Zero-Waste Moving

We DID IT!! Nolan and I made it to Colorado Springs. Life and this journey have been so good to us. We are full of gratitude and excitement.

You may or may not have noticed a lack of a “Wasted in May” blog post, and I explain it further down.

As you  are (hopefully) aware of, this entire year I have engaged myself in a zero-waste challenge! Yep, no trash, no waste, zip.

First off, yes. It’s unrealistic when your moving.

Secondly, the best we can do is doing our best! I encourage everybody to give it a try, and I hope the plethora of internet resources can help make it a less-daunting activity.

Read further for my packing strategies, road trip struggles, how to protect fragile items without packing paper, and BONUS how we managed it for under $1000!

Step (No, RULE!) #1 – Minimize! If you some more-than-perfect guidance on that, go get this book. (Seemingly counter-productive…but trust me. You need this book.)

Marie puts your possessions in such a wild perspective, that letting go becomes easier and easier. Nolan and I were fortunate to not have much furniture at all, so we sold it or gave it way. (Yay to no more first-home-hand-me-downs!) Our belongings hardly filled a 10×10 storage unit. I continued to toss items in the yard sale pile as time went on.


Step #2 – Strategic Packing

I may not be a pro, but we’ve moved locations nearly 5 times in 2 years. Here are my best tips!

1- Collect all of your towels, dish towels, old magazines and newspapers and put them aside. You’ll find out why further down. Also, look into packing boxes. I used a bunch of giant Tupperware containers, as well as collected used shipping boxes from my place of work.  If you want to avoid more plastic, you can scrounge for used shipping boxes or rent plastic moving bins from websites such as Bungo Box or Rent A Green Box. 

2-Make a list of your down-right daily essentials, and keep them organized separately from everything else. This includes packing a suitcase to live out of until you are settled back down.

My essentials include a  toothbrush and tooth powder, waterpik flosser, bar of soap for hair and body, a jar of oil for moisture, a toothbrush and my tooth powder, clothes and few shoes, crystals and essential oils, and a couple of books. (For the 27-hour car ride!)

3-Categorize everything else. Dishes, cookware, jewelry, valuables, books, shoes, clothes, decorations, hobbies, tech, pet supplies, and sentimental items. Divide the fragile from non-fragile items.

4-Get ‘cho towels out! Newspapers and magazines too! This is where you begin to wrap fragile items like your dishes, decor, hobby accessories if applicable, and whatever else behooves you to wrap it up!

5-Figure out what you will need when you get to your new place. Take those basics with you, and if there is leftover, ship the rest. I found that it’s cheaper than renting a uhaul or part of a moving truck. I’m lucky enough to have folks back home who can send me certain boxes when I need them, or have the spare change. Boxes of a decent size and weight ran me about $30-$50 each at UPS. I’m afraid USPS will cost way more, and those flat rate boxes just don’t cut it.

Those are my best tips for zero-waste moving! (Or moving in general…phew!)

I hope no one has to move as often as I did the past couple years, but I value the wisdom I have gained as to what I can and can’t live without. Everything is borrowed, nothing is truly ours. I always keep this in mind when temptation creeps in, and it helps to keep my grounded. I have begun to think  long term: New yoga pants, or krav maga lessons with my fiancee’ in Colorado? The latter will be way more fun. 🙂


Till next time, sending lots of love from Colorado!!


Leave a Reply