7 Things to Do with Cardboard Boxes After Moving

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Finally, your move is complete! There’s just one problem — you now have a ton of cardboard boxes left over. If you’d rather not save them for a future move or turn them into forts for any kids in your life, your best bet for getting rid of them sooner rather than later is to donate them. Here are 7 options for what to do with your cardboard boxes after you’re unpacked.

Did you work with a moving company? If so, ask them if they’re interested in taking your boxes. Some movers have programs that donate gently used boxes to people who can’t afford them, or they may work with a recycling program. If you’ve got unused boxes, you can either donate them to the moving company or ask if they’ll buy them off you.

BoxCycle is a service that connects people looking for boxes to people looking to get rid of boxes. You can buy, sell, or donate — check the “Wanted” tab to see specifically what people are looking for if you want to make a one-on-one donation.

Aside from programs to help college students and service members find rides and storage spaces, U-Haul also offers a program to connect people with boxes. It’s called the U-Haul Box Exchange program and allows you to sell or give away your used boxes. If you have leftover moving supplies, you can also hand those off through this program.

Do you garden or have a local gardening club? Use those cardboard boxes yourself to kill weeds, or hand them off to the club. It’s super easy — all you have to do is lay down the cardboard on top of weeds (or really anything you don’t want to grow), then cover it with a few inches of mulch. The weeds will die and they won’t be able to regrow underneath the cardboard.

Craigslist, Facebook, NextDoor… All of these are great spots to look for someone who needs boxes. If you have a local neighborhood group or a freecycle group online, post that you have boxes to get rid of. Usually these get picked up right away. You can also try the more in-person version of social media and just leave the boxes out on your curb. Chances are they won’t last that long out there.

Have you ever wondered how many books libraries have that don’t actually make it on the shelves? There’s a lot — and a lot of times they’re stored in boxes before they’re cataloged and put into the stacks. Call your local library and see if they need any leftover heavy-duty boxes for holding or moving books throughout the library system.

Send a friend something fun using a leftover box as the shipping container! Everyone loves a care package, and you can make their day by loading up a small box with things they like. Aim for free or very low-cost items so you’re actively saving money while making someone else happy.

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