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08.01.2005

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in the box how to pack for a big move 
by
Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 1

where to score boxes and packing materials
Cardboard boxes aren't normally an item you find yourself coveting. But when you're in the midst of moving house, you'll soon discover that you can never have enough of those big brown cubes. Inevitably, at some point, you'll get a good packing groove going only to run out of boxes midway through emptying out your cupboards. Yeah, you could run to your friendly neighborhood home improvement store or call up a moving company, places that are guaranteed to have boxes galore -- provided you fork over some cash. But cardboard boxes are actually kind of pricey, especially when you consider how many of them seem to come into and out of your life for completely free when you're not in need of them. Fortunately, with a little effort, the resourceful packer really can get all the boxes s/he needs without reaching for the wallet. Before you shell out the dough on stuff like boxes, bubble wrap and packing paper, check out these sources:

  • freecycle.org | If you haven't yet discovered the joys of freecycle.org, an online list where folks can exchange their unwanted goods (for free!), now is the perfect time. You'll often see folks freecycling an entire household's worth of moving supplies -- including regular boxes both big and small, wardrobe boxes (which have a rod to let you hang your clothes in the box), mirror boxes (good not just for mirrors, but artwork as well), padded and regular packing paper, and more. Should you be so lucky as to nab one of these offers, you'll find you've struck the mother lode. Keep in mind that you'll first have to offer up something in order to get anything (this is just good freecycling etiquette), but as you'll be weeding stuff as you figure out what needs to go with you on the move and what doesn't, this shouldn't be a problem.
  • recycling centers | On my last move, one of the best sources we found was an organization that recycles cardboard boxes from local companies. Look up "recycling" in the phone book, then give those neighborhood recycling centers and recycling organizations a ring to see if they have any boxes they might be willing to part with.
  • work or school | Most offices and schools have stuff shipped to them on a perpetual basis, which means that cardboard boxes and bubble wrap are always piling up. Look for them in the hallways, and make sure to let everyone in your office know that you're on the prowl for packing materials.
  • curbs on recycling day | If you have curbside recycling in your area, keep your eyes peeled on recycling day.

keep on truckin'

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