You’re getting ready to move out when you suddenly realize that you haven’t thought about where all the food in your current home will go. Your kitchen cupboards and pantry are probably stocked with various food supplies. The chances are that your refrigerator is far from being empty too.
Throwing away perfectly good food is wrong and wasteful.
Giving away tons of food supplies to your neighbors should look like a rather desperate move.
Packing and moving all frozen foods, refrigerated items, perishables, canned goods, and non-perishables can easily prove to be a waste of money, time, and energy.
So, what to do with all that food in your home when Moving day is approaching faster than you are ready to welcome it? Luckily, you have good options to fix your excess food issue.
Here’s what to do with your food before moving.
Step 1. Inventory your food supplies
You’re going to have to assess just how much food you actually have in the home prior to the move. The idea of inventorying all the food supplies may seem a bit odd at first, but you do need a good strategy to avoid wasting good food during the house move.
The truth is that once you know what you have, then you should be able to figure out where each food item will go. So, make sure you group the food you have in the pantry and the fridge (or freezer) into several categories:
- Frozen foods – meat, vegetables, etc.
- Refrigerated perishable items – eggs, dairy products, condiments, sauces, etc.
- Canned foods – fruits, vegetables, soups, etc.
- Foods in glass bottles – olive oil, sauces, bottled fruits, etc.
- Boxed items – cereals, grains, snacks, chips, etc.
- Food supplies in delicate packaging – flour or sugar in paper sacks, etc.
Once your food inventory is complete, you’re going to need a good plan in order to know what to do with your food when moving house.
See also: How to move a refrigerator
Step 2. Use up as much food as possible before moving out
How to minimize food waste before you move? Your next logical step is to try and use up most of the food so that the amount of leftovers remains perfectly manageable on the day of the move.
- Limit your trips to the grocery store and start using up the contents of your fridge, freezer, and pantry.
- Save money by cooking the leftover food supplies in the refrigerator instead of spending money to eat out.
- Get rid of the food before moving by introducing a fun element in it all – let each family member find promising recipes online and come up with delicious ideas about how most of the perishable items can b cooked prior to the move.
- Consider organizing a farewell party for your friends in an attempt to use up all or most of the food and drinks in your fridge and pantry.
Read also: How to say goodbye to friends when moving
Step 3. Pack up the food you’re taking with you
It’s normal that you’ll want to take some of the food items with you to the new home. Sure, you can always buy new food supplies when you arrive in your new home in the new city, but there may be some local delicacies with which you won’t be willing to part that easily.
Here’s the best way to pack food when moving:
- Use small to medium-sized moving boxes to pack food supplies such as canned items, glass jars and glass bottles because they can become too heavy too quickly. For safety reasons, do not try to pack too many food items into one huge moving box.
- Avoid bad leaks and spills in the cardboard boxes by using thick resealable Ziploc bags. This packing trick is especially useful when you pack sugar, flour, spices or opened bottles of olive oil and other liquids.
- Use packing paper and then bubble wrap to wrap up any glass containers you’ve decided to move to the new home.
- Use a cooler to store the perishable items you do want to take with you, such as milk, meat, vegetables, fruits, etc. This is only a good idea if you’re moving locally and the relocation trip is scheduled to take only a few hours. For longer cross-country moves, you’re not advised to take any perishables at all.
- Label, whenever necessary, each moving box that contains any food. This will help you identify and unload those food-containing boxes with higher priority when you reach the new home.
Useful advice: Great packing tips for your house move
Step 4. Donate non-perishable food items
Now that you know how to pack food when moving house, let’s look at another great option before you – food donation.
According to a recent study, “The average family throws away around $1,500 worth of food every year – more than 23 lbs. of food per person is thrown out (35 lbs. if you’re counting food retail) every month.”
Also, according to this study, “When combined, this wasted food is enough to feed around 25 million people. Considering this fact, the amount of food wasted would almost be enough to feed the entire population of New Jersey and New York, two of the most densely populated states in the U.S.”
So, do the right thing and donate your non-perishable food to a local food bank when you move. Make sure all those non-perishable items – any canned goods, pasta, rice, nuts, etc. that you don’t wish to take with you – are unopened and non-expired.
In fact, donating your non-perishables is very easy – 1) you can either box them up and deliver them yourself to a local food bank, or 2) you can have your moving company do it for you free of charge provided that the mover is a partner of the Move for Hunger program.
Move for Hunger is a non-profit organization that works with more than 1,000 professional moving companies in the United States and Canada to collect non-perishable food items and deliver them to food banks across North America.
What to do with your food before moving? By donating the unwanted non-perishable food to those in need, you’ll make a valuable contribution to minimizing food waste before moving away.
Good to know: Where to donate things when moving
Step 5. Throw away or recycle expired food
Finally, it’s time to throw away or recycle any leftover food that 1) you’re not taking with you, 2) you’re not donating and 3) you can’t possibly use up until Moving day. Most of the time, those include expired foods or ones that are already open.
Don’t forget to recycle properly all glass containers (glass bottles, glass jars, etc.) and cardboard containers.
Step 6. Don’t forget about your move day
The above steps have taught you what you should do with food before moving. Here’s one final piece of advice: don’t forget that you’ll still get hungry on the day of the move, so you need to be prepared when that happens. Prepare some sandwiches and a few snacks to keep your energy elevated throughout the most exhausting day of the entire house move. Also, keep some bottled water close by as well.