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Top 20 Places to Find Free Moving Boxes

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Imagine a world filled with free moving boxes — amazing right? But what if we told you that you’re already living in one? From your local grocery store to your office building, you’d be surprised at how many places in your community are home to free boxes. You just have to know where to look!

During the moving process, everyone seems to be competing for your checkbook. Knowing where to find free supplies means cutting out a significant chunk of your moving expenses. To help you budget your move and make life a little easier, we’ve put together a checklist of the best places to find free moving boxes.

Get Free Moving Boxes From People You Know

Your social circles

Contacting friends and family should be one of the first stops on your search for free moving boxes. Send out a quick text to your group chats or post on one of your social media accounts to grab the attention of those looking to get rid of leftover moving boxes (and maybe even other helpful packing supplies as well). Whether your niece just moved into her first apartment or your neighbor recently received a huge home delivery, you’re bound to find someone in your network with free moving boxes.

Your office

Office buildings handle tons of deliveries each day, which means tons of leftover free boxes. Poke around your office next time you head into work — you might be able to score big! If not, reach out to your co-workers that handle supply orders and see if they can set aside a box or two for you after the next shipment.

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Yard sales

If your neighbors are holding a yard sale, they’re undoubtedly trying to get rid of excess stuff. As they de-clutter their home, there’s a good chance your neighbors will have some free moving boxes you can take off their hands. Drop by the yard sale or give your neighbors a call to see if they’re willing to part with some of their boxes for your upcoming move.

During the holidays

The holidays bring lots of good cheer, but they also bring lots of free boxes. If your move-in date coincides with the holidays, it might be smart to send a quick message to friends and family before the holiday madness. Let them know you’re moving soon and ask for them to set aside any leftover boxes they might have. Chances are, they’ll be happy for you to do the recycling for them.

Another person who just moved

Everyone usually knows someone who’s just moved. Ask around amongst co-workers, neighbors, family, and friends to find additional moving supplies that you can put to good use. If you do happen to strike gold, make sure you write them a thank you note and pick up the free boxes yourself. They’re saving you a ton of time and money, so it’s important to express your gratitude.

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Free Moving Boxes Online

When in doubt, check Craigslist

Scoping out Craigslist is a must. The first place to look for free moving boxes is the “For Sale” section of the site. If you don’t see any there, try posting under the “Wanted” section. There are plenty of people who use Craigslist to help facilitate their post-move purge — and cardboard boxes are no exception.

Barter for boxes

When money’s tight, bartering is always a viable option. There are plenty of websites to trade belongings online. If you have any unwanted items that you don’t want to take to your new home or apartment, consider listing them on a bartering website. You may be able to exchange some old books or dishes for a bunch of free moving boxes.

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Freecycle

Join your community’s Freecycle group to see if anyone can send a few spare boxes your way. It’s completely free to join the group and a great way to connect with other members of your community. Even if you don’t find free moving boxes, Freecycle is still a useful resource as you begin to declutter your home before your move.

Local Spaces with Free Moving Boxes

Recycling centers

Most recycling centers require patrons to break down their cardboard boxes. However, you may be able to salvage a few if you call in advance. You might need to re-tape or re-fold the boxes back up to get them ready for your move, but it never hurts if it means saving a few dollars. To find more free boxes, locate a recycling center near you.

University mailrooms

Every semester, more and more university students are opting to purchase textbooks online rather than purchase them via their on-campus bookstores. The result? University mailrooms get swamped with cardboard boxes that are perfect to use for your move. If you live near a university or college, make sure to stop by the mailroom and see if they have any free boxes they’re willing to part with.

Better yet, you’re definitely likely to find free moving boxes if your move date coincides with students moving in or out of dorms and apartments. Most universities have designated spaces to drop off leftover boxes, so be sure to ask campus officials or contact the university’s sustainability organization to inquire. Most campuses will oblige, as they’ll be charged less in recycling pick-up fees.

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The local elementary school

Your local elementary school is another great source for free moving boxes. Just think of all of the classroom supplies, books, gym equipment, and desks that have to be delivered before the school year begins. It may be worth reaching out to the maintenance or administrative staff to see if it’s possible to acquire some free moving boxes.

Apartment complexes

Apartment communities are a great place to search for free moving boxes. Take a look at the package center or recycling room in your own building or head to another nearby community. The property manager will be able to direct you to their package center or recycling room. Gather all the free boxes you can carry. And of course, say thank you!

Free Moving Boxes at Nearby Businesses

Your local orchard

In order to save big, you need to get creative and think outside the box (pun intended). If you live in a more rural area, your local orchard is a great place to find wooden crates for moving fragile items that need a bit more support. Crates are super durable, and can even be repurposed as home decor after your move!

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Grocery stores

Not only is the grocery store home to all of your beloved snacks and sweets, but it’s also home to tons of boxes and crates. Find a worker or store manager and ask them to take a look at their storage or recycling room. Since the grocery store receives shipments nearly every day, you should be able to stock up on some free boxes for your move.

Liquor stores

Head on over to your local liquor store to grab some of the most durable boxes available (and maybe a bottle of wine while you’re at it). The best part about liquor boxes is that they often come with a lid and handles, making them perfect for protecting small or fragile belongings. Just ask anyone working in the store if you can snag some free boxes. Chances are, the boxes would otherwise end up in recycling.

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Auto supply stores

Large moving boxes can be few and far between if you don’t know where to look. If you’re struggling to find what you need, an auto supply store should be your go-to for larger boxes. Check out one of these stores near you. They’ll usually be happy for you to take their overflow of boxes off your hands.

Retail giants

At stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and Walmart, virtually everything comes in a box — and large ones at that. You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding free moving boxes at these stores, as the shipments that come through their warehouses are massive. Many stores will reuse delivery boxes to pack your items in at checkout, so save your boxes next time you take a trip to one of these stores. You should be able to build up a pretty decent inventory of free boxes.

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Miscellaneous retailers

Other retailers like office supply stores, bookstores, hardware stores, and restaurants are also great places to look for free moving boxes. They have a constant stream of cardboard boxes flowing in and out, many are durable enough to hold the contents of your kitchen cabinets.

Remember, there’s no need to spend unnecessary money on moving boxes when you can easily find them for free. Free moving boxes are a dime a dozen if you know where to look. Out of everything on your moving checklist, make moving boxes the least of your expenses.

Once you’ve acquired your boxes, take a look at our packing and moving supplies checklist. We’ve compiled some additional items that will facilitate your move.

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Rather watch than read? Check out our video below to see some of our favorite places to snag free boxes.


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