13 Feb Used Cardboard is…
… Not Sanitary
It may look clean but how can used cardboard not be ‘dirty’ when it has been tossed around trucks, shipping facilities, dumpsters, and the floors of other peoples homes? There is of course the dirt you can see such as dust, debris, and stains. If those obvious adulterations are present maybe you’ll just take a pass on using them, but what if they do ‘look’ good? How about the less visible germs and pathogens that may be present? Just how do you plan to remove that from a naturally porous cardboard material? Many people roll the dice and take their chances, enticed by the prospect of free stuff. But is free worth it? Only you can answer that question. When packing some box contents such as garage or lawn and garden items maybe unsanitary is fine. But how do you feel about stuff from your kitchen or linen closet? You really have no idea what was in the box before you got it. Perhaps it held someone else’s dirty clothes, contents from their pantry/refrigerator, or even a toilet cleaning brush! Beyond this there is also the ‘buggy’ stuff no one likes to talk about including bedbugs, roach feces, and moths. Sorry I had to go there but this stuff is a real risk you assume when deciding to go the route of used cardboard boxes because not everyone may live as clean a life as you. Moving is hard enough without also having to clean/sanitize your box contents when you unpack at your new place.
Even the best quality cardboard boxes lose their strength and structural integrity quickly through normal use. This is especially true for used shipping boxes which have been flung, heaved, and bounced around as they travel to their destination. And if the boxes have been around for any length of time, then the tape also loses its strength and adhesive properties. Packing items in these old boxes inflates the risk of the box breaking during the middle of your move which dramatically increases the likelihood of damage to your belongings.
Your Best Choice…
In short, cleanliness (or lack thereof) and compromised structural integrity are the two primary criteria to balance against the cost variable when deciding whether or not free used cardboard is the best option for you. Sometimes the budget just won’t accommodate any expenditures that are not absolutely necessary. But when your budget does afford you a choice, be sure to make a fully informed decision. To that end, please know that new cardboard is not the inevitable best option either — not by a long shot! New cardboard is unquestionably better than used cardboard, BUT commercial grade plastic moving boxes, which are a relatively new offering in the residential moving market, are comparable in terms of cleanliness and even stronger, amongst a host of other important distinguishing benefits.
The table below briefly summarizes areas of distinction that you may find important when considering whether or not use use a local ecofriendly box rental company like Lend A Box.