How to move house sustainably


If you’re moving house soon, you’ll likely have started your long list of items that you’ll need to help you move. Don’t forget, it’s also really important to consider how you can make your move as sustainable as possible so that you’re not damaging the environment.

Packing, cleaning, transporting and unpacking a home can actually use a surprising amount of both resources and energy. 

With that in mind, we’re put together a list of our advice on how to be more eco-friendly throughout the whole process:

Make sure to use recyclable materials

Cardboard boxes tend to be the material of choice when people come to pack up their belongings, which is brilliant, as they’re fully reusable and recyclable! Here at Steeles, we can provide you with strong, durable cardboard boxes to ensure that your belongings arrive safe and sound in your wonderful new home – whilst being sustainable along the way.

If you’d rather do the packing yourselves, that’s no problem! We can simply provide you with removal-grade boxes that we use everyday, and then collect them again to reuse or recycle once you’ve finished. Don’t forget, you can also use other items that you own, such as suitcases and holdalls, to transport items – reducing the amount of additional boxes you’ll need.

There’s always a danger when moving house that a lot of unrecyclable, single-use plastic will be involved, which isn’t great for the environment. Wherever possible, try to avoid using anything like this and opt for the equivalent recyclable option. For example, we tend to use white newspaper offcuts – very similar to the paper used with your fish & chips!

At Steeles, we can supply you with pretty much everything you’ll need for the move – including recyclable cardboard, paper packaging materials and reusable wool blankets to protect your fragile pieces.

Use removal experts if you can

By using a professional moving firm such as Steeles to help with your move, we’ll have access to much larger vehicles, and can also pack everything neatly and securely to fit more items in without breakages. This will therefore ensure that your move will be done in as few trips as possible (sometimes, we get it all in, in one go!). This will result in much fewer carbon emissions produced by the transportation, as you’re doing fewer trips between locations.

If you decide to hire your own van for a DIY move, it’ll likely be more stressful and hard work, and will mean that you’ll need to complete several trips back and forth to transport all of your possessions. If your new home is a good few miles away, then these distances will quickly start to add up! It’ll also save a lot of time too, as you’ll be able to concentrate solely on unpacking when you reach your new home, instead of having to keep going back to fetch more. 

At Steeles of Stamford, we’re proud to hold the Environmental British Standard – ISO14001 – which sets out the criteria for a business environmental management system. We follow a set framework to ensure that we have an effective environmental management system, meaning that we are more sustainable and kinder to the environment.

We can offer many different service packages completely tailored to your needs, in order to make moving house as stress-free and efficient as possible. If you’d like to find out more, visit our website here.

Have a good clear out before you move

By donating or recycling any items that you no longer need, you’re reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ that you have to move from one home to another. This should help to save you money and reduce your carbon footprint, as you’ll require fewer trips or even a smaller vehicle. 

There are so many fantastic organisations that will gratefully receive your unwanted items – such as schools, charity shops, shelters and nurseries. Any possessions such as DVDs, toys and books will be welcomed. By donating items instead of throwing them away, you’ll also reduce the amount of rubbish that goes to landfill. If any items are broken (such as electricals), there are many shops that will dispose of them responsibly for free.

Having fewer items will also mean that you’ll need fewer packing materials, which again will help to reduce the amount of any single-use plastic packaging that is used during the move.

We’ve also noticed that a lot of unwanted food gets thrown away during a move, so consider sorting out your kitchen cupboards before the big day approaches. Most food banks will take any in-date dry food goods – so you’re able to help the community, and reduce landfill waste at the same time.

Check your cleaning products

One of the last stages before any house move is typically cleaning, and also one of the very first stages once you reach your new home!

With this in mind, try to avoid using any environmentally toxic products whilst cleaning – as some of these can be dangerous to marine life.

Instead, try to go for more natural remedies to make your house shine – such as vinegar, lemon and baking soda. Or, use eco-friendly off-the-shelf cleaning products, which are available in most home stores and supermarkets. A brand we’d recommend is ‘Method’ – as their range of cleaners are all made with biodegradable, sustainable formulas. 

Some strong cleaning products can even be a potential hazard to your own health, so it’s definitely worth reading the labels before making your choice. Whenever you can, try to opt for reusable cleaning materials such as microfiber cloths, instead of single-use disposable ones such as paper towels or wipes.

If you’d like any advice or a free no-obligation quote from our friendly team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.