What to do with leftover packing supplies

In the often frenzied process of moving, leftover packing supplies can often pile up unnoticed. As Prime Line Van Lines, a company that strives to be sustainable, we’ve noticed that these materials, though often viewed as waste, can serve an array of valuable and creative purposes. Our objective in this blog is to encourage you, our readers, to see your leftover packing supplies as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience. So let’s delve into this world of creativity and resourcefulness and explore how to transform what seems like trash into treasure.

Table Of Contents


Leftover Packing Supplies: An Invitation to Creative DIY Projects

In 2022, the crafting and hobby industry in the US reached $36.31 billion. Undoubtedly, DIY projects are an increasingly popular way to spend time, and leftover packing supplies offer a plethora of material for these endeavors. For instance, consider a cardboard box. It’s sturdy, versatile, and easy to cut – the perfect base for a multitude of creative DIY projects. You can transform it into a chic storage organizer or cut it into pieces to create decorative wall art. A prominent example is the cardboard chandelier made by artist Derek Hughes, which not only lit up his room but also the eyes of its beholders.

Picture of colors on a pallete
We encourage you to be creative the next time you finish moving

Eco-Friendly Solutions

However, it’s not just about being creative; it’s also about being responsible. With the growing awareness of our ecological footprint, finding sustainable solutions for leftover packing supplies becomes even more critical. Recent studies indicate that recycling rates are improving, with the recycling of paper and cardboard reaching 68.2% in 2020. Consequently, these materials have a new life, reducing the overall demand for fresh resources. Yet, the potential doesn’t stop there.

By upcycling, we give a creative twist to recycling, transforming these materials into more valuable products. Take your leftover compostable packing peanuts, for example. They can be composted and turned into nutrient-rich soil for your plants. Imagine, what was once part of your moving supplies Los Angeles can now bloom into a beautiful, thriving garden!

Practical Storage and Organization of Packing Supplies

Now, what if you can’t utilize all of your leftover materials immediately? That’s where effective storage solutions come into play. Many boxes can be flattened and tucked away under beds or behind closets until they are needed again. Bubble wrap and packing peanuts can be stored in reusable bags, and tape can be kept in a dry, cool place to maintain its adhesive properties.

Organization is key here. By designating a specific place for each type of material, you make it easier to find what you need when the time comes. Think about it like a library, each book, or in this case; each packing material has its place, ready to be pulled into use when required.

Donation and Giving Back

Let’s begin this section by considering the impact of donations. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, Americans gave $449.64 billion in 2019, with in-kind donations making up a considerable portion. That’s where your leftover packing supplies come in. Many local charities, schools, and community centers appreciate donations of such materials. For instance, your local movers could benefit from extra boxes and packing tape to assist families in need. There’s also the option to donate to art schools, where students can transform these supplies into innovative art projects.

Selling Unused Packing Supplies: An Unexpected Income Source

Meanwhile, selling leftover packing supplies after moving with Los Angeles residential movers can also be a viable option. The rise of online platforms has made it easier for individuals to sell items they no longer need. Websites like Craigslist, OfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace have sections dedicated to selling packing and moving supplies. Here, you can set a reasonable price for your materials, factoring in their condition and quantity. A 2021 report by ThredUP indicates that the second-hand market is projected to double in the next five years, reinforcing the potential for selling used materials.

Picture of a person thinking what to do with her leftover packing supplies
Selling is always an option

Maximizing Efficiency with Leftover Packing Supplies

Nevertheless, the best way to handle leftover packing supplies is to avoid having an excess in the first place. By implementing efficient packing techniques, you can significantly reduce the number of supplies needed during a move. For instance, using clothing or towels as padding for fragile items eliminates the need for excessive bubble wrap. Similarly, using a room-by-room packing strategy can help to minimize the number of boxes used. The key is to think strategically and pack efficiently.

Family-Friendly Projects: Turning Leftover Packing Supplies into Fun

Finally, let’s not forget about the little ones in our lives. Leftover packing supplies can serve as the base for numerous fun and educational DIY projects for children. For example, a large cardboard box can transform into a spaceship, a castle, or a puppet theater, sparking imagination and creativity. The National Association for the Education of Young Children advocates for the use of open-ended materials like boxes in children’s play, as they promote problem-solving skills and creativity.

Moving Industry Insights

To begin, let’s take a look at the moving industry. Many companies, recognizing the environmental impact, have started to adopt greener practices in dealing with leftover packing supplies. The Waste360 Recycling Summit in 2022 highlighted a 27% increase in waste recycling efforts by the moving industry. Reputable moving companies have introduced a “take-back” program, where movers take back packing materials after a move, to be reused or recycled appropriately. Such practices reflect the industry’s commitment to reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

Artistic Endeavors with Leftover Packing Supplies

Meanwhile, artists and designers around the world are finding innovative ways to repurpose these materials. Cardboard and bubble wrap, staples of any move, are transformed into pieces of art, proving that the lifespan of packing supplies can extend far beyond their initial use.

  • For instance, French artist Laurence Valli√®res creates large-scale animal sculptures from cardboard
  • British artist Simon Beck turns packing materials into complex geometric patterns

Their works are a testament to the artistic potential of leftover packing supplies.

Virtual Swaps and Exchanges

In a world increasingly dominated by technology, virtual swapping or exchange platforms are gaining popularity. Sites like Freecycle and Trash Nothing encourage users to give away items they no longer need, including packing supplies. By participating in these exchanges, users not only declutter their homes but also contribute to a circular economy, where materials are reused instead of discarded. According to a report by Accenture, the circular economy could generate $4.5 trillion of economic output by 2030.

Community Initiatives: A Collective Approach to Leftover Packing Supplies

Lastly, we turn our attention to local communities. Numerous initiatives focus on collecting and repurposing packing supplies for community projects or creative workshops. For example, the “Cardboard Challenge” event held annually in Los Angeles invites residents to create and build using cardboard boxes. This event not only promotes creativity but also instills a sense of community and environmental responsibility. By participating in these initiatives, each leftover box or roll of tape becomes part of a collective effort towards sustainability.

Picture of a kid painting on cardboard
Leftover packing supplies can be used in many ways

Final Thoughts

As you can see, leftover packing supplies hold a lot of potential. Whether it is to create something to use around the house or as a fun DIY project for the kids, packing materials come into play. So the next time you find yourself with a stash of boxes, bring in the little ones for a fun family activity!

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