stroll in your suburb and ask a local company if they’ve got any used boxes you can take off their hands. Chances are they’re only going to break them down as waste anyway and you might even discover a new local gem in the process.

If the thought of going into a store and asking for cardboard boxes makes you shudder, don’t stress, you can also hire boxes and packing materials. A quick search and you’ll find a number of companies across Australia who’ll drop off and collect the moving boxes for you – too easy!

Tip: After you’ve moved, squirrel your moving boxes away in the garage for the next time you or a family member/friend moves.

6. Get inventive when packing

Don’t have enough boxes? No problem! When you’re packing see everything as a potential vessel. Use suitcases to pack your clothes, luggage as moving boxes, pots to store kitchen utensils, buckets for laundry and bathroom items, the options are endless. You’ll need to get a little creative, but you’ll be surprised at the hacks you can come up with.

7. Ditch bubble wrap

Say ‘no’ to bubble wrap and Styrofoam beans and ‘yes’ to soft fabrics. Slide socks over wine glasses, wrap plates with t-shirts and protect fragile items with towel – you’ve got to move all these fragile items anyway so why not make them double as protection? If you happen to run out of soft fabrics, newspaper is also another easy, cost-effective, alternative.

8. Pack your kitchen last

The kitchen is often the first place that springs to mind when we think of moving, but it should be the last area you pack up. Packing up the kitchen too early means you often need to resort to plastic cutlery, plates and cups – why should your lifestyle suffer? By packing up this area last, you’ll avoid creating unnecessary waste.

If you absolutely must pack up this space, create a separate kitchen box that contains all the must have items you’ll need before moving day and for your first night in the new place. Think crockery, cutlery, wine glasses, pyjamas, etc.

9. Be conscious of recycling

Moving is a big task and accumulating trash is unavoidable. Chances are between the cleaning, packing and moving, there’s going to be quite a bit you’ll want to get rid of. As tempting as it might be to just do one big trip to the dump, make a plan for how you’re going to dispose of waste responsibly.

Find out where the nearest electronic recycling drop-off is for old appliances and cords. If you’re doing a big study clean-up, look up your local recycling centre and invest in a paper shredder (and use it as mulch in your new garden – these are biodegradable packing materials at their finest).

Organise your waste into piles and plot out on a map all the drop-off spots, this will make the process more efficient and ensure you’re not driving further than you need to.

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