Girl sitting in a cardboard box

Moving House Etiquette: Don’t be a Dingbat

Ok, so maybe it’s a cultural thing, but where I come from, friends who help you move are to be treated with the utmost respect; revered even. When you ask a friend to move, you must bring certain things to the table in exchange for their manual labor and not breaking all your best wine glasses.

The same goes for the environmental impact. Every packing peanut that has ever been created is still in existence, somewhere keeping garbage safe from breaking in a landfill. Your move doesn’t have to have the carbon footprint of international travel. Instead, you can make your move gentle on Mother Nature and on your pocket too.

First rule of moving club

You. Will. Be. Packed.

If your friends arrive to find you madly shoving clothing into black plastic bags while feigning surprise at how much stuff you have, they have every right to leave immediately. You need to get your shit together and pack so everything is ready to move when friends arrive.

Check the weather

If you move in the winter, make sure that all walkways and stairs are free of ice and snow. Rain prediction? Get umbrellas or raincoats for helpful friends.

Location, location, location

Check with building managers to see if you need to book the service elevator and make plans to reserve a parking space that is convenient.

Moving house 2

Provide refreshments

There is the obligatory pizza and beer to toast the new house and thank your guests for their hard work, but keep them hydrated throughout the day, especially if you are moving in the summer. Be sure to have fresh water on hand for people and pets in transit.

Rent a truck

Don’t be cheap! Making three thousand trips between houses with your hatchback is a dingbat move that no one will appreciate (especially Mother Nature). Do it properly; hire a tuck big enough for just one trip so that you reduce the environmental impact of your move.

Moving in a taxi or on the train? Dingbat central.

Moving during rush hour or parking in the street so everyone has to go around? Double dingbat to you!

Eco-moving Tips

Have a garage sale, a clothing swap and a good old purge. If you haven’t used it since 1993, chances are you probably don’t need it. The less you have, the easier your move.

Use recycled boxes and newspaper to pack and ensure that you recycle these materials afterwards rather than buying new boxes, packing peanuts and bubble wrap.

You can also rent plastic moving crates in your neighborhood so you don’t have any packaging materials at all!

Use natural cleaning materials to clean your home (full guide here)—they’re kinder on the environment, on your body and on your wallet too.

There will be pizza and beer.

About

Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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