Tip: Get Free Boxes For Moving

Tip: Get Free Boxes For Moving

free moving boxesIf you are really on a tight budget and need to save every dollar possible, there are some great ways to get free boxes for you move.  Buying boxes for your move isn’t cheap, especially at places like U-haul.   The bill alone for buying new boxes to box up your belongings can easily range from $20-50 depending on how many you need.  I know I’m not the only one who thinks that’s just outrageous for some cardboard.   I always advise people to start saving boxes for a move about 6 months ahead of time so they don’t have to buy them last minute before they move.

This article will teach you how and where to get free boxes to save money and help out the earth while your doing it!

free boxes for moving

Home that is all packed up using free cardboard boxes from grocery and department stores

Where Can I Get Free Boxes For My Move?

There are actually quite a few places that are likely to give you free boxes of various sizes for your move.   If you are near a grocery store then that is usually your best place to start.  Go to the fruits and vegetables department and ask a store employee if there are any extra boxes in the back that you can have.

Grocery store’s especially, as well as places like Walmart, Target, Costco, Sam’s Club, etc will all usually have a large supply of empty boxes folded up in the back from inventory shipments.   The high traffic and sales in these type of stores means that they keep emptying tons of boxes day and night.   I’ve never been turned away from these type of stores when asking if they could give me some of their extra boxes, as they usually go to be recycled or thrown away anyways.

A few other great places to get free boxes are stores like Sears, Best Buy, Walgreens, CVS and even gas stations if they have a decent convenience store inventory.  All of those beverages and snacks get shipped to the stores in boxes and almost any employee or manager would be willing to give you some of them for free as long as they aren’t too busy.

Tip: Large appliance boxes, especially refrigerator boxes, make wonderful moving boxes.

Other Ways & Places To Get Free Moving Boxes

If you are a good planner and are starting to prepare for your move early, then you can start to accumulate free moving boxes in other ways.   Christmas, holidays, birthdays and big shopping weekends are also great times for box collecting.

free cardboard boxes

Ask your friends and family to save you any boxes they don’t need like shoe boxes, gift boxes or anything else that they may have.   After Christmas, there is an overwhelming amount of boxes lying around peoples houses and along the streets waiting to be picked up by the trash man.   Go around and ask your neighbors if its okay to take some as long as they are in good shape.   How many people would say no to letting their neighbor take some of their “trash” away for them?

In Conclusion…

The overall “answer” though to the question above is simply to ask around.   The stores I mentioned above, in addition to tons of other businesses around the country, will usually have no problem giving away their extra boxes.  All you have to do is go ask and I can guarantee you will leave with more boxes than you started with.  I hope this article helps, and as always, good luck and happy moving!

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I am a (former) professional mover and industry expert. I blog about the tips and tricks for moving your household and possessions safely and cheaply from A to B. I stay up to date on the moving industry odds and ends. Follow me and bookmark this site to make sure you don’t spend more than you have to on your next move!

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  1. movers Nebraska05-22-13

    Thank you for this post. Boxes are essential materials used when moving and these make packing a lot easier. Indeed, there are several places where we can get free boxes but one should always put in mind to use quality ones. Check the boxes you were able to have for free and use those that are still in good condition. For sure, you do not want these to be tearing apart even before you get to your new place. Anyway, thank you again for this post.

    • David Johnson06-13-13

      Thanks for the comment! Strong, quality boxes are definitely the way to go if you want to adequately protect your belongings during transit. Cheers!

  2. Anoop07-25-13

    Hi David. Once again you made an excellent post related to moving services. Of-course it’s too difficult to find boxes for packing the belongings. You presented some excellent tips here, thanks for making Happy Moving’s

    Cheers :)

  3. AsUntoTheLord09-08-13

    Craigslist free stuff in your city is often a great resource as well…

    • David Johnson09-09-13

      You’re right it definitely is! Especially if you live in a larger urban area. Great tip, thanks for sharing!

  4. Charli10-18-13

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is
    an extremely well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and
    come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I’ll certainly comeback.

  5. Amelia P02-12-14

    Georgetown Moving and Storage Company, local DC mover making free of charge box delivery if you leave in Washington DC Metro Area, boxes are quite cheap, see this online store link

  6. Jen P05-02-14

    Doesn’t anyone worry about cockroaches, earwigs, etc that may leave their eggs in these types of used boxes? I always worry about that issue. I don’t have bugs in my home which is why I end up buying new boxes. I never know where these boxes were shipped from, if they traveled by boat, truck, etc…and what bugs they may have collected along the way during that time. Maybe I’m just overreacting….but it’s definitely MY issue with using recycled store boxes.

  7. nitin05-30-14

    Let me add two more from my experience

    It’s a good idea to leave all the large items like mirrors and pictures of over 4 feet for the professional movers to wrap and secure properly.
    If you have plants in your house, do not water them 3 days prior to your moving date.
    Do not carry open liquid items like cartons or milk while you are moving. They can cause damage to other goods.

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