How To Plan a Low-Waste Move

How To Plan a Low-Waste Move

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This page may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. There is no additional cost to you whatsoever.

If you’re planning a transfer quickly, your thoughts is probably going a whirlwind of checklists, dates, and deadlines. Factor within the impression your impending transfer might have on the planet and issues get much more aggravating (suppose: the horror of lugging 10 trash luggage to the curb on move-out day).

Here is a listing of suggestions that can assist shrink the environmental impression of your transfer. They’ll additionally assist you save money and time and keep away from complications so you possibly can focus on extra vital issues — like attending to know your new neighbors.

Take a Personal Inventory

A giant transfer is an ideal alternative to half methods with belongings you don’t use anymore. Even if you happen to aren’t downsizing to a smaller dwelling area, you possibly can simplify your transfer by streamlining your belongings and begin out in your new residence freed from litter.

Before you begin packing, take stock of your stuff and resolve what you actually wish to preserve and what you don’t want anymore. Give your self loads of time upfront. Stick to at least one room per day to maintain the duty from changing into overwhelming or aggravating.

As you assess your objects, group them into three classes: stuff you’ll promote, donate, and preserve. For objects that don’t fall into these classes (resembling broken furnishings or undesirable bedding), use our useful guides to search out reuse and recycling options for every kind of widespread odds and ends out of your kitchen, bedroom, closet, garage, and backyard.

Know How and Where to Sell Your Stuff

A garage sale or yard sale is one option to do away with undesirable housewares, clothes, and furnishings, however remember that these gross sales most likely gained’t internet you a lot money.

To profit from your still-usable stuff, take more-specific routes for pricier objects and use your yard sale as a final resort. Here are a number of savvy methods to offer a second life to a few of your big-ticket objects and make a number of additional bucks within the course of:

Fashionable Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories

Secondhand retailers like Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet are perfect for promoting your undesirable fashions. Keep in thoughts that these outlets gained’t take every part you herald, however you’ll get more cash in your objects than you’ll at a yard sale.

If you’re having hassle monitoring down a secondhand store close to you, thredUP and Swap supply comparable companies on the net.

Furniture in Good Condition

Sites like Craigslist mean you can set your individual worth for gently used furnishings (and just about anything you wish to promote). You can designate your objects for native pickup solely to avoid wasting on carbon emissions. Who is aware of? That outdated eating room desk may very well be simply what a neighbor is on the lookout for.


You could make some money by recycling undesirable digital gadgets which might be nonetheless in working situation. Sites like Gazelle and BuyBackWorld provides you with an on the spot quote and also you’ll often obtain cost in fewer than two weeks.

Books, CDs, and DVDs

Local used bookstores and music outlets will typically settle for your outdated books, music, and flicks for resale. Don’t anticipate a giant payout for these, however no less than the objects gained’t go to waste!

boxes packed for low-waste move
Simplify your transfer by streamlining your belongings — and begin out in your new residence freed from litter.

Schedule a Donation Pickup to Save Time

If you propose to donate a large chunk of your undesirable stuff, keep away from schlepping carloads of belongings throughout city or renting a transferring automobile and easily schedule a free residence pickup from a neighborhood charity.

Goodwill, Salvation Army, and a few Habitat for Humanity ReStore places supply residence pickup companies for bigger objects like furnishings and home equipment. If you may have packing containers of smaller objects, simply set them apart in your pickup day. The driver will gladly take every part you may have if it’s on the charity’s checklist of accepted objects and also you additionally donate a number of bigger items to make the journey price their whereas.

If you’re extra inquisitive about saving time than making additional money out of your usable objects, a pickup simplifies your property purge and helps alleviate the stress related together with your transfer.

Get Smart About Transportation

The distance of your transfer, together with the variety of possessions you propose to take with you, will dictate the perfect transportation selection to reduce your carbon impression.

For instance, if you happen to’re transferring a reasonably brief distance, packing your automotive and hitting the open street is probably going the least carbon-intensive selection. A one-way airplane ticket sometimes has the smallest impression for long-distance strikes, however this will likely not at all times be an choice if you happen to’re bringing a automotive or numerous massive objects with you.

To assist inform your choice, use a carbon calculator like TerraPass to estimate the approximate carbon footprint of driving to your vacation spot, and evaluate this with carbon numbers related to flying and delivery your belongings individually. Also, the BeFrugal Fly or Drive Calculator permits you to enter the small print of your journey and offers you estimates of your monetary and CO2 impression for driving versus flying to your vacation spot.

If you select to ship your stuff, rail will doubtless be much less carbon intensive than delivery by truck, however you’ll doubtless be restricted by restrictions about what you can ship. If you’re driving your self, evaluate the miles per gallon of a transferring van in comparison with driving your automotive or truck and hauling a trailer. If your automotive will get first rate gasoline economic system, a trailer might be your greatest wager.

Choose Reusable Moving Options

Zero-waste transferring options like Rent a Green Box and BungoBox present reusable packing containers and totes that make it simple to maneuver all of your stuff with out the waste. Skip the bubble wrap and packing peanuts in your breakables. Instead, use reusable objects that you simply’re already taking with you, resembling towels, blankets, mattress sheets, and sweatshirts.

If you don’t have sufficient reusable packing supplies, outdated newspapers and packing paper are nonetheless higher selections and you’ll reuse or recycle them later. And don’t overlook to ask your folks and coworkers if they’ve packing supplies you should utilize earlier than you resort to buying them. In addition, you possibly can typically discover packing supplies provided without cost on Freecycle.

Plan Ahead to Reduce Food Waste

It’s simple to overlook the fridge and pantry whereas planning your transfer, however a little bit of foresight is all it takes to keep away from tossing out a great deal of perishables on move-out day.

About two weeks earlier than your transfer, take stock of every part in your fridge, freezer, and pantry, and begin planning your meals round what you may have. Online databases like Key Ingredient mean you can seek for recipes by ingredient that will help you deplete your pantry stash.

When making your meals waste diversion plan, prioritize perishable meals, and don’t really feel stress to make use of up unopened or canned objects. If you don’t wish to pack them up and transfer them, simply donate them to a local food bank the place they are going to be put to good use.

All your cautious planning, decluttering, and downsizing will make the transfer into your new residence a lot simpler. Happy transferring day!

We initially revealed this story on September 26, 2013, and up to date it in August 2022.