Mindful Move-In

Move-in, sustainably

With move-in fast approaching, it's time to start thinking about the best way to sustainably move on or near Queen's campus.

Whether you are a returning or an incoming student, we have a few mindful move-in tips to help you make more sustainable decisions and purchases and make this year's move a greener one. 

City of Kingston move-in resources for students

Plan Ahead

Moving can be easy with a bit of planning. Knowing what you will need and preparing is half the battle. These tips should dramatically reduce the stress of move-in day.  

  • Arrange pick-up of your keys. 

  • Label all boxes/reusable containers and pack based on the room (e.g., bedroom, kitchen) so you know what's in each box and what goes where when you arrive at your destination.  

  • Coordinate with friends, family, or housemates to help you to move larger items.  

  • Check the weather for your move-in day to make sure you are prepared. 

  • Before you move any items into the home, perform an inspection. Take notes of any damages or deficiencies before moving in and taking pictures to compare with your move-out. 

Bring only what you need. Visit the Residences website for a full packing list.

Sustainable items to bring

  • Reusable water bottle. Queen's is a bottled water free campus.

  • BYOC - Bring your own cup when visiting select retail food locations and save $0.25 per drink purchase on hot beverages and fountain drinks when you choose to reuse.  

  • Reusable shopping bags.  

  • Participate in the GOOD TO GO reusable container initiative to help reduce single-use disposable container use on campus. Save $0.75 with select meal purchases at participating retail locations when you choose to reuse and Swap. Eat. Repeat! Learn more.

  • LED bulbs - conserve energy and save money on your electricity bill.

  • Your bike - Cycling is a quick, cheap, and eco-friendly mode of transportation, and Kingston boasts a beautiful cycling network! Sign up for safe and secure bicycle storage

Stay up-to-date on exciting sustainability initiatives in Hospitality Services.

Items to avoid purchasing

  • Single-use plastic water bottles 

  • New items with excessive plastic and styrofoam packaging 

  • Online items. Shop locally in Kingston!

  • Plastic cups, straws, utensils, or plates 

  • Plastic sandwich bags

Help the environment and your pocketbook! 

Choose Reusable Over Cardboard Boxes

Consider packing your items in reusable containers (which can be reused for future moves) or in items you are already bringing, such as a laundry bin, backpack, or duffel bag. 

Wrap your breakable items in your clothing and other soft items. Avoid using plastic packing tape to secure items. Not only will you reduce your waste, but you will also save space and cleanup time after you move in.

If you need to use some cardboard boxes (if you are shipping items, for example), consider breaking them down and storing them under your bed and reusing them for move-out. Start collecting and saving boxes over the summer from friends/family and from purchases.

Make sure to follow all Queen's or local recycling procedures during move-in.

Bring Only What You Need

The less you bring, the less packaging you'll need. It'll also be less to ship or carry on move-in day.

Remember, whatever you bring must be moved out at the end of the year, so bring only what you really need. Shipping things home or purchasing storage can really add up! Reduce your move-in time, save money, and help keep campus cleaner and more sustainable.  

Worried you won't have enough? Don't fret; there will be lots of opportunities to purchase used or new items in Kingston once you are settled.

Don't Idle

Do not leave vehicles idling while moving in. Park the vehicle in a safe location, put on your hazard lights if required, and shut off the vehicle. This is not only lessening your carbon omissions but also adhering to the municipal by-laws

Wait on Big Purchases

It is important to see our new space in person and coordinate with your roommates before purchasing large items. You may find that some items are too large to fit in your space or that you can share a more oversized item (and it's cost) like a large rug with your roommate to avoid unnecessary purchases. 
Plus, you may find more sustainable and affordable options once you move in.

Buy Used

When you purchase a used item, rather than buying new, you reduce your environmental impact in two significant ways: keeping things out of the landfill and reducing the demand for the creation of new products. Save money and feel good about making sustainable choices!

Below is a list of local resources to purchase gently used items. 

You can find some great affordable options for your rental’s furnishings while keeping these items from going to the landfill and avoiding disposing of all that packaging. Below is a list of various ways to purchase used items. 

Off-Campus Students: Coordinate With Your Housemates

Many households will have friends, new and old, moving in from all different areas and living arrangements. Talk to your housemates ahead of time to find out what they will be bringing with them in terms of appliances, furniture, or other shared items in the common areas of the property.

Common duplicate items could include: 

  • Toasters 

  • Microwaves 

  • Couches 

  • Desks 

  • Kitchen tables 

  • Coffee tables 

  • End tables 

  • Chairs 

  • Coffee makers 

  • Lamps or similar lighting 

  • Pots, pans, or other cookware 

  • Utensils  

Recycle Well

Recycling in Kingston and on-campus may be different than what you are used to at home. Learn how to recycle properly off-campus and on-campus to reduce contamination of waste steams. 

 Queen's Recycling Overview

Recycling off-campus 

Look up the City of Kingston collection calendar or download the app so you don’t miss your pick-up days. 

City of Kingston information on recycling and garbage

Recycling on-campus

Please bring recyclable items associated with your move-in to the recycling room in your residence building. Dumpsters are available outside for cardboard disposal.

On-campus recycling


Download the campus Waste Wizard app or reach out with your recycling-related questions.

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