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.


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.