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What to Do with Cardboard Boxes Once You’ve Used Them

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Cardboard boxes are an essential part of any house move – it’s hard to do it without them! Once the move is over though, you’ll likely be left with mountains of empty boxes that are taking up a lot of space and getting in the way in your new home. If you’ve rented out self storage in Glasgow, Edinburgh, or Dundee with Kangaroo, you might be in a similar situation. You may even start to feel a little guilty at the sight of so much cardboard – but don’t worry. There are so many things you can do with cardboard boxes once your finished with them – they don’t have to go to waste. Today we’re going to look at all the different ways you can use and recycle cardboard boxes.


women holding mug in her hand with boxes around her


Use Cardboard in Your Garden

There are multiple ways you can use old cardboard boxes in your garden. Torn up pieces of cardboard can be added to a compost heap as the ‘browns’ part of your 50/50 split of brown and green matter.

Sheets of cardboard laid over soil as a mulch will help protect the ground underneath from harsh winter rains. If you’ve leafmould going spare, spread this under the cardboard too – worms and other soil-life will enjoy processing both the leaves and the cardboard, and come spring, you’ll have great crumbly soil ready for planting.

If you’ve got time and a bit of patience, cardboard can be used to supress weed growth. Lap overlapping sheets over your weed-infested soil and weigh down with a generous layer of compost and manure. After 6-12 months the weeds will have died off, making them easy to pull out, and you’ll be left with rich growing soil.

With all the above ideas it is important that you use uncoated cardboard and not boxes that have been coated with a plastic laminate – your garden won’t appreciate plastic.


Protect Your Surfaces When You’re DIYing

If you’ve just moved house, then the chances are you’ve got some DIY planned soon. Whether you’re giving your walls a lick of paint, or you’ve taken on a full-blown renovation project – cardboard is your friend! Break down your cardboard boxes, cutting them along the folded seam to make them as big as possible and lay them on the floor to protect your floors from all the messy jobs like sanding, stripping, and painting. Use masking tape to keep the edges of the cardboard stuck to the ground so you don’t accidentally trip over them or knock them out of place.

Thick cardboard is also great for when you’re moving bulky items into your home, both on the floors and attached to corners or walls with painter’s tape. A layer of cardboard between your walls and the heavy appliance you’re trying to move through a small space will help prevent damage to your plaster and paintwork.


women painting a white wall with blue paint


Cardboard Arts & Crafts

If you’ve got young children (or maybe you’re just a big kid yourself, we’re not judging) you can use old cardboard boxes in a range of arts and crafts projects. Large sheets of flattened cardboard are perfect for a messy afternoon creating a poster-paint masterpiece, and with enough imagination, you can turn a cardboard box into just about anything – a rocket, a car, a playhouse. If you’ve really

got a lot of boxes, you could even make a cardboard maze. Don’t worry if you’ve not got much artistic vision – sites like Pinterest are full of ideas.


child playing with a cardboard with his dad


Recycle, Keep or Pass Them On

If you’re not interested or have no use for turning your cardboard boxes into something else, the simplest thing to do is keep hold of them, recycle or pass them on.

If your used cardboard boxes are still in good condition once you’ve finished with them, consider passing them on to someone else who could make sure of them for any of the reasons we’ve mentioned today or for their own house move. Even if you don’t know anyone personally, just popping them outside your front door with a note explaining that they are free to a good home could see them picked up and taken away before you know it – just make sure to put them out on a dry day and not when it’s raining.

You can also flatten them and keep hold of them for yourself – you never know when you’re going to need a cardboard box and once flattened, they become much easier to store. If you own a business and have inventory that needs storing, cardboard boxes make it easy to move things around and will protect your items whilst in transit – of course you already know this if you’ve got lots of cardboard you’ve just used for a house move!

If you’ve made your mind up and you just want your cardboard boxes out of your house for good – make sure to recycle them properly rather than just putting them in with your normal refuse. Recycling cardboard is easy, turning old cardboard into new cardboard uses 75% less energy than creating new cardboard from raw materials and significantly reduces the amount of sulphur dioxide released into the atmosphere.


orange cardboard signs


We hope this article gave you some ideas of how to use your cardboard boxes and peace of mind that any boxes you do buy don’t have to end up in the bin. Whatever kind of cardboard box you need, here at Kangaroo Self Storage we have a huge range available in our box shop. If you’ve got boxes full of things and need somewhere to store them, speak to us today about self storage in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dundee.

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