moving without the clutter

by Chuck Resnick

Protecting the environment is an important concern for consumers and businesses alike, but many don’t realize that moving can have a positive impact on the environment.
Waste caused by the moving process not only stems from packing supplies, but also from the waste accumulated over many years within a home or office. Both sources can be extremely taxing on the environment if not properly managed.

So, here are some suggestions on how to make your move a cleaner, greener process.

plan ahead
Waiting until the last minute to prepare for a move often makes environmental concerns an afterthought. Start early so you have the extra time to sort through recyclable items in the garage, kitchen and basement for delivery to recycling depots prior to moving day. Typically your garage, basement and attic contain the highest concentration of recyclable waste so start the sorting process there first. Consider holding a garage sale or donating gently used tools or small appliances to a charity rather than have them end up in a land fill site.

Survey local recycling options to find the most convenient solution for recyclables. Many cities offer curbside pick-up or “sort and drop” depots. Visit for a list of local organizations that can dispose of all types of recyclable materials.

be mindful of hazardous material
As you clean out your garage and basement in preparation to move, be conscientious about the kinds of materials being packed to move with you and which items are to be disposed.

Toxic items, such as paint, batteries, house cleaning products, automobile oils, pesticides and fertilizers are dangerous and cannot be transported in the back of a commercial moving truck. Also consider these items cannot be thrown-out with your regular garbage. Look up the specialized recycling depots for toxic products in your city.

Prepare recyclables by organizing into categories: plastic, glass, aluminum, paper, cardboard, etc. Look up the requirements of the local recycler to see if there are any additional steps needed to prepare recyclables beforehand.

Do not throw away used boxes when the move is complete. A well-made corrugated box is great for storage or may be reused for a future move. Contact local schools or charity organizations, such as women’s shelters, scout troops, and food banks to ask if they need boxes to redistribute donated items. Donating gently used boxes not only reduces waste, but can be a big help in support of a good cause.

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— Chuck Resnick is vice-president, marketing and operations at Two Men and A Truck – Canada®.