Do you need to buy new packing materials for your move? Do you want a greener move? One step to implement includes upcycling items you already have instead of buying 100% new protective packing materials. Before you scour your home for items to use during the packing process, take a look at what you should and shouldn’t upcycle.

Do Upcycle Some Towels

Your old bath towels, washcloths, and kitchen or dish rags can cushion fragile items and fill empty spaces inside of boxes. If you have an extra stash of towels you don’t use anymore, wash and dry these upcycled picks completely. To pack fragile items (such as dishware or knickknacks) with towels:

  • Choose the right size. An oversized beach towel won’t easily fit around dishes, bowls, or smaller vases. Instead of a large piece of fabric, upcycle smaller options – such as hand towels or kitchen rags. You can also cut larger towels into smaller pieces that perfectly fit around the items you need to pack.
  • Choose the right thickness. A thin dish rag won’t provide the same protection as a fluffy bath towel. Select towels to upcycle that are thick enough to provide the right amount protection against bumps, bangs, and damage.
  • Wrap and layer towels. To protect delicate items, layer towels between dishes, bowls, glassware, or anything else you need to pack.
  • Ball towels to fill spaces. Empty spaces in moving boxes and bins leave room for your breakables to bang into each other or the sides of the container. Fill empty areas with balled or rolled towels. You may need to cut the towels into smaller sizes to easily roll them.

You can also create a protective layer at the bottom and top of almost any moving container. Fold a bath towel and place it inside of the box. Add your to-move items and layer a second folded towel to the top of your box or bin.

Don’t Reuse Some Towels

Even though towels can project your breakables during a move, you can’t necessarily upcycle every bath, kitchen, or dish pick. Steer clear of:

  • Oily towels. The towels you use to wipe off your car’s dipstick or clean greasy messes from the stove aren’t options to upcycle. While you can wash these towels before use, oils may stay trapped deep within the fabric. These oils can coat your breakables during the move, staining or damaging the items they are supposed to protect.
  • Lint-covered towels. Look for lint-free towels to keep your move as clean as possible. Lint-covered towels or fabric that sheds can make a mess inside of your moving boxes and bins.
  • Towels with holes. The more holes a towel has, the less padding and protection it provides.

Along with these types of towels, avoid new towels with dark or deep dyes. The dyes may bleed during the moving process. This could leave you with stained dishware or accidentally rainbow-hued breakables.

Do Use Sturdy Cardboard and Plastic Containers

Your move requires more than protective materials to put inside of containers. You also need to source the actual containers. If you don’t want to break your moving budget buying new boxes and bins, upcycle:

  • Sturdy cardboard boxes. Only use completely intact, heavy-duty cardboard boxes. Boxes with cuts, tears, slits, or water damage could break during your move.
  • Toys bins. Transform your child’s old plastic toy box into a moving bin. But avoid anything that’s worn, has damage or cracks, doesn’t have a lid, is debris-covered, or is made from wood.
  • Old plastic-ware containers. Thoroughly wash and dry these containers (or old larger-sized yogurt containers). Use these upcycled items to move jewelry, knickknacks, kitchen utensils, crafting materials, or smaller belongings.

If you don’t have boxes, bins, or containers at home, ask friends and family members for items to upcycle. Not only will an upcycled container provide protection during your move, but it can also reduce the waste in landfills and help to save the planet.

Do you need help with your next move? Contact Island Movers Inc. for more information.