What Can I Do With Leftover Moving Boxes?

Home, Sweet Home. You’ve finally unpacked that last moving box. But now there are oh so many leftover moving boxes and you don’t know what to do! You could recycle them, sure. Or pass them on to a friend or family member who is also moving soon. But there are also many fun and crafty things you can do if you have a little time and some imagination!

*By the way, learn more here about all packing tips for a stress-free move.

What to Do With Leftover Moving Boxes

For the Kids:

There are almost endless leftover moving box possibilities here. Grab some markers, crayons or paint and get your artistic skills ready.

  • Cardboard boxes are great for making Halloween costumes. Robots, Airplanes, a Box of Crayons…the possibilities are endless. This is a great way to be creative, save some money (we all know the store costumes are quite pricey) and have a fun project to work on with your kids!
  • The really large boxes can be used to make a fabulous playhouse or any other kind of “building”. If you’ve got the space, you can make a whole town complete with a grocery store, fire house and police station, or a Princess castle, beauty salon and dress shop. Just about anything can be created.
  • Have a nice medium size heavy duty leftover moving box? How about whipping up a car or truck? There’s really nothing to it! Cut off the top and use those pieces to fashion a windshield and tires.
  • A small or medium size box can quickly and easily be turned into a color sorting game for your wee ones. Plus, it can help keep them occupied while you get a few minutes to relax after unpacking all those boxes. Simply tape the box shut and cut five or six round holes in one side. Then make sure the side opposite the holes is cut entirely off or has a large enough opening to retrieve the balls when done playing. Next, color around each hole using a different color and write the color name as well. Give your child corresponding colored balls that will fit in the holes and they can practice! Or, if you only have white balls, you can instruct them on which color is next and play together. You can sit on the comfy new couch while your child plays in the same room.
  • Got a budding photographer? Try your hand at making your own light box.
  • Who needs snow? Grab a heavier box and sled down the grassy hill in your new backyard!

For the “Big Kids” – AKA, the Adults:

Don’t worry, the leftover moving box fun isn’t just for the kiddos. There are plenty of projects you can do with boxes, too.

  • Maybe not as much fun as the kid crafts, but good for the soul – boxes in good shape can often be donated to local charities for their storage needs. Food pantries or places that collect clothing may be in need of extra storage boxes – just call and ask! Helps you get rid of them, but puts them to good use at the same time.
  • Spray paint booth. An empty box turned on its side can be used to avoid spraying paint all over your new garage or workroom. Or, cut the large boxes and lay them flat in the yard to spray paint larger items. Great way to protect what is underneath and give that box a second life.
  • Instead of buying expensive baskets, cover a few boxes in fabric to create your own! You can use simple hot glue to hold most fabrics onto cardboard. Go wild! Get those animal print fabrics or crazy patterns that will be great accent pieces in small doses.
  • Protect the floor of your new garage by placing a sheet of cardboard under an old car to catch any leaks. Keep a couple spare pieces on hand, and swap them out every few months to make sure it doesn’t soak through. You can also shift the piece around so the leak isn’t always dripping on the same spot.

For the New Home:

There are many things you can use leftover moving boxes for around the house. Don’t just toss them after you empty them out. You can reuse them and reduce waste!

  • All cats love empty boxes. The box doesn’t even have to be empty and they will find their way in!
    • Just sit an empty leftover moving box here and there in different rooms. Leave some with flaps on and others with flaps cut off. Just make sure to tape one end shut securely. Toss a toy ball in there or one of their favorite blankets. Or, just leave it at is. Don’t worry – no matter how much effort you put into this, even if it’s none, they will love it!
    • Open the flaps and tape a few boxes together creating a fun tower or tunnel.
    • For the really small boxes, you can take a jingle ball toy or any toy that makes noise when it moves, or some cat nip and place it inside. Cut a few small holes on the sides then tape the box shut. And catnip for most cats is so irresistible that they will play vigorously for some time then lay down for a nice nap, usually with the catnip toy in tow.
  • OK, this sounds counter-intuitive since you just finished unpacking them, but those leftover moving boxes make great storage boxes! Old tax papers, Christmas decorations, the kids’ art projects or school mementos can go right back in them and be moved to the garage or attic.
  • Use a few small or medium boxes as compost bins outside.
  • And, you can use really small boxes for outdoor planters. You can even use ones that are smaller than a bowl to plant new seedlings or flowers into the ground. The cardboard will biodegrade after some time and help keep the fragile roots together until the plant is stronger and larger.

Recap: What to Do With Leftover Moving Boxes

There are so many great ideas out there to reuse your leftover moving boxes. You really are only limited by how many boxes you have stacked in your new garage right now! If you have some ideas you want to share, post them in the comments below.

And, if you are getting ready to move and need some boxes, you can purchase high quality specially treated boxes in our retail shop inside the rental office at all of our locations. If you are staging your home to sell or just need some additional space to put all your extra belongings or seasonal items, you can rent a storage unit online now or contact us for more information.

Originally posted 6/29/2017; updated 8/4/2021

1 thought on “What Can I Do With Leftover Moving Boxes?”

Leave a Comment