Top 20 Places to Find Free Moving Boxes [Video]
Imagine a world filled with free moving boxes – amazing right? Well, little known fact, we live in one. You just have to know where to look! To make your move a little easier, we’ve come up with a list of the top 20 places to find free moving boxes.
During the moving process, everyone seems to be competing for your checkbook. Knowing where to get free moving boxes means cutting out a significant chunk of your moving expenses. From the local grocery store to your place of work, you’d be surprised at how many places in your community are home to free moving boxes. With these tips, you’ll be able to find all the free moving boxes you need for your move, saving a little extra cash in the process.
Watch our video below to see our favorite places to snag free moving boxes. Need additional suggestions? Scroll below for additional hot spots for free moving boxes!
Reach out to your social circles
This should be one of the first stops on your journey to finding free moving boxes. Send out a quick post to your social media pages, and you’ll grab the attention of friends who are looking to get rid of leftover moving boxes. Whether it’s your niece who’s just moved into her first place or the local grocer who has more delivery boxes than he knows what to do with, finding free moving boxes could be as simple as clicking a button.
Office buildings handle tons of deliveries each day, which means tons of leftover boxes. Check around the office next time you head into work – you may be surprised at how many free moving boxes you find! If not, get in touch with co-workers that handle supply orders and see if they can reserve a box or two for you after the next shipment. Nothing says productive like heading in for a day of work and heading out with free boxes for your move!
When in doubt, check Craigslist
Scoping out Craigslist is a must. The first place to look is the “For Sale” section, where you may find a few listings for free moving boxes. If you don’t see any there, try posting under the “Wanted” section as a backup. There are plenty of folks who use Craigslist to help facilitate their post-move purge and moving boxes are no exception. Don’t give up until you hit the free moving boxes jackpot!
Barter your way for boxes
When money’s tight, bartering is always an option. Websites are a great platform for exchanging gently used items for free moving boxes. Post a quick message on their forum (think: “Offering up my unused plate set for free moving supplies!”). The message here: Don’t underestimate how people will be incentivized by free things.
If your neighbors are holding a yard sale, they’re trying to get rid of excess stuff, and there’s a good chance moving boxes are included in that mix. Scour the newspaper for local yard sales and see if you can take a few free moving boxes off of neighbors’ hands. For best results, make sure to call in advance so you don’t catch your neighbors by surprise (or while they’re bartering with customers that are actually paying for their stuff).
Every semester, the savvy student opts to purchase textbooks online rather than get ripped off by the university bookstore. The result? University mailrooms get swamped with boxes. If you live near a university or college, make sure to stop by the mailroom to check for free moving boxes.
Better yet, if your move date coincides with student move-in or move-out, you’ll definitely score some free moving boxes. Most universities have designated spaces to drop off leftover boxes, so be sure to ask campus officials or even e-mail the university’s green team to inquire. Most campuses will oblige as they’ll be charged less in recycling pick-up fees.
Free boxes inside apartment complexes
Thanks to high turnover, apartment complexes are a great place to search. Head down to a local complex or even the one you live in and ask to speak with the manager. The manager will be able to direct you to their package center or recycling room a.k.a. free moving box wonderland. Gather all you can carry!
Your local orchard
You may be hard-pressed to find cardboard moving boxes here, but your local orchard is a great place to find wooden crates for moving items that need a bit more support. Crates are super durable, and you can even repurpose them as a rustic piece of furniture after the move. Sometimes, the question isn’t where to get free moving boxes but where to get free moving crates. To save big you need to get creative and think outside the box. Pun intended.
No time like the holidays
If you’re wondering when the best time to get free moving boxes is, look no further than the holidays. The holidays bring lots of good cheer, but they also bring lots of delivery boxes. If your move-in date coincides with the holidays, it’s smart to send a quick note to friends and family before the holiday madness. Something like “I’m moving next month - any chance you could set aside a few delivery boxes for me? Would love to use them for my upcoming move!” will do the trick.
The grocery store
Not only is the grocery store home to all of your beloved snacks and cereals, but it’s also home to tons of free moving boxes. Head straight to the fruit and vegetable department to find a free moving box haven. Apple and banana boxes are perfect for moving as they can support a lot of weight. Your local grocery store will also have a lot on hand since they receive shipments every day.
Join your community’s Freecycle group to see if anyone’s in the market to donate free moving boxes. It’s completely free to join the group, and it’s a great way to connect with other members of your community. Even if you don’t find free moving boxes, Freecycle is a useful resource to know about as you begin to declutter your home before the move.
Head on over to your local liquor store to grab some more durable boxes. The best part about liquor boxes is that they typically come with a lid and handles making them perfect for protecting your valuables from slipping out. Not only will collecting liquor boxes save you some extra dough but they will also make for a smooth move. Grab your free moving boxes and treat yourself to a bottle of wine for all of your hard work while you’re at it.
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 large storage on your free moving box hunt, an auto supply store should be your go-to. Auto supply stores are sure to have plenty of larger boxes in stock since they always have items like oil and windshield washers coming in. Check out one of these stores, and you’ll look no further for large moving boxes!
Reach out to someone who just moved
Everyone knows someone who is moving or has moved. Ask around amongst co-workers, neighbors, family, and friends to find a backlog of free moving boxes and other moving supplies that you can put to good use. If you do happen to strike free moving box gold, make sure you write them a thank you note and pick up the boxes yourself. They’re saving you a ton of time and money so it’s important to let them know they’re appreciated.
Supply chain stores
At places 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 here, as the shipments that come through these warehouses are massive. Also, many stores will reuse delivery boxes to pack your items at checkout, so save your boxes next time you take a trip to one of these supply chain stores and you can build up a pretty decent inventory.
The local elementary school
Your local elementary school is also a great source for free moving boxes. Think about all of the classroom supplies, books, gym equipment, desks, and cubbies that have to be delivered before the school year begins. It may be worth it to reach out to the maintenance or administrative staff to see if taking some boxes off their hands is an option.
Most recycling centers require that patrons break down their cardboard boxes. However, if you call in advance, you may be able to salvage a few. You may 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. Check out where to find a recycling center near you, and pay them a visit to gather up some free moving boxes.
Other retailers like office supply stores, bookstores, hardware stores, and restaurants are also great places to check out. They have a constant stream of cardboard boxes flowing in and out, and they’ll be durable enough to hold the contents of your kitchen cabinets.
Remember, there is no need to spend additional money on moving boxes during your move when you can find them for free! Free moving boxes are a dime a dozen if you know where to look and are diligent about doing so. Out of everything on your moving checklist, make moving boxes the least of your expenses. Happy hunting!
Had luck finding free moving boxes with a retailer that's not on the list? Make sure to tweet us your suggestions @updater!