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What to Do with Leftover Moving Supplies

Published by Chris Townsend

What to Do with Leftover Moving Supplies

Moving is often an arduous and somewhat stressful process. That is until the move is completed. Once you are finally at your new place you can breathe a sigh of relief and finally wind down a little.

At least until you remember you still have a lot of leftover moving supplies to think of. We often forget that a move doesn’t really finish when you arrive at your new place, or even when everything is unpacked. You will still have a lot of boxes and supplies to contend with. But that doesn’t have to be a problem.

There are a lot of ways in which you can use leftover moving supplies, or dispose of them. Today, we’ll show you all the different ways that you can make use of moving supplies, whether you decide to keep them, give them away, or even sell them.

How to Make Use of Leftover Boxes

We know moving supplies are not limited to boxes, but they tend to be the most important one and the one that people have most of after a move. So, we decided to start by sharing with you some ways to make use of your boxes.

Fun Projects for Kids or Pets

Kids and pets absolutely love boxes. You don’t even need to fancy it up or modify them in any way, give a kid or a pet an empty box and they’ll figure out ways to have fun with them for days.

But if you want to take it a step further, you could turn that empty box into something special. Cardboard houses, castles, mazes, are just some of the ways you can turn boxes into a whole new universe of fun. They can even serve as comfortable beds for pets if cushioned a little. Cats, for instance, love boxes.

Check out this Pinterest profile filled with awesome projects for the kids.

large furniture moved

DIY Projects

Boxes aren’t just fun for the little ones; adults can get a lot of mileage out of boxes too.

You could visit sites like Pinterest and find ways to make use of cardboard boxes for all sorts of arts and crafts.

A less fun but more practical use of boxes would be as protection for your floors if something needs to be painted, or large furniture moved.

Use Them for Storage

If you still need to store some of your items after a move, why not use one of the moving boxes? If your boxes are still in good condition after the move, they could serve as excellent containers.

The benefit of using boxes for storage is that it will be easier to organize them. You could use boxes as a way to store books, records, toys, or pretty much anything you want. After all, that’s what boxes are made for.

Give Them Away

Don’t need your boxes? Someone else most definitely does. People move all the time. Even your family, friends, or neighbors. Why not give your boxes to someone else who might need them? Here’s a list of people or organizations that could make use of your leftover boxes:

Meet neighbors

Friends, Family, or Neighbors

If you know someone that could use moving boxes, go ahead and give them yours. You will make their life easier and they will appreciate it.


Go to Craigslist and put up a listing for free boxes. You’ll have someone contacting you to get them off your hands in no time.


The Freecycle Network was created to ensure objects that were still useable could always find a new home.

U-Haul Box Exchange

U-Haul has programs for people looking to get boxes. Oftentimes people sell and buy boxes through these programs, but you could also give them away for free.

Find ways to make use of them


A great option for boxes is to give them away to charity. They can always find ways to make use of them.

Curbside Pickup

If you left moving boxes in good condition on the curbside, we promise you they’ll be gone in the blink of an eye. There’s always someone looking for a good box.

Sell Them

Moving boxes are always in demand. If you don’t feel like giving yours away or recycling them, you could turn a profit by selling them.

And there are a lot of ways to sell your moving boxes. Here are some of the places that will buy your boxes:

Your Mover

Some movers might have an option for you to sell your boxes to them, assuming they are in good condition. Ask your mover about this.

Connecting box sellers


Boxcycle is a network specifically dedicated to connecting box sellers with box buyers.


You could put up a listing on Craigslist mentioning that you are selling your boxes. Even a small amount can help you turn a profit.

U-Haul Box Exchange

As mentioned before, U-Haul has programs designed to help people buy and sell boxes. Check with their customer support service to see how to go about this.


Nextdoor is a private social network for neighbors and neighborhoods. You could check if anyone at your next place is looking for boxes and offer them at a reasonable price.

Keep Them for Next Time

Boxes will never not be useful when it comes to moving. If you know that you will have another move in the future, or you can afford to spare the space in your home, save the boxes for a future time. That’s assuming they are in good condition of course.

Carefully remove all the tape from the boxes, and open it completely, then fold it so it is easier to store.

Find ways to reuse things

Recycle Your Boxes

If your boxes are not in a good enough condition to be kept, given away, or sold, you could always recycle them. We should all be mindful of our environment and try to find ways to reuse things or recycle them. Here are a couple of ways to recycle your boxes:

Your Mover

You can ask your mover if they are part of any recycling programs. If that’s the case, you can simply let them take the boxes or return them to them if the move has already finished

Curbside Recycling

If your city recycling bins, just place the boxes in them or next to them for the waste disposal workers to take care of. The recycle bin dedicated to boxes is usually the blue one, but to be safe you should check with your official city page to see what their process is.

Local Recycling Centers

The best way to recycle boxes is simply to take them to a local recycling center. You can break down the boxes to make them easier to transport to the center in your vehicle.

Containers are just some of the supplies

Using Other Moving Supplies

Boxes aren’t the only supplies you’ll need for a move, nor the only ones you’ll probably be left with extra of. Tape, packing paper, bubble wrap, and other types of containers are just some of the supplies you’ll likely use for a move.

Here’s how you can give new life to them:

Tapes and Styrofoam

Tape is tricky because the one used on boxes will most likely lose its stickiness after ripping it off.

A leftover roll of tape can still have a lot of uses with school projects for the little ones, or some DIY projects. Styrofoam is more limited in use, but you could use pieces of it to keep things that need to stay stored tightly packed.

Styrofoam can also be used for some DIY projects, but you need to keep it away from children due to safety concerns. It might be best to recycle these two or give them away.

Packing Paper

If a roll of packing paper is in good condition, you could keep it around in case you or anyone else you know has another move scheduled for the future.

Packing paper can also be useful to cover walls, floors, or furniture if you are planning to paint around your house.

You can also cut up smaller pieces to wrap anything you need.

Practical use for bubble wrap

Bubble Wrap

You might have no practical use for bubble wrap right now, but there’s a lot of fun that can be squeezed out of it, pun intended. Have a popping party with the kids to release some of the tension of the move.

If you know someone that is moving or you think you might need it in the future, you could also store it away. Bubble wrap is very reusable.

Plastic Containers and Tarp

Tarps and plastic containers aren’t cheap, but luckily they have a lot of uses. Tarp can be used in a garden, or to cover the floors and furniture if you need to paint.

Plastic containers are excellent for storing many different things, and unlike cardboard boxes, you don’t have to worry about them degrading with time.


There are myriad different uses you could have for packing tools. You can use them for gardening, or in the kitchen. You can also use them for DIY projects and crafts as well.

Use of moving supplies after your move

Skip the Boxes Altogether

We’ve covered pretty much all the different ways you can make use of moving supplies after your move. But what if you don’t want to do any of that in the first place? What if you just want to unpack and proceed to enjoy your new place.

Well, there’s still an option for you. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of keeping boxes or working with them, giving them away, or any of that, just ask your moving company to take care of the entire packing and unpacking process.

As part of our packing services, Three Movers will pack all of your belongings for you, load them in the truck, unload and unpack them at your new place, and take all the supplies with us. Your only task will be enjoying your new home.

You can contact us to inquire about our packing services, or check out other guides about moving in our blog.

leftover moving

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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