You’ve successfully unpacked all the boxes, or at least the ones that matter, and now there’s this interesting question of what to do with the leftover bubble wrap. Similar to cardboard boxes, bubble wrap is very versatile and you shouldn’t just throw it away.
Believe it or not, plastic bubble wrap – the ultimate packing material for protecting fragile, sensitive, and breakable items during the move – can be reused in many ways after the house move is over. You’ve already paid for the protective material once, now it’s time to take the most of your initial investment and put your leftover bubble wrap to good use after a move.
Here are 10 things to do with bubble wrap after the move: useful and fun ways to reuse bubble wrap after you move into a new home.
#1: Keep it for your next move
Some sheets of bubble wrap will probably get ruined during the move, and that’s fine, but the ones that are intact should definitely be used again, at least one more time. You never know when the next house move will come knocking on the door, so it’s good to be prepared when it comes to packing supplies.
Unlike cardboard boxes, bubble wrap requires relatively small storage space – you will probably be surprised how much of it you can cram into a single storage box. Bubble wrap has many practical uses, as you will see below, so the very first thing you should consider is to just store it until you need it once more.
Essential info: What packing materials you need to pack your things
#2: Insulate your home
Thanks to the trapped air inside each bubble, the protective material is an excellent insulator – something you can use to your advantage whenever your home needs to be insulated against cold or moisture.
If the new home has a problem with heat loss due to poor insulation around the windows and doors, you can wet large pieces of bubble wrap and stick them directly on the inside of the windows to improve the home insulation. Also, fill in any gaps with pieces of bubble wrap to stop the cold air from coming in.
Worried your water pipes may freeze in the winter and burst? Wrap those pipes in bubble wrap during the coldest months to prevent them from freezing up.
Important info: What to do after moving into a new house
#3: Insulate your plants
If you’re a gardener, then you may already know what to do with extra bubble wrap. During the winter, the plastic bubbly material can be used to protect your most delicate plants from the cold air and frost.
Line the sides of pots and planters with bubble wrap before placing your perennial plants in them but leave the bottom clear for adequate drainage. Also, you can use bubble wrap to cover the foliage of plants, flowers, shrubs, or even small trees to keep them properly insulated from the harsh winter weather.
Think of the bubble wrap insulation as tiny greenhouses for your cherished plants.
Read also: How to move with plants
#4: Keep your car windshield from freezing
It seems like winter will make you come up with clever ways to reuse bubble wrap after a move, like keeping your car windshield frost-free during the coldest days in winter. Seriously, how much time do you normally waste to get the accumulated frost off the windshield of your car early in the morning? What if you could save that time?
Position a large piece of bubble wrap over the windshield, and then place the wipers over it to keep it in place. You can easily piece a few sheets of bubble wrap together using tape so that the entire windshield can be properly protected.
You go to your car in the morning and there’s neither snow nor frost on its windshield. Good job, eh?
See also: How to ship a car to another state
#5: Protect your groceries
After the move, you’ll definitely need to do some serious shopping, including plenty of groceries to fill the empty new-home refrigerator. Again, you can use the superior insulation qualities of bubble wrap to make your post-move life a bit easier.
Line your grocery bags with pieces of bubble wrap to keep the food and drinks cooler for much longer while you’re driving around town doing other errands too. Also, use bubble wrap to protect delicate fruits and vegetables which are easily bruised or damaged. You just brought breakable glass bottles, for example, beer and wine? No problem, bubble wrap will have them covered as well.
Check it out: How to make your new place feel like home
# 6: Pop away your stress
Everyone’s heard that popping bubble wrap can be kind of fun, but most people are still very much skeptical when it comes to the therapeutic effect of those characteristic pops. Well, the only way to see if that actually works is to try it yourself.
What can you do with bubble wrap after the move? Relieve your stress, of course. There are so many things that can stress you out right after you move into the new home, so why don’t you take a sheet or two of bubble wrap and start popping the bubble away until you feel much calmer and more relaxed?
Just try it.
Useful info: How to reduce stress when moving house
#7: Let your kids have bubble wrap fun
There are a number of creative uses for bubble wrap, especially if you have kids who would love the idea of having some fun with the bubbly plastic material.
First, you can have your children create unique color patterns by painting the bubbles in bright watercolors and then pressing the colorful bubble wrap on white sheets of paper.
Then, another way small kids can have a blast with leftover bubble wrap is the so-called Bubble Wrap Run – place a long and fairly narrow strip of the plastic material along the length of a long hallway (away from any stairs!) to create a soft runaway so your little kids can crawl or walk from one end to the other.
Safety tip: Don’t let your children run too quickly as bubble wrap is slippery.
Good to know: How moving affects children
#8: Keep stored accessories in shape
Here’s another good way to reuse bubble wrap after moving:
While unpacking your shoes and handbags, you may choose to place some of those accessories into temporary storage simply because you know that you won’t need them right away.
And if that is the case, then it’s useful to know that you can use bubble wrap to keep handbags, totes, shoes and especially tall boots from losing their shape when placed in storage. Just fill your accessories with clean pieces of bubble wrap, and you’re good to go.
Read also: How to pack for storage
#9: Donate it to people in need
Should you find yourself really wondering about what to do with old bubble wrap after the move is over, and you have no desire to store it for future use either, then the logical thing will be to just give it to people who need it or will need it soon enough.
Don’t just throw away perfectly usable sheets of bubble wrap – instead, ask friends and neighbors if they happen to need it for packing or for something else. Compose a brief Facebook or Twitter post to inform your friends you are offering a good amount of bubble wrap for free.
See also: How to get rid of things when moving
#10: Recycle it
As you can see for yourself, there are numerous ways to use bubble wrap after you’ve already moved house. However, if you have decided that 1) you won’t keep the bubble wrap you have left after unpacking your stuff, and 2) the protective material is too worn out or seriously damaged to be even donated, then the only good option you’ll have is to recycle it.
Most of the times you’ll be able to leave your used bubble wrap for curbside recycling. If that’s not an option, then the local recycling center should definitely accept whatever quantity of plastic bubble wrap you may have.
Find out more: What to do with packing materials after the move