How to use garbage bags for packing and moving

Moving house is an expensive affair as it is, so it’s only natural that you keep looking for good ways to save money when you move out.

One proven way to reduce your packing expenses is to use garbage bags, rather than cardboard boxes, to pack up some of your stuff. As you’ll find out in a minute, trash bags just happen to be more useful and practical than you ever thought. In fact, garbage bags have many uses during a move, and that alone turns them into a powerful tool to have in your struggle to cut moving costs.

So, instead of throwing your rolls of garbage bags in a cardboard box and forgetting about them until it’s time to unpack, it’s time to reconsider your packing strategy and make good use of those plastic containers.

Just follow these tips for using garbage bags to pack and move to save time, money, and energy during your move.

What kind of garbage bags you should use

The good news is that you can buy garbage bags from any convenience store and they are really inexpensive. The bad news is that you won’t be using those plastic bags to collect and throw your ordinary trash – you’ll be using trash bags to pack and move some of your items, so here are a few points to consider:

  • Purchase trash bags from a reputable brand name, like Hefty, for example, that will be the guarantee you need that you’ll be using a high-quality product. Avoid generic plastic bags that are usually of poorer quality.
  • Choose the largest trash bags you can find – it can be pretty practical to have that extra storage space and you don’t always have to fill them up to their maximum capacity. In most cases, the strength of a plastic bag is related to its size so the larger ones are usually more durable.
  • Get the thickest garbage bags you can find simply because you need strong heavy-duty plastic bags that won’t tear up too easily when full of various belongings. Read the label – trash bags come in different sizes AND different levels of strength, and the bags for outdoor use are usually the strongest ones because they are meant for heavy lifting.
  • ALWAYS use perfectly clean garbage bags to pack and move your possessions – that is, brand new plastic bags that have never been used before.

See also: What packing materials you already have in your home

What type of items to pack in garbage bags

What to pack in garbage bags: Trash bags are great for packing soft goods: inexpensive clothes and shoes with flat and soft heels, sheets, tablecloths, blankets, pillows, linens, towels, socks or maybe even some stuffed animals as well.

What NOT to pack in garbage bags: Thus said, garbage bags are NOT suitable for packing breakable and/or valuable items or sharp objects inside them. Also, do not use garbage bags to pack books because books 1) are heavy and 2) can be better arranged in boxes.

Read also: How to pack bedding for moving

Use garbage bags instead of moving boxes

How to use garbage bags when moving? Needless to say, one of the many uses of garbage bags is their effective substitution to standard cardboard boxes – under specific circumstances, of course.

The truth is that each moving container has its advantages and disadvantages. Unlike cardboard boxes, trash bags do not stack well and they can easily get torn or ripped during the move unless you’re really careful what you put inside them.

However, trash bags do not take as much space as cardboard boxes – instead, they can be squeezed into tight spots, thus allowing you to maximize the available storage space in your personal vehicle or in the back of the moving van you’ve rented.

Useful info: Great packing tips and tricks for your move

Use trash bags to pack and move clothes

One excellent packing and moving hack during a move is to use trash bags to pack and move hanging clothes in your closet. This method of transporting clothes is super easy, extremely quick and very cheap.

How to pack clothes in trash bags? It takes no more than 4 quick steps:

  • Step 1. Tie a twist tie around the metal hooks of a single group of 5-10 hangers with similar pre-sorted hanging clothes.
  • Step 2. Make a small hole on the bottom of a large and durable trash bag. The small opening should be roughly in the middle of the plastic bag’s bottom.
  • Step 3. Pull the garbage bag down over the grouped clothes, get the hooks of the hangers through the small hole, and pull down the plastic bag until it covers completely the hanging clothes.
  • Step 4. Secure the bottom of trash bag either by pulling its drawstring (if the trash bag is of the drawstring type) or by using a bit of packing tape to close the opening.

Keep in mind that using trash bags to move clothes only works with ordinary inexpensive clothes that you wouldn’t mind to get wrinkled during the move. Make sure you use specialized wardrobe boxes to pack and move your expensive designer clothes.

More info here: How to pack hanging clothes for moving

Use garbage bags to line your cardboard boxes

Packing paper and bubble wrap are the best materials to line up the bottom and sometimes sides of a cardboard box before you start packing it up.

If you want extra protection for your belongings and much cheaper substitution for bubble wrap, cut a garbage bag so that it covers more space and place on the bottom of the box as an extra insulator, especially when you’re moving in bad weather.

Did you know: How to pack boxes for moving

Use trash bags to protect your floors

Floor protection for your home is important, especially when the weather outside is bad. Prevent rain, snow, dirt, and dust from reaching your floors by cutting plastic garbage bags – so that they can cover a greater area – and placing them over the hardwood floors, carpeted floors or any other type of floor covering inside your home.

To avoid risky slips on Moving day, fix the trash bags to the floor using pieces of masking tape.

Check this out: How to protect floors when moving

Use garbage bags to transport plants

House plants can be a bit tricky to pack and move to a new home, especially when it comes to the mess they can make during transport – picture scarred soil all over the moving vehicle (usually your personal car). To prevent this from happening, place the bottom of the plant or the pot inside a trash bag to keep the dirt in check.

Make sure you keep the top of the plant outside the plastic bag so that fresh air and sunshine can still get inside – that is, to prevent suffocating your own house plants.

Moving advice: How to move plants to a new home

Use garbage bags to throw out the trash

Garbage bags can also be used for… drumroll… throwing out the trash.

Due to the great number of packing materials, trash can pile up pretty quickly while you pack and unpack your belongings. So, make sure you remove the excess garbage on a regular basis to keep your packing/unpacking stations and your home clean.

See also: 7 things people forget to pack when moving out

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