When you are packing to ship personal belongings internationally, you need to use packing materials to protect your belongings. You can’t pack dishes, glassware, framed pictures, delicate ornaments, vases, electronics or many other important items without protecting them properly.
If you feel that going out and spending a lot of money on plastic packing materials is questionable, the good news is that you have a lot of options that are much easier on your wallet and the planet when you are using . Here’s an overview of some of the most popular eco-friendly packing materials.
· Newspapers – They are readily available and easily recycled when you unpack. But they offer limited protection and can leave ink on your belongings. They are best used on easily washed, non-porous items such as dishes and glassware.
· Re-used Bubble Wrap – With so many people shopping online, you are bound to know people who have bubble wrap they don’t want. Put the word out, and you are likely to get plenty. Reusing it is more eco-friendly, but be warned you run a risk of gathering packing materials you can’t use.
· Towels and Bedding – Using your own towels and bedding to pack fragile items means nothing is wasted and you save packing space. It probably won’t be a complete solution, but using your bath towels, tea towels, sheets, throw blankets, etc. as packing material in combination with bubble wrap or packing paper will save you money.
Can You Reuse Boxes for Moving?
Another way people try to avoid buying new is to reuse boxes for their personal shipping. This is tricker. Free boxes from the grocery store are a false economy because they aren’t likely to hold up well and they are very likely to be contaminated with bits of food that will rot when you ship your personal belongings internationally, damaging the box and your things.
If you have sturdy plastic boxes or boxes designed for moving, those are much safer to reuse. Just be sure to check them carefully before you pack to ensure they aren’t damaged. A small crack can turn into a big problem as your boxes are loaded and unloaded from planes, ships or trucks.
Generally speaking, skimping on moving boxes is inviting disaster when you are shipping personal belongings internationally. A better way to save is to purchase second-hand suitcases. You can donate them to a charity shop in your new town or offer them on the local freecycle/ give and take page on social media. (Those pages can also be great sources for free suitcases.) It’s getting the maximum use from the luggage, which helps the environment.
It is important to take packing your belongings seriously and make protecting them your top priority. But happily you can do that while also saving money on your personal shipping and reducing your impact on the environment. It just takes thinking outside the box, so to speak!
When you’re ready to make your overseas move, our experts are here to answer any questions you have about how to ship personal belongings overseas.