Garage sale cardboard sign

Green Moving Tips


No, we’re not talking about exercising and eating leafy green vegetables to lose weight, we’re talking about getting rid of all that excess stuff you’ve accumulated in an environmentally friendly manner before you move to your new home! If you’re anything like the average American, your garage, basement and every possible nook and cranny is crammed full of dust-covered junk.

And the secret to having a smooth move is to get rid of as much of that unused stuff as possible!

Now wait just a second, don’t run to the trash can with armloads of dusty stuff! You want to clean house with a clean conscience. The last thing your local landfill needs is to be crammed with even more perfectly reusable stuff. You know the saying: One person’s trash is another person’s treasure! Hey, isn’t that how you ended up with all this stuff in the first place?

Here are some green moving tips to make your move more efficient:


  • Have a yard sale. This is a fun way to teach your kids how to reduce, reuse and recycle. Plus, you can ask them to serve as cashier as a sneaky way to help them learn math. A yard sale will also put more cash in your pocket, especially if you have big-ticket items to sell such as furniture.
  • Slap a “free” sign on it. Well before trash day when there’s no precipitation in the forecast, place any items you don’t want at the end of your driveway with a sign “Free to a Good Home.” This works wonders for larger items such as furniture—especially furniture that didn’t sell during your yard sale and that you don’t want to haul to a donation center! Of course, anything you put out should be in relatively good shape.
  • Take it to a donation center. This is a win-win strategy! You get a receipt for tax deduction purposes, and you get the good karma of helping provide jobs for the less fortunate. See this link for a mind-blowing list of donation centers and what they accept in the Portland area.
  • Sell it on eBay or Craigslist. This is a great way to reuse collectible items that are fairly lightweight and put some cash in your pocket.


  • Conserving landfill space.
  • Protecting water quality. All that stuff in a landfill oozes together, leaching contaminants into groundwater. Groundwater aquifers oftentimes supply drinking water.
  • Protecting air quality. In some locales, trash is sent to an incinerator. Incinerators belch pollution into the air we breathe.

Now you have far less stuff to pack, and you have a squeaky clean green conscience for reducing, reusing and recycling! You can also read our article on reusing packing materials here. Congratulations on lightening your moving and karmic load!

Back to Moving Encyclodpedia