Some of the most important supplies during a move are moving boxes. It requires copious amounts of them, but what do you do with them all once you’ve unpacked them at your new place? There are several options for what you can do with moving boxes after a move. Here are some ideas to choose from based on your individual needs.
Tips for Used Moving BoxesReuse and re-purpose them
Moving boxes can be used for a variety of purposes, especially if you invested in sturdy new ones for the move. You can reuse them to store things like seasonal décor or clothing (just be sure to clearly re-label them) or even re-purpose them in fun ways for your kids. They make a great foundation for a fort!
Store them for later use
Another option is to store them away for future use, whether it’s to save money on your next move or to use them whenever the need arises. The best way to do this is to break down the boxes so they are flat. All you’ll have to do is tape them up again later and re-label them and they will be good as new.
Give them away
There are many charities that are in need of boxes. Call around to some of the charities in your neighborhood to see if anyone needs them as boxes can be helpful for a variety of purposes. You can also list them on services like Facebook, Nextdoor or Craigslist and say that they are free to a good home, along with any other moving supplies you want to get rid of.
To recoup some of the money you invested in the move, you can sell boxes that are still in good shape at a discounted rate. Services like Facebook, Nextdoor, and Craigslist work for that, as well, or you can go directly to a specialty service like BoxCycle. There are also companies that specialize in selling boxes, so check with a local box broker to see what your options are.
Cardboard is a recyclable material, so recycling your boxes is good for the environment. You can put them out by the curb to be picked up by your community recycling service but before you do, check their guidelines. You may have to put out batches over the course of a few weeks as large quantities sometimes aren’t accepted by local services or request bulk pickup.
Alternatively, you could drive them to a local recycling center and drop them off. Make sure you always flatten the boxes whether leaving them by the curb or taking them to a center to make them easier to transport and recycle.
Turn them into compost
Another eco-friendly option is to use the cardboard boxes for compost gardens. You can use them for this purpose yourself or check with local compost gardens to see if they accept donations.
Moving can be an emotional time for anyone, but teens can take it especially hard. The lack of control paired with the fact that your teen years are some of the most stressful anyway is a recipe for anxiety.
To help them adjust to the move and maybe even get excited about it, follow these simple tips.
Moving Tips for TeensLet them ask question
Teens are likely to have a lot of questions about the move, especially if it’s not one they want to make. Respect their point of view by opening up a dialogue. Explain to them as much as you can about the move, then allow them to ask any questions they have. This will show them that you respect their opinions and personal experience in the matter and will likely put ease to any anxiety they were having by being kept out of the loop.
Keep them involved in the process
Keep them involved after the discussion, too. Take them house hunting, show them the moving timeline, let them pack up their own room, and bring them with you when you go prepare anything at the new home. The more control they have and more involved they feel in the process, the less anxiety around it they will feel.
Take trips to the new community
Moving to an entirely new community can be especially stressful for teens who are used to a certain school, group of friends, and set of activities to help them feel grounded in a time when so much else is changing. Instead of waiting until you move in to explore the new community, start doing it ahead of time. Check out the restaurants, shops, and entertainment in the area, as well as their new school, so they can get used to it. That way, when you do finally move, it won’t feel so strange and unfamiliar.
Encourage them to decorate their new space
One of the most fun parts of having a new place is decorating it. Encourage your teen to start planning out their new space and even take them shopping for some new stuff. Let them pick out paint colors and décor that they can get excited about. It’s a lot of fun to personalize a room, so it will give them something positive to look forward to.
Give them time to say goodbye
Even if they are excited about the move, give them time to say goodbye to what they are leaving behind. Consider letting them throw a going-away party just for their circle of friends. Also, let them visit all of the places they loved going to before the move – their favorite restaurants, shops, and anything else that they will miss.
Make return visits to your former community
If it’s possible, make some trips to your former community so your teen can see their friends and get a taste of their old home once in a while. It will help them transition into the new community and feel less like they are “losing” anything because it’s always there, available for them to return to.
Moving day and the few days following it are the most stressful. The last thing you want to do is go hunting through your kitchen boxes to find each thing you need to prepare a meal or at the very least comfortably eat the delicious food you just had delivered.
When you are packing up the kitchen, don’t pack everything up at once – put aside some essentials that you’ll want quick access to on moving day. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy your meals without any stress attached to the process. Label the box clearly and keep it with you in your own vehicle so it doesn’t end up inaccessible during the move.
Kitchen Essentials Box TipsFood
All of your perishable food will need to be unpacked and put away in your new refrigerator as soon as you move in to make sure it stays fresh. If you plan to wait to unpack the dry foods, put a few key items in your kitchen essentials box so you’ll have them available to cook the first night and next day you’re in the new home. Some dry foods to consider including are:
Canned food such as soup or veggies
Spices such as salt, pepper, and oil
Cutlery and dishware
Even if you get takeout, you’ll need certain cutlery and dishware to eat with. Paper plates, plastic cutlery, and disposable cups are great to use when moving to avoid having to carry anything heavy or wash anything. Whether you decide to separate some pieces of your real items or opt for disposable versions, here’s what you’ll need (be sure to bring enough for each person):
Cutlery (forks, spoons, knives)
If you plan on doing some cooking, separate the supplies you’ll need so they are handy as soon as you start getting hungry. We recommend keeping the recipes quick and easy since you’ll have a lot of other tasks on your plate when you are moving and settling in. Some things to consider packing in your essentials box are:
A large pot
Cooking utensils (knives, plastic spatula, tongs)
Plastic baggies or Tupperware for leftovers
Heat-resistant oven mitts and mats
If you decide that you don’t feel like cooking, have some backup options ready to go. Some ideas are:
Meal delivery service
Menu from a local deli
Of course, after you eat you’ll want to be able to clean up quickly and easily so you can get back to settling in and enjoying your new place. Make sure you have these cleaning supplies at the ready:
There are a lot of fun things to look forward to when you move into a new place. It is so exciting to customize the décor, start inviting your friends over, and make yourself at home. In fact, it can be tempting to start doing some of these things BEFORE you’ve even moved in.
It’s best to hold off on diving into certain projects and commitments until after you’ve moved in to save yourself stress and regret in the long run. Here are some things we recommend avoiding.
What You Should Wait to Do to a New Home Until After the MovePainting the walls
It can be tempting to paint the walls before you move in while the house is empty, but there can be a downside to this if you are opting for something other than a neutral color. You never know exactly how paint looks in a room until it dries. Light plays differently in every space, so a color that looks good in one home may look entirely different in another. Plus, your furniture may look different in the space, too.
That’s why it’s good to wait and live in the space for a few weeks before choosing paint colors. Once you’ve had a chance to settle in, you can start testing paint colors to see what looks best in each room with your belongings.
Any major renovations
Again, it’s tempting to take care of major renovations before you move in, but that doesn’t always work out as well as you’d expect. You may find that once you’ve moved in, you use the space differently than you thought you would. You may discover that the wall you had planned on knocking down won’t actually be as efficient for your lifestyle as you thought.
The same idea applies to cosmetic changes like flooring and cabinets – your taste may change once you move in. Live with it for a little while before making any major decisions you won’t be able to easily undo.
There is a lot going on when you first move into a home. You’re still unpacking and getting settled in. Before adding extra outdoor maintenance to your to-do list, give yourself some time to get the interior sorted before making any commitments to the landscaping. Like the interior, you’ll also have a chance to live in the home and make a more informed decision of what you want it to look like and how you want your outdoor space to function.
Making plans for guests
This is especially tricky if you are moving around the holidays but holding off making plans to host any guests in your new place is a good idea for the sake of your sanity. Putting a time limit on when you will have everything unpacked and settled is a recipe for stress. It’s best to give yourself plenty of time to get life back to normal before agreeing to host anyone in your new home.
Buying anything new
Everyone loves buying new things for their new home. There may be some things you need right off the bat before moving in, but we recommend on holding off on as much as you possible until you’ve unpacked and lived in the home for a few weeks. This will keep you from buying something that you later realize you didn’t need because you already had one just like it that you’d packed and forgotten about, or buying something only to find that you don’t have a space for it in the new place.
Labels are your best friends when you are moving. They help you keep things organized and under control to reduce stress throughout the process, from packing to unpacking. The more you label, the less you’ll have to worry about later.
While you may be tempted to rush through the packing process, we strongly recommend taking the extra few minutes to label the following items so you’ll save yourself a lot of time and headache in the long run.
What You Should Label When MovingEvery box
This may sound like a given, but you’d be surprised how many people actually leave some boxes unmarked. Don’t assume you’ll remember what’s in a particular box later. Doing so can cause a lot of stress later on when you have the whole house to unpack, you’re tired from the move, and you are digging through boxes looking for something specific.
Always label every box clearly and have a corresponding inventory list. Number each box and write the room on it, then list out the contents in a notebook or digital inventory list so you can always find exactly what you need by referring to it.
It’s smart to put together an essentials box for the whole family that includes things like toilet paper and cutlery, then an essentials box for each individual family member with things they will need immediate access to the first night in the new home. Make sure these boxes are clearly labeled as such and put aside so they don’t end up inaccessible on the truck or somewhere you can’t easily locate them.
Anything fragile or perishable
All boxes that contain items that are fragile or perishable, such as food, should be clearly marked so movers can handle them with extra care. Put these labels in easily spotted places on the boxes in bold letters so they don’t go unnoticed.
If you have any items that are unmarked, we recommend labeling them before you pack them. This includes things like food, hardware, and toiletries that may have been transferred to different packaging to make them safer to move. Instead of being stuck scratching your head about what’s inside later or wondering where you put what, clearly label them ahead of time to avoid any confusion.
Electrical wiring is some of the trickiest to set back up when you move into your new place. Before disassembling everything, take photos of the wiring and then clearly label everything so you know what goes where. It will save you a ton of time when you’re settling into your new place.
There are a lot of effective moving tips out there that will help you have a smooth move. We have covered many of our favorite moving tips on the blog. However, there are some moving tips that aren’t mentioned as often but are just as effective as the most common ones.
To really make your move as smooth as possible, incorporate these lesser-known moving tips into your process.
Less Talked About Moving TipsReserve parking spaces
If you are moving to an apartment building or a home with limited parking availability, be sure to make arrangements for parking ahead of moving day. Check with the complex, city or your neighbors to reserve space for the moving truck and any other vehicles that will need to park at your old and new homes the day of the move to avoid any conflicts or tickets.
Use cling wrap for liquids
It’s always frustrating to open a box of toiletries or cleaning products to find that one (or more) of its contents has leaked all over the box. An easy fix for this is to wrap each item in cling wrap, an inexpensive plastic wrap that will prevent liquids from escaping. It’s a quick, cheap step that will save you a lot of headache!
Plan out your meals
With all that you have to worry about during a move, what you eat often becomes an afterthought. This leads to a lot of unhealthy takeout and drive-thru meals. To stay healthy and nourished during your move without having to think about what you’re going to eat, plan out your meals ahead of time. It will make meals one less thing you have to think about amidst a busy day and you’ll know that you’re eating something good.
Inventorying your items during a move is a must to keep everything organized and easier during the unpacking stage. We recommend taking it an extra step and color coding your boxes, as well, according to room. This will speed things up a bit on moving day because movers will be able to glance at a box and know instantly by the color where it goes rather than having to look for the name of the room on the label.
Take pictures of your electronics wiring and shelf décor
It can be a big hassle to figure out where all the wires go when you are putting your electronics back together in the new home. Save yourself all that headache by taking a picture of the wires ahead of time and clearly labeling them before packing them. Also, take photos of your shelf décor so you can easily and quickly recreate that, as well.
Tape small hardware to your furniture
It’s easy to lose track of small hardware like screws when you take apart furniture for the move. Place them in labeled baggies and tape the baggies to the piece of furniture it belongs to so you don’t have to wonder what goes where, or which box you packed the hardware in.
Moving day can get a little chaotic. If you have small children or pets, hiring sitters for them is the best way to keep them comfortable and entertained while you keep your complete focus on the move. Fewer distractions means everyone can do their jobs quicker and more efficiently.
When it comes to moving, there are a lot of things to stay on top of. Eating healthy often becomes an after-thought because there is so much else to worry about. However, going through a stressful and physically demanding process like moving makes it even more important to fuel yourself with healthy foods.
To stay healthy and energized during your move, follow these tips to streamline your meals and make sure you are getting the nutrition that you need.
Tips for Eating Healthy While MovingPlan and prep ahead of time
One of the biggest mistakes people make when moving is leaving the decision of what they will eat to the last minute. At that point, you’re so tired and hungry that you reach for whatever is most convenient, which often turns out to be something unhealthy like fast food. To avoid this, take the time to plan and prep your meals ahead of time.
While it may seem like yet another task to worry about when you have so much else on your plate, it actually doesn’t take as long as you may think and it will save you more time once you do start packing and moving.
Plan out what meals you’ll have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the move. Most things will probably have leftovers, so you can eat them over multiple days. You can make it simple with things like salads and sandwiches for lunch and quick skillet meals for dinner. Prep what you can a few days in advance, even cook some things in bulk like meats so you don’t have to necessarily cook every day. Throw in some nights in your calendar when you will eat out for some variety.
Use a crockpot
Crockpots are wonderful if you have a busy schedule. All you do is cut up your ingredients, throw them all in the crockpot, and let it slow cook throughout the day. Once dinner time rolls around, it’s ready to go. You can cook large portions in a crockpot, too, so you’ll likely have leftovers for a few nights. There are lots of healthy free recipes for crockpot meals online, too.
Try a meal delivery service
If you want to cut out cooking completely or cut down on how much you have to do during the move, a great option is a meal delivery service. Some send you all the ingredients for daily meals so you don’t have to do the shopping, while others send you fresh, fully cooked meals you can refrigerate and then heat up in the microwave once you’re ready to eat. The price can add up but it’s a worthwhile investment if you want to take this responsibility off your plate completely.
Keep healthy snacks handy
Moving makes you hungry. You’ll need snacks between meals to keep up your energy as you go, which puts you at risk for grabbing unhealthy options like potato chips and candy. Beat the temptation by prepping some delicious, healthy snacks in advance. Cut up cheese, fruit, veggies, nuts, and crackers and portion them out in containers that you can easily reach for when you’re getting hungry.
Alternate the responsibility
If you have a large family, alternate who is responsible for prepping and cooking the meals each day. Not only will it add some variety to what you’re eating but it will also take the stress off of one person having to figure it out each day for multiple people.
Downsizing to a smaller home is a great way to improve your quality of life. By simplifying your space, you give yourself more time to focus on the things that matter to you.
However, there are some common mistakes that people make when downsizing that complicate the process more than necessary. Make sure you don’t fall into these traps so the process of downsizing can remain smooth.
Common Downsizing MistakesWaiting until the last minute to declutter
One of the most challenging parts of downsizing is decluttering your belongings. It can be tempting to wait until a few weeks before the move to declutter as you pack, but this will cause you more stress in the long-run.
Taking it all on at once not only causes more stress, but it will also impede your decision-making. It’s better to start decluttering months before your move. That way, you can focus solely on making good decisions about what you want to keep and what you no longer want or need. Then, when the packing stage comes, you won’t have to think about every item before you pack it.
Not measuring and planning your new space ahead of time
Before you start decluttering and packing, it’s important to have a game plan. Simply looking at the place you’re moving into won’t give you an accurate idea of how much space you truly have. It’s important to get accurate measurements from each room and plan them out ahead of time. That way, you’ll know which pieces of furniture will actually fit, how much storage you’ll have, and what you’ll need to get rid of as well as what you may need to purchase. If you wait until moving day, you may find that certain things you thought would fit won’t actually work in the space.
Throwing away everything
It can be tempting to throw everything away that you decide you no longer want or need just to get rid of it. However, it’s better to donate and sell as much as you can to recycle it instead. While this takes a little more effort, it’s worth it in the long run. You won’t be filling up a landfill with unnecessary items and you’ll do good by helping others through donations. If you want to make some extra cash to fund the move, consider organizing a yard sale or putting certain items in consignment.
Focusing on what you’re leaving behind
Downsizing is very freeing, but it can also be an emotional experience. It’s a big change. It’s easy to focus on what you are leaving behind when you downsize. While it’s important to not ignore your emotions around the move, dwelling on them too much will cause more anxiety. Try to focus more on what you are gaining. You’ll have less to worry about in a smaller space, your life will be simpler, and you’ll be enhancing your quality of life. Think about all the things you have to look forward to.
Not being honest with yourself about what you need
Once you’ve decided to downsize, you want to make sure that you stay honest with yourself about what you need to be happy in your new place, both during the house hunt and when you decide what to bring with you. If you love to cook, don’t opt for a place that doesn’t have enough counter space. Similarly, when you are choosing what to bring to your new kitchen, make sure you keep enough of your pots, pans, and other cooking items so you can continue enjoying that activity. Make plans for storage in the kitchen ahead of time and give up things in other areas that don’t matter as much to you.
Living with a roommate can be a great way to save money and still live in the area in which you want to live. However, the challenge comes in finding the right person to share your space with. You don’t want to dread going home at the end of the day or feel like the person you live with can’t be trusted.
It’s completely possible to find a roommate that is compatible with your lifestyle that you can also feel comfortable living with. Follow these tips on choosing the right roommate to make sure you make the right choice.
Tips on Choosing a RoommateKnow what your boundaries are (and discuss theirs)
Before you start your search for a roommate, it’s important to get very honest with yourself about what you are comfortable with and what you expect from them. Laying out these expectations ahead of time will help you communicate them to potential roommates so you can settle everything ahead of time. If you ignore things that matter to you, you’ll likely regret it down the line once you’re living together and stuck in the situation due to a lease or contract.
Some things to think about are:
Is it okay if they have pets? If you have pets, do you expect them to take on any responsibilities like taking them outside when you aren’t there?
What are your thoughts on smoking and alcohol?
Do you like the noise level to be kept to a minimum after a certain hour?
Any health concerns?
How do you feel about guests being invited over? And how often?
Think deeply about your living habits before starting your search for a roommate, then be very honest with them about what they are.
Conduct an in-person interview
Once you find a potential roommate, meet with them in person so you can interview each other. Don’t settle for only speaking over the phone – meeting in person is vital to seeing how well you mesh together and to gather other important information about them, such as their hygiene and how they conduct themselves. You can pick up on a lot about a person by spending some time with them. What sort of vibe do you get? If there are any red flags whatsoever, move on. You don’t want to regret going against your gut down the line.
Don’t be afraid to ask them plenty of questions and be sure to give them enough time to ask you questions, as well.
Ask for references and do a background check
Before setting anything in stone, it’s important to do your homework. Ask for references from other roommates, landlords, employers, or other sources that can vouch for their character. Do a background check, as well, to cover all of your bases. You’ll be sharing your home with this person so it’s important to know you can trust them.
Be upfront about costs
It’s never good to assume that everything will work itself out in terms of finances. Be honest from the get-go about all of the costs associated with living together, including rent, groceries, utilities, amenities, and housekeeping. Go over how everything will be split up or who will be responsible for what. It’s never a comfortable situation if the bills come in and they’re higher than one of you was expecting because you didn’t discuss it ahead of time.
Get everything in writing
Always put everything in writing that you’ve agreed upon with your roommate. This includes expenses (exactly how they will be divided and who is responsible for what), chores, and other agreements including pets, curfews, etc. This will avoid any awkward confrontations down the line if anyone forgets the terms of your original agreement.
Don’t rush it
If something happens and you find yourself suddenly and unexpectedly in need of a roommate, you may feel the pressure to find someone ASAP. However, settling for the first person you can find can cause a lot of headache down the line. Do your due diligence and don’t rush it. Saving yourself some stress now by rushing to choose someone can cause you much more stress down the line if the choice turns out to have been the wrong one.
Moving into a new home offers you the wonderful opportunity to start off on a fresh note. While moving can be a stressful experience, settling into your new home doesn’t have to be if you approach it with the right mindset and focus on all the great possibilities.
Follow these simple tips for getting off on the right foot in your new home to set yourself up for success.
New Home Tips for a Fresh StartDon’t bring anything you don’t want or need into the new home
While it can be tempting to just get straight on with packing up your old home, decluttering first has a lot of benefits. You will not only save time, money, and space in the truck, but you’ll also make the experience in your new home a more pleasant one.
Purging things you no longer want or need is a freeing experience. When you get to the new home, you will be able to embrace a completely fresh start because you won’t have any baggage weighing you down or taking up space. Plus, you’ll have less to unpack!
Be intentional when setting up each space
Instead of dumping everything out of the boxes right away, take some time to figure out how you really want to use each space. You may find that what you had originally assumed a room would be used for can actually be used in a more creative way. Or perhaps you can try rearranging things into different spaces to change things up. Rather than rushing, take your time during the unpacking and settling in process to make sure it works for you.
Consider how you might want things to be different in this new home
Keeping with what we just talked about, consider any lifestyle changes you want to make in this new home. Are there any changes you want to make to your routine? For example, perhaps you want to start getting up earlier and working out at home. Set your bedroom up in a way that will help you wake up earlier and put together a dedicated space for your workout gear that you will be inspired to use. Maybe you want to pick up a new hobby, like sewing. Set up an organized space for it that will make it convenient for you to start doing it right away.
Don’t wait to get things organized
You may assume it will be easier to get everything unpacked and worry about organizing everything later. However, this usually leads to things never getting organized because life resumes and gets in the way of even the best intentions. Instead, put an organization plan together before you move in or as soon as you move in, and follow it as you unpack so your home will be all set from the get-go.
Enter the new home with a fresh energy
If there was any negative energy surrounding your prior home or the move itself, vow to let it go as soon as you move into the new place. You have the opportunity for a fresh start. By letting go of the past, you will be able to freely move on with your life into a brighter future.