Moving can create a ton of waste. From purchasing packing materials to moving items you are eventually going to get rid of, there are plenty of ways to reduce moving waste. Not only will reducing your moving waste help the environment, but it will also save you money.

Here are five easy ways to reduce moving waste:

Purge before you move

So often, people wait until the last minute to pack and end up throwing everything into boxes. If you have time to prepare for your move, plan to go through the items in your house. Make three piles - sell, donate, and recycle.

By taking the time to go through your belongings, you’ll be able to sell some items or donate them for the next person to enjoy. Ultimately, you’ll reduce moving waste by not spending the money on packing materials, your belongings will go to a new home, and you’ll save money by moving less weight.

Reuse existing boxes

If you have some time before your move, start saving boxes from your online orders. You can also visit local retailers and ask them for boxes. They will be happy to give them to you.

Put your soft goods to use

Instead of purchasing a bunch of packing paper, use what you already have! Blankets, bed sheets, and towels are great padding for fragile items.

Create a meal plan for moving week

Food is a big contributor to the amount of moving waste. As you prepare for your move, create a meal plan to help consume perishable food and clean out the pantry. 

If you have any unopened, nonperishable food you do not want to take with you, ask your mover about Move for Hunger. It’s a great program that allows movers to box up your food for you, and they will donate it to a local food bank.

Recycle, recycle, recycle!

As you unbox your items at your new house, make sure you recycle everything you can. Many moving companies will do debris pick up and will give your boxes to another customer to reuse. If that is not an option, make sure you recycle boxes and paper instead of throwing everything in the trash.

According to reports, people move on average 11.7 times in their lives. That’s a ton of boxes and packing materials throughout a lifetime. Think about how we can greatly reduce moving waste if we all take these simple steps.