Simple + Sustainable Ways to Tackle Moving
Hello my beautiful readers and happy beginning of September!
As I’m writing this, I’m drinking a pumpkin-flavoured cup of coffee with oat milk, a pine cone-scented candle is burning and I have sunflowers in a vase beside me. I can honestly tell you that I’m feeling so content and well within my soul. It’s the simple things in life, like the chillier air in the morning and a warm knit sweater draped over my shoulders, that truly make me the happiest right now. September has already brought with it an air of change, as we waved our nieces and nephews off on their first day of school and hugged my brother-in-law extra tight as he starts his first day of high school at my old alma mater. It feels nostalgic, and it reminds me of that famous line in The Great Gatsby when F. Scott Fitzgerald writes “life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall”.
I couldn’t agree more.
There have been some changes in our own home as well, and if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that we bought our first house and moved over the Labour Day long weekend. Now that we’re settled in, the bookshelves are secured to the wall (am I really moved in until the books are unpacked?) and the dishes are in their rightful spot, I’m ready to share with you some simple and sustainable ways to tackle moving.
1. Opt in to digital billing.
If you’re still receiving bills in the mail, a move in the perfect opportunity to transition your physical paperwork to a monthly email. This cuts down on the emissions created by the post service, and it allows your mailbox to be a happy place that receives wedding invites, thank you cards and handwritten letters.
2. Ditch the plastic bubble wrap.
Whether it be that handcrafted ceramic salt and pepper shakers your grandmother has passed down to you or just your favourite glassware, it’s normal to want to protect your more fragile items. In efforts to do so when moving, ditch the plastic bubble wrap and opt for textiles (think towels, t-shirts, sheets, linens etc) or newspaper instead.
3. Rent moving boxes.
Purchasing moving boxes is an added and unnecessary expense, especially considering that once you’re done moving, they either get tossed or gather dust in storage. Before pulling out the credit card to pay for moving boxes, consider asking friends and relatives if they have spare ones they’re willing to part ways with. Another thing you can do is visit your local grocery stores and ask them if they have spare boxes they could give you. If you’re not able to get your hands on any boxes after asking around, look into rental moving boxes services such as Frogbox that drop off reusable plastic bins (and biodegradable covers!) to your door and pick them up after you’re done moving.
4. Consider your meals.
The week prior to our move, Alex and I ate out sooo much that by the end of the week I was actually sick of pizza and craved something homemade and healthy. It didn’t occur to me that in the midst of packing and making lists, the last thing on my mind would be making dinner (not to mention that I’d already packed the plates). In efforts to reduce single-use plastic and takeout packaging waste, consider what you’ll be eating the few days prior and after moving. Maybe cook a lasagna and throw it in the fridge or something equally simple.
5. Part ways with unwanted items mindfully.
Decluttering is practically an extension of the moving process, but it’s important to be mindful of how you discard those unwanted items. First, ask your friends and relatives if they’re interested in any of the items you’re looking to part ways with. Then, donate good quality clothing and houseware to your local thrift store (I did so and got a 20% off coupon for future shopping!). As for those clothing items or linens that would not make the quality cut, you can donate them to animal shelters where they repurpose them into beds or bandanas for the animals, senior centres with sewing programs, or select churches. There are so many creative, simple and helpful ways to keep items from ending up in the landfill.
6. Clean consciously.
One of my favourite parts of moving is cleaning (#Monica), and over the past few months I’ve been testing out natural cleaning products for the home. After doing in-depth research, I learned about the negative side-effects traditional cleaning products have on our bodies. Many cleaning supplies or household products can irritate the eyes and throat, or cause headaches and more serious health problems, including cancer. Some products release dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Learning this has empowered me to create a DIY natural all-purpose cleaning solution, which I wrote about here, but I also love Mrs. Meyers and Dr. Bronner’s products, both of which I get at my local grocery store. As for laundry detergent, I have found the Seventh Generation brand to clean garments so well.
I hope these simple and sustainable ways to tackle moving have inspired you and will make your life a little easier when the time comes. I’d love to know, do you have any more tips you’d like to share with me?
Until next time,