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Moving Tips: An Eco-Friendly + Soul-Saving Guide

green home life

Moving is stressful but there are ways to simplify the process. As an expert mover with a dozen times under my belt, from as short a distance as a quarter mile to cross-country (twice), I've learned a lot by making every imaginable moving mistake. Now I find all my fragile items in perfect condition and know where to be green and save a little green during a move. Here are a few nuggets of my moving wisdom:

Cull and donate.

A mountain of things come into our possession over time and moving is an opportunity to evaluate what's actually useful or meaningful. Ask yourself whether an item's been used in the last year or if you'd replace the item if you lose it. If the answer is no on either count, simply donate, recycle or discard.  The best thing you can do when moving is to take only the items you love and use to your new home.

This part of the process is by no means easymoving is an emotional time, making it difficult to part with possessions. But giving an object a new life is beneficial for all. Moving and storing things you no longer need requires a surprising amount of energy, time, space and money.

Starting the culling process early is important, providing ample time to thoughtfully go through things. The body will ache less come moving day and you won't be left wondering what's in all those boxes once the movers leave.

Minimize single-use plastic packaging and store-bought boxes.

Bubble wrap is useful but when you consider its limited use and the longevity of plastic, it's best to reconsider. Newspaper is a terrific alternative. It's effective, free and compostable. Another idea is using bedding, towels, dishtowels, linens and the like to cushion fragile items. 

Avoiding brand new boxes is also environmentally-friendly. Not to  The expense of new cardboard boxes can add up. Start saving boxes from deliveries early on. Enlist the help of friends and family to do the same. If you live in an apartment building, ask the super to save you some clean boxes. He is likely to be happy to oblige and the cost is 100% free. 

Pack smart.

Most of the burdensome items in a home are difficult to pack. If you're bookworm, you'll find books are too heavy to pack all in a single box. If you fill a box full of clothing, the box can lose its integrity, softening and caving when stacked under other boxes.

In a move, it's best to assume whomever is moving the box will not pay attention to what's written on them. Neither 'fragile' or 'do not stack' will mean much in the haste of moving day so pack boxes in a way that protects what's within. This is best done by mixing things up. Using books to line the sides of boxes gives them extra structure. Clothing and other soft items can be used to fill in the gaps so boxes don't buckle. 

Rest and de-stress.

Stress can derail even the best laid plans, so learn to identify stressors and have a plan when stress hits. It helps to plan and assume that everything will take longer than expected. Remind myself that everything will get done. If the body or mind is at its limit, rest. Eating well and getting plenty of rest leading up to the move is also essential. Turn off the guilt and anxiety about not spending every waking moment doing something related to the move as it approaches. Find time for breathing exercises, a walk or a good meal with loved ones. 

If you're planning to move in the near future, we hope these tips are helpful.  Liberate yourself from things that no longer serve a purpose. Don't be afraid to ask loved ones for help. Don't fall victim to overwork and stress. And finally, a move is the perfect chance to start anew and create memories in a new home. What are your eco-friendly moving tips?

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