Moving & Removals

Eco moving is something we should all take more seriously. Moving to a new house can mark an exciting time in your life. The actual process of moving however, is not always so exciting. That said, it is possible to cut down on the anxiety and stress of moving house, while also making sure you don’t hurt the environment in the process.

Making your move a greener and more sustainable process doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, quite the opposite. There are plenty of small, simple things that you can do that mother nature, and your pocketbook, will appreciate.

South London Movers believes that moving green is an important aspect to any move. That’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide to eco-friendly moves.

7 Tips to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle When You Move Home

Here is our ultimate guide to eco moving:

Eco-Friendly Packaging

Packing paper can get quite pricey and it’s usually a cost you can easily avoid. Bubble wrap, although super fun to pop, often ends up at the landfill after you’re done with it. Once popular styrofoam fillers (often referred to as “packing peanuts”) need to be recycled separately at a specific styrofoam disposal site.

Not only that, we often find ourselves running to the store over and over again to buy MORE of these non-eco-friendly packing and moving materials. This wastes both time and money.

What people don’t often realise is that the average home is full of things that can be used to pack. Using things you already have laying around can drastically reduce the cost of moving by reducing the amount of boxes and shipping containers you need to buy or rent. Below are some helpful tips on how to safely pack your belongings using everyday items you already have at home.

Packing Fragile items

Linens, towels, sheets and even clothes provide excellent cushioning for your fragile items.

Pot holders, oven mitts and even your childrens’ stuffies make for great insulation for your breakables.

Old wine or beer cases are perfect for safely transporting your glasses and cups.

Old newspapers and magazines work great to keep your breakables safe.

Packing Furniture

Sheets and blankets can be taped around mattresses, chairs, tables and other furniture to prevent it from getting dirty, scratched or torn.

Just make sure you don’t use any valuable or delicate sheets or towels.

Packing Clothes

Garbage bags are great to transfer light items like pillows and cushions and can also be used to move your clothes, without the need of packing them into boxes. Cluster a group of clothes together, while still on the hangers, and pull plastic garbage bags up from the bottom and tie them at the top.

Suitcases and luggage provide excellent moving resources, especially for clothes, and if your luggage has wheels, even heavier belongings like your book or record collection.

Packing Valuables

Toilet paper rolls are perfect for keeping your cords perfectly organised.
Empty egg cartons can ensure that your jewelry stays safe and untangled during the move.

Other Packing Tips

Reusable grocery bags and plastic storage containers are also great resources to help reduce the amount of boxes you have to rent or buy. Don’t forget to reach out to friends and family for what they might be able to lend you as well.

Asking your local removals company what packing resources they have for rent is always a good idea. For a complete stress-free move, you may consider leaving all the packing to the professionals. Look for a company committed to green moving, like South London Movers.

De-cluttering & Sorting Items

Organising your things into piles really helps keep the waste (and stress) levels down.

Moving house is a great opportunity to rid yourself of old, unwanted, unused items. That top drawer with all those rubber bands you never use, old take-out menus for restaurants that don’t exist anymore, and uncapped pens that long ago lost their ink…now is the time to ditch it all.

Leaving yourself some time to categorize your things into individual boxes or piles will drastically reduce the amount you accidentally end up taking with you or throwing in the bin last minute.

Below is a list of categories to consider when preparing for your move:

  • Donate pile
  • Sell pile
  • Storage pile
  • Recycle pile
  • Batteries, cords and flammable pile

By making sure that you are only bringing the items you truly use and need, you will spend less money on packing materials, boxes, truck rental, etc. Less stuff = less money spent on the move = more money to spend on that dinner out to celebrate your new home!

Not sure what you can or can’t recycle? See this article from the BBC for a list of things you can’t include in your household recycling.

Now that you can see your countertops again, read on for tips of what to do with your unwanted items.

Donating Unwanted Items

green moving donation box

Whether it’s lightly used clothes, books or furniture, donation is an amazing way to cut down on clutter. Marie Kondo, Japanese born organization guru, writes about how to effectively and efficiently declutter in her book Spark Joy. Marie claims that the criterion for deciding what to keep and what to discard is whether or not something sparks joy. She suggests holding the item, looking at it, and acknowledging how you feel. If it doesn’t spark joy, it’s safe to say that it can go.

Friends and family are great places to unload your excess cardigan collection or that blender you never once used since you bought it last summer. Donating to those close to you makes you feel good with the added bonus of getting to see those old jumpers being loved by someone else.

You can also consider donating your lightly used, unwanted items to your local charity or shelter.

There are countless organizations that would gladly re-home your items to those in need. Some charities, like the British Heart Foundation, even offer to arrange pick-up in the case that you don’t have the time or resources to organise a drop-off.

Below is a list of items they can re-home for you:

  • Clothes, such as dresses, trousers and shirts
  • Accessories, like shoes, handbags and belts
  • Jewellery, including rings, necklaces and bracelets
  • DVDs, CDs and vinyl
  • Books from fiction to nonfiction and reference
  • Homewares such as crockery and ornaments
  • Children’s toys including puzzles and board games
  • Furniture and electricals

For more information about The British Heart Foundation, check out their website.

For a list of other local charities near you, check out:

Selling Unwanted Items

Now that you’ve gone through your items, you may have noticed that you have a lot of good quality things that you don’t want to just throw away. Moving house is an amazing opportunity to shed your unused and unwanted items in exchange for some money.

We recommend doing this two different ways. Either by having a yard sale, or by selling items online.

The advantage of a yard sale is that you can rid yourself of a lot of smaller items that might not necessarily be worth it to sell online. You can also get the work done in just a couple of days instead of meeting with others one at a time or worrying about shipping items individually. 

However, if you have some higher ticket items that are taking up space you can of course sell these on one of the many online platforms.

Food & Beverages

Don’t throw away your food. All of us are guilty of it at one time or another. We pack our clothes, gadgets and our furniture, but we often just bin our food.

Here are some tips to help you minimise your food waste come moving time:

  • Donate canned goods and non-perishables to your local food cupboard.
  • Have an experimental food night. It can be fun to try and make a meal using only what you have left in the house.
  • A good-bye house party is also a great way to use up all of that leftover alcohol. Play bartender for the night!
  • Use up what perishable food items you have by making moving day snacks. Moving is notoriously exhausting and being hungry will only make the day more trying. Setting a small table, or even an upside down cardboard box to the side with some snacks and refreshments is always a great idea and will be appreciated by the removal company and / or any family and friends helping with the move.
  • Bring it with you. With the right cooler box, there is no need for that food to go to waste.

If you do need to throw food away, make sure you do it properly and practice the proper recycling for your area.

After Move Recycling

Effective recycling is more than just the packing phase of the move. You might end up with boxes and other containers that you don’t want or don’t have room to store for next time. Instead of throwing these things in the bin, break down the boxes properly and put them in the appropriate recycling bins. The earth thanks you.

If you’re downsizing or moving abroad and have things that you can’t bring with you but don’t want to get rid of, renting a storage plan is a great option. South London Movers offers cheap storage units designed to keep your things safe while you are away. Check them out here.

Green Moving / Eco-Friendly Removal Companies

Green Moving Removal Company - South London Movers

If you are looking to hire a removal company to help you with your move, large or small, it is important to do some research first.

Here at South London Movers, we’re proud to provide eco-friendly packing materials for even the most large-scale moves and storage. These high-quality materials will allow you to securely wrap, pack and store your valuables without having to worry that they will be damaged in transit.

For more information about the services we offer here at South London Movers, get in touch with us today – contact our team.

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