What to Do With Used Cardboard Boxes? Throw Away, Recycle or Give Them Away
May 14, 2024

Moving houses can be a daunting task, but once you’re settled into your new home, you might find yourself with a surplus of cardboard boxes. While it’s tempting to toss them out with the trash, there are numerous eco-friendly and practical ways to repurpose or recycle them. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore over 50 creative ideas on what to do with used cardboard boxes after moving house.

Why Repurpose Cardboard Boxes?

Before diving into the various uses for cardboard boxes, let’s understand why repurposing them is important. Cardboard is a recyclable material, but recycling still requires energy and resources. By finding alternative uses for cardboard boxes, we can reduce waste and minimise our environmental footprint.

Small Cardboard Boxes

Small cardboard boxes, such as those used for packaging electronics or books, can be repurposed in several ways:

Storage Solutions

Use small cardboard boxes to organise and store small items like office supplies, craft materials, or accessories.

Gift Wrapping

Cut and decorate small cardboard boxes to create unique gift boxes for special occasions.

Medium Cardboard Boxes

Medium-sized cardboard boxes are versatile and can serve multiple purposes:

DIY Drawer Organisers

Cut medium-sized cardboard boxes to fit inside drawers, creating custom organisers for socks, underwear, or kitchen utensils.

Pet Playhouses

Turn medium cardboard boxes into cozy playhouses for your pets by cutting out windows and doors.

Large Cardboard Boxes

Large cardboard boxes from appliances or furniture deliveries can be transformed into practical items:

Furniture Protectors

Use large cardboard boxes as temporary floor protectors when moving heavy furniture or during home renovation projects.

Compost Bins

Construct a compost bin by stacking large cardboard boxes and lining them with a compostable bag.

Signs Your Cardboard Boxes Need Repurposing

Identifying when your cardboard boxes are ready for repurposing can prevent unnecessary waste:

Wear and Tear

If your cardboard boxes are torn or damaged from the move, consider repurposing them before recycling.

Excess Boxes

When you have more cardboard boxes than you need for storage or moving purposes, it’s time to get creative with repurposing.

Environmental Impact of Cardboard Waste

Understanding the environmental impact of cardboard waste can motivate us to find sustainable solutions:

Landfill Accumulation

When cardboard boxes are disposed of in landfills, they contribute to waste accumulation and take up valuable space.

Resource Depletion

The production of cardboard boxes requires significant amounts of natural resources, including trees and water.

Assessing the Condition of Cardboard Boxes

Before repurposing cardboard boxes, it’s essential to evaluate their condition:

Structural Integrity

Check for any structural damage or weaknesses in the cardboard that may affect its usability.


Ensure the cardboard boxes are free from mould, mildew, or any contaminants before repurposing them for storage or crafts.

Creative Ways to Repurpose Cardboard Boxes

Once you’ve assessed the condition of your cardboard boxes, explore these innovative ideas for repurposing:

DIY Desk Organiser

Cut and assemble cardboard boxes into compartments for storing pens, notebooks, and other office supplies.

Herb Garden Containers

Line cardboard boxes with plastic or biodegradable bags to create makeshift planters for growing herbs indoors.

Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Cardboard Boxes

Maximise the usefulness of cardboard boxes with these preventive measures:

Proper Storage

Store cardboard boxes in a dry, cool area to prevent moisture damage and preserve their integrity for future use.


Label cardboard boxes with contents and dates to facilitate organisation and quick retrieval when needed.


In conclusion, used cardboard boxes offer endless possibilities for repurposing and recycling. By exploring the ideas outlined in this guide, you can minimise waste, save money, and contribute to a greener planet. Get creative, think outside the box, and discover new ways to give your cardboard boxes a second life!

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