Tip: Get Free Boxes For Moving

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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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40 thoughts on “Tip: Get Free Boxes For Moving”

  1. hmm yeah i agree with your thoughts , though this process we can get a lot of good boxes .

    keep continue this amazing work.


    1. Thanks Jason!

      Yeah most of these places (if they are open to the public and not locked down) are great sources of free moving boxes. Thanks for the comment!


    1. THanks for the nice comment Diana, I’m glad to hear this post helped you. Good luck on your upcoming move and don’t forget to get your free moving boxes 😉

  2. I am packing up the whole house and moving everything to a storage unit. Now I’m living in Hot Springs Arkansas and moving to Cape Coral Florida.
    I will need someone eventually to get my stuff out of storage and drive it down to me.
    Thank You!!!?

  3. Boxes are a great way of packing the products, There are two main packaging material is used for the packing of the products, for example, cardboard and corrugated boxes. cardboard boxes are used for the packaging of the product and corrugated boxes are used for mailing purposes these boxes are very thick in stock.

    1. Thanks for the additional information Jason. Moving boxes are the same way in that they have different density from most packaging and product boxes. They are designed to be sturdier and thicker. This is one of the main things people need to understand about using free boxes for moving, is that many free boxes are not as sturdy as moving boxes. That being said though, if you pack right and don’t overload your boxes, you can make a successful move with any boxes you find. Thanks!

  4. Aloha! I am moving from Hawaii to Alaska in August. I appreciate the tips and advice you gave here, thank you! I have no attachment to my large items but I do have let’s say 25 plastic tubs full of pictures and clothes etc. important Momentos that I can’t seem to get rid of. What would you recommend? I was thinking of sending them through the mail? Do you have any experience with this? I live on the island of Kauaiif that helps and I am also shipping my van. Thank you for any advice you may have.

    1. Hi Janice

      Thanks for stopping by my website for advice on your upcoming move from Hi to AK. You have chosen to move from the most isolated part of the country, to the 2nd most isolated part of the country, so unfortunately you don’t have many options. Luckily it sounds like you don’t have any bulky furniture or awkward items to move, so I think you will be just fine shipping your stuff through any of the “Affordable Furniture Shipping” options listed above. I believe traditional shipping like USPS, UPS or Fedex will be significantly cheaper than cargo freights or air cargo options. I recommend contacting each of those places and asking about their rates and size restrictions. If you check on U-Ship you may be able to find someone who is going the same way and can deliver your items for the lowest cost. Good luck on you move across the Pacific!

  5. I want to have a friend drive my stufff (mostly boxes with a little furniture thrown in) to Florida then, using the same truck, bring his furniture which has been in storage in Florida back to Maryland. Doable or will it cost a fortune?

    1. Hi Louisa,

      Thanks for stopping by my site! Well, I don’t know what “a fortune” is, but moving furniture out-of-state isn’t very cheap. If you have a pick-up, it will be cheaper than a moving truck rental. If you need a moving truck rental, I recommend using this link: Budget Truck Rentals – 20% Off. This will save you 20% on your entire order, so that will make the rental significantly cheaper. I hope everything goes well for you!

  6. GraceyO'Malley

    Go to fast food restaurants they have great boxes that are pretty sturdy too. They are more than happy to give them to you so they don’t have to break them down and haul them out to the dumpster.

  7. Liquor store boxes are The Best. sturdy and not too big (says she of the large library). Best time to scavenge- Fri- Mon AM depending on when trash/recycle pick up is.

  8. I’m planning on moving out of state and started checking Craigslist for boxes. I found two postings that just wanted the boxes gone and gave them to me for free. They were Uhaul boxes! Very nice ones.

  9. Your tips are extremely useful! I will move for a first time this year and I just don’t know where to begin from. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks for stopping by and adding the great tip Robert. I know grocery stores go through a lot of boxes for bottled water too. There is a little more risk with fruit and produce boxes like bugs, sticky juice, and weaker boxes (if they got wet). Most of them hold up fine though and I’ve definitely used my fair share.

  10. do you know how can i find truck for moving and helper…
    cheap one!!!!!
    i pack everythings by myself just i need someone for assembling our beds and moving our furniture

    1. Hi Tn!

      Thanks for coming here first for cheap out of state moving help and advice! If you missed it above, you can find a cheap rental truck for moving here. You can find local help for hire at sites like Hire-A-Helper or Craigslist.org. If all you need is a normal site open-bed truck then Craigslist or H.A.H. will be your cheapest options most likely. I hope this is what you needed…happy moving!

  11. Check with your Real Estate Agent… They can usually get boxes from their clients who have just moved and want to get rid of all the boxes! FREE if you pick up!

  12. Marlene Shippy

    When packing clothes, linen,sheets or towels, i use a empty tall kitchen bag as a liner. It will help keep contents dry if the box gets wet or insects/mice try and invade.

    1. Hi Marlene,

      Thanks for the great tip! Yes kitchen bags work great for clothes and the such. Another way to do it is to rip a little hole in the bottom for the hangers to fit through and then slide the bag over your clothes so they can still hang but are completely protected!

      1. Unfortunately, I’ve moved multiple times in my life. Here are some of my tips: When moving clothes on hangers, use a small zip tie to keep the hanger tops together. They are much easier to handle when in small bundles and the clothes don’t tend to fall off the hangers!
        Plastic wrap! This stuff is very cheap and easy to use like commercial shrink-wrap! Use it to wrap that CD tower and you won’t need to fuss with packing the cd’s separately! It’s also great to wrap -or tie – the doors on cupboards shut so they don’t flop (and get broken!)
        If you are a book lover, pack your books in smaller boxes because once boxed they get very heavy! I like tomato boxes for this…big enough to get a few books in, but not so big as to give you a hernia when you try to lift them!
        Take the time to label your boxes with the appropriate room contents: kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc. This is REALLY helpful once you start moving stuff into your new digs!
        If you have advance notice, take the time to do a sort-out of items in those drawers you never open! Why lug along stuff you never use! There are always places to donate your unused items to!

        1. Thanks for sharing the great boxing and moving tips. Shrink wrap can definitely be useful for packing a move. Books are definitely heavier than they would appear to be when boxed in tightly so its good to check the box weight as you go along before overloading something that you won’t be able to carry.

  13. 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.

  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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 🙂

  17. 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.

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