Cardboard boxes are a critical component of any move, regardless of whether you are moving houses, offices, or the contents of entire buildings. Expect to use approximately 60 boxes when you move to a new home, although this number can change significantly depending on how much stuff you are moving with you.

The move can be distressing for a lot of people, but moving and packing experts advise unpacking as soon as you arrive at your destination. You may be feeling exhausted and stressed, but putting off the unpacking process for an extended period can increase the adaptation phase. In extreme cases, seeing all those boxes may even increase your chances of developing relocation depression.

It’s not just cardboard boxes that you need to worry about. You may also need to deal with the rolls of bubble wrap, boxes of packing peanuts, air pockets, packing paper, and other materials. What do you do with all those boxes and packing materials?

Our experts share a few ideas on what you can do with these items below. Choose one or try out several to see which works best for your situation.

Keep the best ones

There are many reasons why you may want to consider keeping your moving boxes – even if it’s just a few boxes. For one, you may need them for future use.

If you are a frequent traveler, you will need boxes for packing and moving your belongings to a new space. By keeping at least some of the boxes, you can save up on some of the cost when it comes to packing your stuff.

Another situation where you may need the boxes is if you intend to rent a storage unit. Perhaps you are a student, or your family is growing, and there is not enough space in your home to hold all of your possessions. By having a few sturdy boxes at home, you have containers ready to hold your trinkets, documents, photo albums, and other items.

Don’t forget to label your boxes and keep an inventory list. An inventory list comes in handy whether you are moving or storing items. By labeling your boxes and making a list, you know what items are in each box. With this simple technique, you won’t need to run around opening boxes randomly while looking for specific items, and then taping them up again.

Choose boxes that are in the best condition or have the least amount of damage. Only reuse the sturdiest boxes. Otherwise, you risk damaging your belongings during a move or while they are in storage.

Reuse boxes for home renovations or craft projects

Unleash your creative juices with the boxes and packing materials. If you have kids, you can spend an afternoon or weekend creating castles, forts, costumes or whatever they can come up with.

Depending on your skills, you can even build furniture using the boxes. Look for plans online or design and create your own cabinet, chairs, or tables. It’s a great way to save up on costs for college students on a tight budget.

Consider storing a few as well in case your kids have an art project for school. They may need the boxes for class presentations or if there is a school play that they want to participate in.

Another idea is to use them as cheap alternative building materials in your home. The boxes can be especially useful during renovations. You can use the boxes to patch up, cover, or protect parts of the floor, wall, or ceiling.

For individuals with a green thumb, you can also use the boxes in your yard or garden. With these being organic and all, you can turn the boxes into compost or use them as natural weed barriers.

Sell them

It can be difficult to reuse or find space for all those used boxes. Even if you flatten them, they can still occupy a lot of space. What you can try to do is to sell them.

Post ads in your local marketplace or consider selling them to a nearby junk shop or recycling center. Depending on the number of cardboard boxes you plan to sell, you can do this to recoup some of the relocation costs.

Donate your boxes

For more generous individuals, consider giving them away. Give them to relatives, friends, or work colleagues who plan to move sometime soon. You may also consider donating them to a local charity.

If you hired a professional mover to do the packing and moving for you, ask whether they can take the boxes back with them. Some companies can do the recycling and disposal for you for free if you avail of their unpacking services.

The worst-case scenario would involve disposing of the boxes yourself. You can tie them up and leave them outside for somebody else to pick up, or place them inside a large trash bin.

Keep in mind, however, that different towns and cities have different laws and regulations when it comes to cardboard disposal. Be sure to check with your neighbors, the local police or government body what their ordinances concerning paper-based containers. By talking to people in your community, you also open yourself to opportunities to make friends and learn about your new home.