Getting Creative: What To Do With Leftover Boxes

You're all moved in. But now your apartment's full of empty boxes! Here's how to get creative and reuse them during your first few days there.
Ross Sapir
By Ross Sapir
5 Min Read

No one thinks about the aftermath of a move. Sure, you'll probably be thinking all about your life after you move into your place. But does anyone really wonder what they'll do with their sea of leftover boxes

Most of our clients are understandably busy thinking about how to tackle the move itself, not how they'll clean up after it. Since we've seen plenty of boxes go to waste, though, we're here to offer some quick ways to reuse them creatively before recycling them for good! 

Here are the 6 coolest ideas we could think of:

1. Makeshift Masterpiece

If you haven't bought posters or paintings for your walls yet, use your cardboard boxes to make some makeshift masterpieces. All you'll need, really, is paint or colored pencils and a burst of inspiration.

Whether you're writing words on flat pieces of cardboard, trying to produce a realistic landscape, or just painting one of the boxes a single color, creating art for a new space can make it your own. It can also calm you down after a stressful move.

Remember that your masterpieces don't have to be masterpieces. Try to have fun with your materials and see what happens!

And even if you don't end up hanging anything on your walls, at least you will have made a couple memories to get started with and given a second life to your boxes.

2. Home Within a Home

Another fun option, especially if you've got kids, is to build a fort on your first night in the new place. Depending on how many boxes you've got, the fort could be super simple or super complex. But the main thing is to use it to celebrate the success of the move and the great journey ahead. 

You could even build a little fort for your dog or cat, too. Building a fort with your partner or friends can bring you back to your childhood and help you put this new chapter of your life into perspective. You're doing amazing things and should remember to have fun along the way.

Painting or decorating your fort can be awesome, too. And even though it might not be a permanent fixture in your place, a fort will provide an added sense of excitement and adventure in those first few days. And you can always save it if you've got the space!

3. All the Apartment's a Stage

Making masks and costumes for a little theater performance after a move is one of our favorite options. 

Whether it's a bit of Shakespeare or something you write yourself, designing a simple cardboard mask and maybe some cardboard armor can be a really creative way to have fun with leftover boxes. This option definitely won't be for everyone, but if you're not too tired after the move, give a homemade performance a shot.

Take a look at these masks from Ancient Greece for inspiration, if you want! You can even design a set like this one, on a much smaller scale of course, with your cardboard if you're up for it.

4. Custom Storage

Here's where we get meta. If you've used mostly big boxes, you can cut them up and use tape to create smaller boxes for all kinds of storage throughout your apartment.

You could make really tiny boxes for your spice cabinet to organize everything. And you could make a handful of medium-sized boxes for your books or clothing. 

When you get started on this, you'll realize there's really no limit to how many kinds of boxes you could create. Or how useful specially-designed boxes can be! If you don't want to buy a tray for your silverware, for example, you could make one really quickly. You could make narrow boxes for the items in your medicine cabinet, too.

Though you probably won't be able to use every bit of leftover cardboard this way, it's a super solid method for repurposing cardboard efficiently. 

5. Quick Fix

There are also tons of ways to solve small problems in your new place with cardboard. Take a wobbly desk or chair, for example. If you've got some cardboard lying around, slot some underneath one of the legs and you're set. 

You can also tape bits of cardboard to all the feet of tables and chairs to prevent scratching your floor. This'll ensure that you get your security deposit back! Cardboard coasters could be great, too. 

You definitely won't need to keep all of your leftover cardboard to have enough handy for these kinds of fixes. And they'll probably occur over time rather than right away. But hopefully this one gets you thinking of your own creative ways to use that leftover cardboard.

6. Recycle Responsibly

If you're exhausted from the move and just want to get those boxes out of your place, that's ok!

But remember to dispose of them in an eco-friendly way. All buildings have recycling bins by the garbage. If the boxes don't fit, break them down so they're flat, and then place them off to the side. That way, they won't clog up the bin and can be taken away correctly and easily later on. Be sure to ask your landlord if there's a different and better protocol to follow, too!

For More Tips

Head to our blog! We've written articles on everything from avoiding the most common moving mistakes to furnishing your new place.

We're always ready to make your move easier. Reach out anytime to ask questions or get started on the process!

You're invited!

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