Moving is tough. But it does not have to be tough on the planet. Finding your new dwelling and changing places usually creates loads of waste: from discarded items to cleaning products. So here’s how we can plan a sustainable house move with a few simple creative tips!
If you and your family follow a greener and sustainable lifestyle, any high-stress activities such as house moves can make it extremely difficult to follow a green lifestyle. After all, when we hear the term house moves, we’re thinking a lot of trucks and moving boxes – all of which can become quite messy from a sustainability perspective. So can we have a sustainable house move?
For a household that wants as little carbon emissions as possible, a house move can be quite the risk – regardless if you’re moving on your own or with a moving company. Does this mean you shouldn’t move at all?
Not necessarily. In fact, with some tips taken into consideration, you may actually be able to get you and your family into a sustainable house move without contributing too much to a carbon footprint. You’d also be able to keep your sustainable lifestyle in check as well. Here are some things to consider:
1. Invest in eco-friendly cleaning products or DIY
Whether purchased or if you choose to make your own, eco-friendly cleaning products have been demonstrated to be just as effective at tackling various cleaning chores as traditional cleaning products. But many alternative cleaners still carry health risks, and some “green” products sold by major cleaner manufacturers score better on safety tests. Not just to mention cleaning products drain down the waterways and have a massive impact on the environment. If you want to ensure a sustainable move do some research to find the best eco-friendly cleaning brands, being one of our favorites Meliora (which also carries more sustainable packaging!)
Infographic provided by True Friends Moving Company
2. Consider using your fabrics to wrap fragile items
Instead of using newspapers to wrap your fragile items, you can opt for a zero-waste option in the form of using your soft fabrics such as linens, blankets, and towels to wrap them instead. You can use this method to wrap not just heirlooms and glassware, but also art and even plates. This serves as a creative way to pack both your fragile items and soft fabrics.
3. Use reusable packing boxes
Instead of buying cardboard boxes, you might get more use out of your money if you purchase larger plastic boxes instead. These huge mega boxes are not only durable but also extremely useful to pack your larger things. If you do need to use moving boxes, you can also rent them especially if you plan on using them for larger items such as your furniture. However, the mega box option can greatly help add a nifty storage option at home as well, as you can instead store your things in your storage area with these boxes instead of cardboard boxes that deteriorate in quality over time and in different kinds of humidity.
4. Consider selling items you no longer need
If you want to maximize the sustainability potential of your move, you can also opt to have a garage sale before the move. After all, instead of throwing household items you no longer need, it’s much more convenient to sell items you no longer want. That way, not only do you recuperate some of the losses in terms of funds you’ve allocated for your move. Rather, you can also ensure that the items you’ll be bringing to your new home are definitely the ones you need with your family.
5. Rent a huge moving truck for a single trip instead of multiple trips
Every trip moving boxes and furniture also has a carbon footprint by the usage of petrol. Therefore, you can also help reduce your carbon footprint by renting a moving truck for a single trip instead of going back and forth with a smaller truck. Movers and packers are often equipped with vehicles such as larger trucks that can most likely fit most of your household items. That way, you can facilitate your move much faster and be confident that you only need one truck and the least number of trips to send your belongings to your new home.
6. Be mindful about food waste by using apps
As much as you can consciously plan your food the few weeks before you go, emptying and cleaning-up the fridge can always bring some food waste. If that is your case, ensure a more sustainable house move by using apps that are designed to avoid wasting food. They are simple to use and sign up with, and you will support people who may need some help with their basics while largely contributing to reducing the carbon footprint it involves throwing away food that’s good to go!
7. Consider submitting documents and requirements digitally
Interestingly, one of the more underrated sustainability tips in terms of moving comes before the packing and moving process itself. If you’ve finalized your move, you might want to consider submitting various documents and requirements digitally – this is regardless if you’re doing this for your homeownership, your utilities, or your negotiation with movers near your place.
The digital option allows you to skip having to go to your new area, which means reducing your carbon footprint. This also avoids using physical materials such as printed paper for documents.
8. Use a spreadsheet and digital app for your inventory
If you want to make your move to the next level and be extra organized to avoid any lost items in the process of moving, it’s highly recommended you use a digital app and a spreadsheet for your needs. Not only does this allow you and your family to modify items in your spreadsheet at the same time, but this also avoids the risk of losing any items that might not have been accounted for in the move. Moreover, a spreadsheet avoids the need to use journals, notebooks, and other physical documents that can be lost or destroyed accidentally – ruining the entire inventory.
Your eco-friendly house move
With the above things in mind, it’s important to remember that it’s totally possible to make your house move coincide with your green lifestyle. Thanks to a few but handy tips on sustainability, you can transform your house move into something that won’t cause unnecessary stress over Mother Nature – you just need to plan to make your moves extra efficient, follow the right protocol, and even get the right gear. Moreover, the right execution of these new moving plans can help you rest assured that your sustainable move can serve as a great window to open a new, sustainable, and greener chapter in your life.