Why You Should Pack Your Kitchen Last For More Eco-friendly Move

When you want to have an eco-friendly move, you do things like using reusable moving bins and finding containers around the house to help save on moving supplies. One thing you may not have thought of though is that you can increase the eco-friendliness of the move by packing your kitchen last.

This is because you’ll be more likely to eat up the last of the food before the move rather than throwing it away and you won’t be relying on extra take-out where you’ll be throwing away wasteful Styrofoam containers all week. For these reasons and more, packing the kitchen last will allow you to have a more eco-friendly move. Take a look at the best way to pack your kitchen and why you should do it last.

Less wasteful pantry and fridge

One major perk of waiting to pack your kitchen until last is that you’ll have the ability to cook at home for a longer time before the move. Moving often means there is going to be a lot of take-out and not enough home-cooked meals.

Saving the packing of the kitchen until last means you’ll have access to your utensils, pots and pans, dinner plates, and knives all of the way up until right before the move in order to cook regular meals and finish up the food you still have in your fridge.

While you can take your pantry items with you, many people end up tossing them or giving them away which means you’ve wasted money on them and you’re spending money eating out when you have food at home that could be made. The eco choice would be to not waste that food still at home and to avoid eating out when you could be cooking.

Avoiding paper plates

When you do decide to order pizzas and Chinese delivery, you end up buying waste paper plates and plastic cups instead of using what you own. This means you are tossing away more environmentally harmful items and killing trees to provide you with dinner plates.

Instead, you could use your own supplies at home and cook meals up until a day or two before the move to ensure you don’t have to buy plastic and take-out. When the whole family teams up to prepare meals the week of the move and then pack the kitchen up last together, everything still gets done and you got to enjoy waste-free homemade dinners all week.

Simplify and pack the kitchen

When it’s time to start packing the kitchen, you’ll first want to make sure there is nothing you may want to donate that you don’t use anymore. Then you can start sorting things by the essentials, like silverware and the coffeemaker, to the seldom used, like the platters and vases, in order to pack properly.

If you pack the things you rarely use first, then you can leave the items you use daily in a more accessible way. Pack things like the fine china, cookbooks, platters, and pitchers separately from things like the cutting knives, dinner plates, bowls, and glassware. Then make sure you prepare a bin of things you’ll use when you arrive, such as dishwasher detergent, sponges, kitchen towels, and coffee filters, in a handy place so that you can get into your new kitchen without missing a beat.

You may be tempted to pack the kitchen first since it can sometimes feel like the hardest room to pack, but save this one for last to contribute to a more eco-friendly move.

packing up and moving the kitchen last

How to Get Creative With Packing Materials

When it's time to move, it's time to protect the environment during your move. This means you may need to get creative with your packing materials. Sure, you can just rent some green moving boxes, but there are other options to help compliment your rental boxes.

A child climbing a mountain of Chicago GreenBoxes

If you're preparing for a move and you want to make sure it's eco-friendly, you need a few tips. Here are a few great ways to get creative with your packing materials.

Use Suitcases & Bags

You probably own suitcases, duffel bags, backpacks, and other bags you can use to pack some of your things. These don't have to be used just for clothing. Smart movers will use their suitcases to pack clothing with fragile items protected by the clothing.

When you use your current bags and suitcases, you can save on boxes, but you can also save on bubble wrap. Let your sweaters, blankets, and towels help pad the bags and protect your fragile items.

Drawers

You probably have plenty of furniture with drawers. Nobody says you have to leave these empty. You can remove them to make the furniture easier to move, but you can also pack these drawers and slide them into the furniture once they are in the truck.

Another way to go is to use plastic wrap for each individual drawer. This can allow you to turn each drawer into its own type of box and give you some easy packing materials to work with.

Garbage Bags

They may not look pretty, but packing with garbage bags can allow you to pack a large number of things for super cheap. You can use heavy duty black garbage bags for things, such as blankets, bedding, pillows, hangers, toys, and more. You want to use them only for lighter items and don't pack anything fragile in a garbage bag.

Hit the Dollar Store

There are so many things you can pick up from the dollar store for packing. Some dollar stores actually carry packing materials for super cheap, but others may have super cheap cloth rags or towels you can use for packing. Get creative with what they offer, and you might cut your packing supplies budget in half.

Reuse Old Wrapping Paper

Do you have extra wrapping paper from the holidays? This can be an excellent choice for packing paper to help fill in gaps and protect items. Whether it's still on the roll or you saved it from gifts you received, it can work great for packing materials.

Other ways to get creative with your packing materials include:

  • Yarn - Use it to help pad items you pack in boxes, suitcases, or drawers.

  • Sandwich Bags - You can use sandwich bags to hold smaller items.

  • Junk Mail - It's great to use as packing paper.

  • Popcorn - Just like the packing peanuts you've seen, you can pop popcorn and use it to protect items when you're moving.

There are many creative ways you can go about packing for your move. While not every choice on this list is entirely eco-friendly, compared to spending a large amount of cash on cardboard boxes and packing materials, you'll have a more eco-friendly move with these tips. Of course, mixing any of these ideas with eco-friendly moving boxes will go a long way to making your move friendly to the environment.

5 Spring Cleaning Tips to Help Prep for an Upcoming Move

It’s moving time for your family, and you are wondering how to go about cleaning your old home before officially handing over the keys. The good news about cleaning your house before an upcoming move is that you can look at it the same way as you would a spring cleaning session.

You’ll clean a little deeper, cover more details than normal, and you’ll make the home shine like you do every spring when it’s ready for a really good scrubbing. There are 5 ways to really get the job done right that you may not have thought of, starting with a good deep clean and remembering to end the job with a great staging job. Take a look at the top 5 tips to help you prep for your move.

Deep clean the home

Start with a good deep cleaning of the home. While you’re used to cleaning the kitchen counter, the dishes, and the sink regularly, you’re probably used to skipping things like the walls and behind the appliances.

Now is the time to hit those surfaces you may have never thought of because someone new is going to be living here now and it’s important to give them a fresh slate from your family’s life here. Wipe down the walls and the trim and the baseboards.

Clean doors and ceilings. Scrub the grout and wash the windows and their treatments. Move appliances and get all of the nooks and crannies. Clean lights and fans. This is the time to really deep clean.

Declutter

You may find that you have too much stuff to move or that you are already imagining your new home is going to be too small to fit all of your things. Nobody wants to go into a new home with clutter. Now is the time to declutter your home and start separating the things you love from the things you aren’t using anymore.

Donate or sell those items so that you can take only the things that make sense into your new home. If you still have to show the home, this will help with all of the traffic coming through and making the house look neat and tidy for a new family to envision living here.

Clean high to low

When you start to clean, make a point to clean from the highest points of a room to the lowest. This way the dirt from up above will fall to the next level down, and you can clean that area next. It’s easy to make a mess on an area after you’ve cleaned it if you work your way from lower to higher areas.

young happy couple cleaning their new house during a move

You’ll find when you dust those overhead ceiling fans and lighting fixtures that dust tends to fall down and you wouldn’t want it falling on an already-cleaned surface.

Don’t forget the details

Sometimes you get so used to skipping specific tasks that you forget to do them when the time really calls for it. It’s that time to actually clean every shelf of that fridge and really clean out your oven. Now is the time for details so handle everything from your appliances to your furniture upholstery.

Clean inside the cabinets, wipe down light switches, brush over the tops of doors, clean the carpet, and do both cleaning and polishing on your furniture and wood floors. Don’t leave any details untouched.

Staging

Lastly, spring clean that home by ending the job with proper staging. Make sure you’ve decluttered the home, deep cleaned everything, removed all dirt from overhead, and cleaned every last detail. Now it’s time to stage the house with what items are left that are not personal to the family, such as seating areas and decorative pieces. This will make the home look fresh and ready for the next family to discover.

Use these tips to spring clean for your upcoming move successfully.

What is a Sustainable Move & How to Achieve It

Moving is a big deal and it needs to be treated as such. Many times, when people move, they forget to consider the impact their move has on the environment. When you relocate to a new city or to a new home in your current city, you should have the goal of achieving a sustainable move.

What is a Sustainable Move?

When it's time to move, choosing green, biodegradable materials is a good start. A sustainable move is the type of move that's more eco-friendly and includes using the right products to ensure you're not creating more waste.

How to Achieve a Sustainable Move

The first step in achieving a sustainable move is to become self-aware of what it takes. To move in a sustainable way, you have to make the decision to use the right products for your move, specifically the packing and cleaning processes.

If you want to move in a more eco-friendly way, here are a few tips to help you achieve a sustainable move.

Plan Ahead

A sustainable move means you will be making decisions differently than the norm. You won't simply hire a moving company and have them pack everything up in cardboard boxes. This isn't the goal and will create waste you don't want to create.

Instead, you have to plan ahead to use plastic moving boxes and you want to plan ahead to ensure you make the fewest possible trips from the old home to the new home. In addition, you want to keep the three Rs in mind; Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle!

Sort and Donate

Before you start packing up your things to move, you want to go through everything and decide what to keep. You likely have many items you can donate to the local thrift store. In addition, you may have some items you can sell to lighten your load.

There's no sense in wasting effort, boxes, and room in a moving truck to move things you don't need or want. Go through everything before you move and donate anything you don't need or want anymore.

Use Natural Cleaning Products

Not only are natural cleaning products better for the environment, but they are also better for your health. When cleaning your old home and new home, avoid commercial products and choose the best natural products you can find.

Buy Second-Hand Furnishings

For your new home, you can buy second-hand items to furnish the house. If you don't already own the furniture and decor items you want, hit the thrift stores, consignment stores, and second-hand options to find the right choices for you.

Buying second hand ensures no new energy was used to produce the item. This falls under the reuse category and helps to make your move and your home more eco-friendly.

Choose Plastic Moving Boxes

One of the easiest ways to pack up and make your move sustainable is with plastic moving boxes. Since they can be reused by someone else when you're done, you don't have to worry about adding to the waste. Yes, cardboard can be recycled, as long as you don't get it wet or spill anything on it, but plastic moving boxes don't have to be reproduced, they can just be reused. Contact The Chicago GreenBox today and order eco-friendly, plastic moving boxes!

If you want to achieve a sustainable move, use these tips to make your plans. Make sure you keep the environment at the front of your mind and be aware of the decisions you're making during your move.

stackable eco-friendly moving boxes on dollys

5 ways to reduce waste when moving

One of the biggest problems with moving from one home to another is that moving your household causes a great deal of waste. There are packing materials to consider and all of the things that may have cluttered up in the house to deal with when it’s time to move that can no longer be put off until another day.

Luckily there are some easy ways to reduce waste when moving so that you can have a more successful move without the guilt of wasting. Take a look at these five ways to reduce waste for your upcoming move.

Recycle those packing supplies

The easiest way to reduce waste when moving is to simply make a point to recycle your moving supplies after the move. You’ve likely used cardboard boxes, packing peanuts, and packing paper to move all of your household goods from one home to another.

When you arrive at the new house, it’s time to recycle or donate these items to someone who can use them rather than throwing them in the trash. It’s just as easy to recycle as it is to dispose and sometimes, there are people who would love to take your packing supplies for their own move.

A mother teaching her children about recycling

Use what you already own

Sometimes moving comes with buying supplies to move the things you have to another home when you could simply use some of the things you already own as moving supplies. For example, instead of packing your suitcases in moving boxes, why not use those suitcases to pack up dresser drawers?

Instead of packing blankets in a box, use them to wrap fragile items and save on bubble wrap. Use up newspapers, old towels, and even old t-shirts to pack. Use the things you already have as moving supplies before you purchase anything that may become waste.

Go green with your moving supplies

Another great way to reduce waste would be simply to choose reusable packing supplies through companies like Greenbox, which means you won’t have any waste at all. Using these hard containers that stack neatly in the moving truck will reduce waste, the chance of broken items, and a waste of space on moving day.

Declutter the house

One of the best ways to reduce waste for a move is to simply own fewer household goods that will need to be moved. Decluttering the house will not only allow you to pack less but will also take a weight off your shoulders too.

You’ll notice the house will start to clear up of the things you don’t need and the packing process will make more sense as you pack the things you truly want to keep in your life. Use this as an opportunity to part with things you really don’t love or use anymore.

Have a yard sale

Lastly, a yard sale is a great opportunity to get rid of things you’ve decluttered or things you’d rather get rid of in exchange for a little extra cash and less to pack. Make sure to research some easy tips to make the most of your garage sale and you’ll love getting rid of some of those extra things you don’t want any more while bringing in some extra spending money for the move.

Make your move a little less wasteful by using these five tips for reducing moving waste.

The Benefits of Plastic Moving Boxes for Fragile Items

green boxes stacked in front of a moving company hat

Moving can be rather stressful, especially if you're moving to a new city. Not only do you have to worry about if your things will arrive without harm, but you also have to get used to a new city.

You can take some of the worries out of the equation by choosing plastic moving boxes for your fragile items. While cardboard boxes may be the most common choice, plastic moving boxes offer a better alternative. Here's why you should always trust plastic moving boxes for fragile items.

Weather-Proof

Moving to Chicago means you could be faced with snow, rain, sleet, wind, and plenty of other weather. If it's wet outside, cardboard won't cut it. You'll end up with soggy boxes ready to break under the weight of the items inside.

Keeping cardboard boxes dry during a move is a bit of a full-time job. With some items, it may not be the end of the world, but with your fragile items, if the box breaks, your items will likely break, too.

Choosing plastic moving boxes for fragile items will help to ensure you're protected, no matter the water. Don't take any chances with these items when you can simply choose a better box for your fragile items.

Hold More Weight

Cardboard boxes have limits plastic boxes don't have. If you have fragile, heavy items, it's an easy decision to make. Getting plastic boxes will ensure your items remain well protected.

When you overpack a cardboard box, you could end up with a disaster on your hands. However, when you choose plastic boxes, you won't have to worry as much about the weight. These boxes hold much more weight and won't buckle under the pressure.

Easier to Stack Without Damage

If you don't stack your cardboard boxes properly, you could end up with fragile items getting smashed under the pressure of the box above. While it would make sense to pack fragile boxes with care, sometimes things get overlooked during the stress of a move.

Choosing plastic boxes for your move will ensure everything is fully protected. They easily stack on top of each other and stay in place. While cardboard boxes may slide around during the move, plastic boxes won't. This ensures your fragile items will remain protected, no matter where you put them in the stack.

Reusable

While this benefit doesn't impact your fragile items, it's still worth noting. When you use cardboard boxes for your move, you have to find a way to dispose of them. Hopefully, you recycle them, but these boxes often end up in the trash due to the stress of the move. In addition, if a cardboard box gets wet or something spills on it, you cannot recycle the box.

With plastic boxes, you get a sustainable, eco-friendly option because you rent these boxes and they are reusable. You don't have to worry about recycling them or even disposing of them. They will be picked up for you and used by the next person looking to move in a more eco-friendly way.

If you're preparing for an upcoming residential move to Chicago, you need to make sure you have the right boxes. Choosing plastic moving boxes is a better choice compared to cardboard, especially for fragile items. Contact The Chicago GreenBox today and order your Green Moving Boxes!

How Cardboard Boxes Can Slow Down Your Office Move

When it's time to move your office from one location to another, you probably picture cardboard moving boxes. They are the most common type of moving box, but that doesn't make them the right choice.

During an office move, you want to save time by packing and unpacking efficiently. You also want to make sure everything you pack is well protected. When you choose cardboard moving boxes, you will likely lose time and your items may not be as well protected.

Office Moving Boxes can be overwhelming - photo of a man trapped underneath them

Green moving boxes are a better choice as they are rugged, recyclable, weatherproof, and save you time. Here are some of the ways cardboard moving boxes will slow you down during an office move.

Assembly

Cardboard boxes have to be assembled. This may not seem like a big deal, but if your office move requires 100 boxes, that's 100 boxes you have to unfold, assemble, and tape up.

If you choose green moving boxes instead, you won't have any assembly time. Instead, you just pick up the box, open the lid, and start packing. No time is needed to unfold and tape up the boxes before you can start packing your things.

Taping

Along with taping the bottom of the cardboard boxes before packing them, you also have to waste time taping the top. Again, this may not seem like much time, but it adds up when you have to do it over and over again.

With plastic moving boxes, you don't need to secure them with tape. You won't be wasting time taping every single box you pack to ensure your items are secured.

Packing

Cardboard boxes have to be packed in a specific way or they could shift or become damaged in the moving process. You have to know which boxes are the heavy boxes, which ones are the largest, and which ones belong on the bottom compared to the top of the pile.

In addition, cardboard boxes have to be packed so that they don't break due to the weight. This means you have to take the time to create a strategy for your packing in order to make sure your things are protected.

During an office move, strategizing about everything you need to move can waste precious time. With green moving boxes, you don't have to worry about the integrity of the box or how they will stack in the truck. Instead, you can just open the box and start packing. When it's time to load up the truck, they sit neatly on top of each other and it doesn't matter how you've packed them, your items will be protected.

In addition, with green moving boxes, you can actually stack them on a dolly and roll them to the moving truck. This saves time from all the carrying you will likely do with cardboard boxes. It also helps to make your office move safer.

There are many ways using cardboard boxes may slow you down when it comes time to move your office. These are just a few of the main ways you may notice you are wasting time. Choosing green moving boxes will help to save you time and will also provide a better level of protection for your items.

How to Reduce Waste & Recycle During a Move

Moving can cause a ton of waste. From the books to the bubble wrap, there are plenty of things you will likely throw away during a move.

You don't have to waste when moving. There are several ways to reduce waste and recycle during a move. Here are some of the best ways to reduce waste and recycle when you're moving.

Don't Use Cardboard Boxes

While you can certainly recycle cardboard boxes, you don't have to use them at all. You can use reusable moving boxes to ensure you don't waste boxes after you've moved.

Did you know, if a cardboard box gets wet, it cannot be recycled? Often, moving boxes cannot be recycled for one reason or another and they end up as waste. However, when you rent reusable moving boxes, they don't have to be recycled because they end up being reused.

Use Things You Have for Packing Supplies

If you have old newspapers, old towels, t-shirts, and other soft things, use it for packing. You don't have to buy new packing supplies for your move. Even towels you plan to use when you arrive, you can use for packing fragile things. You can also use sheets, blankets, and anything else soft that you already own.

The soft things you don't plan to keep can be donated. The best way to reduce waste during a move is to not create new waste. By using things you already own as packing materials, you don't have to buy as much bubble wrap and you won't have to waste as much.

Eliminate What You Don't Need or Want

Before you start packing, take the time to go through everything you own and get rid of what you don't want. It can be donated or even thrown away, if necessary. Donate anything that can be reused by someone else from clothing to old appliances.

By going through everything you own, you'll reduce what you need to move, which will help you to create less waste. You can even have a yard sale if you want to make a bit of extra cash from your unwanted things.

Recycle Anything That's Recyclable

It doesn't have to be a cardboard box to be recycled. Check your local recycling program and see what they will take. Some places will take old packing paper and even bubble wrap. Even if it cannot be recycled through your municipality, you can reuse some things.

Maybe you have leftover bubble wrap or packing supplies. It may come in handy around the holidays if you need to ship any gifts to family members. If possible, store your packing supplies and use them as your main things to keep from having to buy new and waste the old.

There are several good ways to reduce waste and recycle when you're moving. Using plastic moving boxes is a good start and using your soft goods as packing materials can help, too. Make sure you use the tips above and come up with your own creative ways to reduce waste and recycle when moving.

Chicago GreenBox Recyclable Moving Boxes