Though people usually throw them away, corrugated shipping boxes are very useful and often essential when moving to a new home, sending out packages, or storing items. Unfortunately, because they’re so easily disposed of, people rarely keep boxes on hand, making buying boxes for shipping an additional moving or postage supplies expense.
To save money, people should visit large stores such as Wal Mart or Target and learn when their employees unpack all their new products and merchandise. Employees generally finish unpacking new shipments of clothes, cookware, canned goods etc. around midnight, leaving many corrugated shipping boxes that can easily be recycled.
Since most of these boxes are thrown away, most employees will be more than happy to let people take them home for free. Just ask nicely and everyone will benefit.
That said, people who use recycled boxes should keep the following tips in mind:
Types of Corrugated Shipping Boxes to Look For
The nice thing about using recycled boxes from stores like Wal Mart or Target is that the boxes come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, making it easy to find the perfect box for shipping and selling textbooks, storing glassware, or even packing a refrigerator.
To make sure a recycled box fits any of these needs, however, take a moment to examine each box. Boxes made of corrugated fiberboard are often the best recycled boxes to use for shipping or storage. Corrugated fiberboard is made by combining corrugated (pleated) sheets with flat linerboards, creating a tougher cardboard. Just think of the difference between the feel of a strong shipping box and a flimsy cereal box and it’s easy to see why corrugated fiberboard is more desirable.
When collecting several shipping boxes, get boxes that have been opened and folded up by the employees (employees generally carry small blades that can slice open the tape on the tops and bottoms of the boxes, letting them fold up the boxes and stick them in shopping carts). Folded up boxes are easier to transport and store – and can be easily reassembled when needed with some strong packaging tape.
In general, shipping boxes used to transport cookware, clothing, books, or toys provide the strongest and best types of recycled boxes.
Corrugated Shipping Boxes to Avoid
It’s no secret that people should avoid shipping boxes with strong odors – meaning they should stay away from boxes that carried detergents, perfumes, or scented candles. Shipping boxes that transported items like tires or inner tubes also often carry undesirable odors and should be avoided (unless, of course, people want to use these recycled boxes to store perfumes, candles, or tires).
One common mistake that occurs when recycling boxes from stores is accidentally getting a box with a missing top or bottom. This happens when the box was originally covered and sealed with cellophane, making a top unnecessary. Other times, a box will have flaps that don’t cover the entire top or bottom, making it useless for shipping. Be sure to fold up each box to get an idea of how they’ll look when they get reused.
Recycled Boxes Save Money and Provide Better Options
Using recycled boxes not only saves money but also prevents otherwise good cardboard shipping boxes from going into the trash. To make sure these boxes can be used, however, be sure to do some legwork and find out if each box fits specific needs.