• January 4, 2021
  • Bill Chen

Last updated on October 30, 2023

Moving is a costly affair, when it comes to both time, and money. That’s one of the reasons why it’s great to grab moving boxes when they are free! Great when friends, family members, or neighbours help out by gifting you their boxes. However, any of the great Marrickville, North Sydney, or Bondi removals companies will tell you that there can also be some pitfalls to used boxes. 

1. The structure of the box may already Be weakened

There’s nothing worse than picking up a box full of fragile porcelain or glasses – only to have the bottom cave in and let the heavens open up on your hard unforgiving concrete driveway – this could be a reality when taking used boxes!

2. In light of the current climate, hygiene, and sanitisation

Let’s face it, it’s a cliched phrase but it’s true: you don’t know where that box has been. Or more specifically, what has been in that box. For all you know, you could be moving your tighty whities and undies in where the previous user had moved its dog slobber-covered dog toys. Just think about that. The top removalists Sydney North Shore offers, or wherever you are, will tell you that it’s not worth the risk. 

3. The rooms written on the boxes will confuse you or your removalists

Trust me on this. Even if you use a different color marker and have massively different style handwriting, if you have 2 rooms written on the box, it will confuse the hell out of someone at some point. If you must reuse boxes, try using a sticker over the previous writing and then adding your own. 

4. You might not get the right amount, or right size in accordance with your belongings

Again, it should seem obvious but it’s very true. When a removalist provides you with the boxes, it’s based on how much you are moving and how many trips are needed. When you use second-hand boxes, you might end up with unused boxes, or boxes that have been overfilled, or underfilled (you know, where something rattles around the whole box because nothing else is in there for some coziness).

 5. Don’t rely on the tape work already on them

This only applies if the boxes are either still made and taped, or still have tape from before but have been flattened again. You still need to use your own tape, trust me, like, in number 1, you don’t want to tempt fate. 

6. Your pets may become too interested in them

If you’re relocating with your pets and plants, specifically pets, you may find your puppy sniffing around these boxes a bit too much. They MAY even pee on them. I’ve seen it happen. If the previous movers had a dog themselves or even a cat or also excrete certain hormones, there’s likely to be a whole lot of smell-related sensations and communications going on there. It may be fun at first, or it may prove a bit of a nuisance when trying to actually move the box!

7. What do you do with them afterward?

I get it, it’s not just a cost saver, it’s also a recycling thing. I’m totally for helping the environment, but what will you do with the boxes after? You may need to return them, or the previous owner doesn’t want them back. With a good removalist, they will usually offer boxes either as a sort of loan for the move or as a purchasable option, so you can still save the environment in this way as well. 

8. Old boxes attract bugs and pests

This is especially true when wet or moist. Cockroaches, woodlice, rats, and more all love a good bit of old cardboard. Rats love it because it offers them both shelter and security. You don’t want boxes full of rat droppings. I hope. 

Well, there are your top 8 dangers – we could easily have given you another 8! Hopefully, you have hired professional removalists who can offer you boxes at a good rate to make your move easier, and think twice before reusing old boxes!

Bill Chen

About The Author

Bill Chen

Before 2008, Bill was working with a local removalist company in Sydney and was witness for a number of deformities and wrongs in the working of the company. Observing the atmosphere, a thought came to Bill’s mind that he could do much better if he were the owner of the company, by offering a fully transparent service to the clients with a friendly and trustworthy staff and no hidden fee structure; and thus, in 2008, AAA Bill Removalists Sydney was formed with just one truck and only Bill as staff. Even if Bill Chen began the company as just one man, the company grew fast. The operation expanded beyond the Sydney suburbs and to the surrounding cities: Wollongong, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour, Canberra, Newcastle, Melbourne, Brisbane, and other.

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