Whether you're moving across town or the country, moving boxes are a must. You'll need boxes whether you're moving everything directly into your new place or storing some of your things in a storage unit. As you begin the moving process and hunt for boxes, know that you can save money on boxes and even get them for free. Let's look at some popular places to find moving boxes.
Start by checking social media to find people giving away their moving boxes. I have seen posts for free boxes on Facebook Marketplace as well as the Nextdoor app. If you don't see any posts, reach out on social media to see if someone has boxes lying around that you could have for free.
Your Real Estate Agent
Many real estate agents provide moving materials like boxes and tape. If they don't offer, don't hesitate to ask. If they don't have any, they most likely know someone who does.
U-Haul offers a box exchange to reduce waste. They help their customers sell and giveaway boxes. Give them a call to see what's available in your area.
Large Warehouse Stores
Ask large warehouse stores when they receive deliveries and if you can get boxes from them the same day. Some will be flattened so you'll have to invest in some packaging tape but you'll need the tape anyway.
If you look on Craigslist on a Monday morning, you will likely find free moving boxes from people who moved into their apartment/house over the weekend. Simply select your city and go to the "for sale" section and select the "free" option.
Freecycle is similar to Craigslist. Select your city or area then search for "boxes". You might even find someone giving away packing material and wardrobe boxes too (I did!).
Local Grocery Stores
Everyone buys groceries, so why not ask your grocery store if you can have some of their boxes for your moving needs. Some grocery stores will hold boxes for you just because you asked. Other grocery stores set aside boxes specifically for those looking for boxes, especially in the summer month or when college is going in/out of session.
Ask your local liquor store if they'll provide you with discarded boxes. Their boxes tend to be some of the sturdiest, stack nicely, and many have handles (cutouts).
Copy shops go through a lot of paper which means they usually have discarded boxes available for your moving needs. Consider the copy shop at your local university too. Call ahead to see when the best time is to collect their boxes. These boxes are sturdy and often come with lids.
Although recycling centers are a drop-off point, they can also be a pick-up point. Invest in some quality packing tape as recycled boxes will most likely be flattened.
New Retail Businesses
When new businesses open, they have a lot of inventory to unpack which means lots of cardboard boxes. Stop by these new stores to see if you can take some of their boxes. You might bring them a gift card for a nearby sandwich shop to thank them for sharing and to help them make it through the stress of opening a new business.
Schools or college bookstores often have boxes, especially if it's the beginning of the school year. Best to call ahead to see what's available.
Last but not least, Google search "free moving boxes". You will find many options for collecting free moving boxes in your area (or you may pay a small fee).
Reach out to the resources included in this article to find free (or low-priced) moving boxes and get moving! When you're finished unpacking don't forget to advertise your moving boxes for free to keep them out of the landfill. Enjoy the adventure!