21 Places To Get Free Moving Boxes - Cheap Moving Tips (2023)

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If you're planning to move on a tight budget, you probably don't want to spend money on moving boxes...especially when you can get those boxes for free.

But where do you find free boxes? Which stores do they actually offer for free?

Most large department stores and "corporate chains" like Walmart or Costco have policies against giving away their empty boxes.

So I've put together this handy list of 21 places to find free moving boxes.

To enjoy!

1. Lists from Craigslist

For those who don't knowCraigsliste, is an online classifieds site where you can find almost anything includingfree boxes near you.

All thanks to the site's free classifieds section, which allows users to list items they no longer need. Just visit the website or download the app and look for boxes in the For Sale, Community, and Free Stuff sections.

Pro tip:If you want to go the extra mile, post an ad detailing your boxing needs and have the free moving boxes come to you.

2. Liquor Stores

Your typical liquor store has an arsenal of boxes. They get tons of crates every day, so many that most of them have no idea what to do with their inventory. Call ahead or stop by the nearest 'liquor' store. Ask if you can take some boxes off them, don't worry, you're essentially doing them a favor

3. Recyclinghöfe

Recycling centers are to cartons what gas stations are to petrol – a mega depot. If you're lucky enough to find one in your area, expect more than enough boxes to meet all of your moving needs. Just pray they are in great shape.

4. Schools

Books and boxes always go together, so your local school probably has a significant number of boxes in its possession. Call reception to see if there's anything they can help you with and make an appointment to come by and pick up your fill.

5. Buy/Sell Apps

There are a growing number of apps for smartphones and devices that are not only great for selling your unwanted pre-move stuff, but can also be used easily to find free moving boxes.

Two apps I recommend arereleaseeoffer you.

Download one of the apps and search for "cartons". Depending on the number of people in your area, you have a great chance of finding what you need!

6. Local bookstores and libraries

If you're looking for those tiny boxes to store your shoes, books, and other small items, your local bookstores and libraries are the best places to go. They usually have a few small boxes in mint condition; all you have to do is ask.

Bonus: Most boxes found in libraries and bookstores are thick and sturdy to take the weight of the books, making them the perfect moving boxes!

7. Dollar store

Huge box supplies also arrive with the delivery truck that arrives at stores like Dollar Tree and Dollar General every Tuesday and Wednesday. Arrive early and you'll have a diverse collection of medium or large boxes for your choice of enjoyment.

Cautious:A lot of the boxes you find in stores like this one are very flimsy and flimsy as the items inside are also individually wrapped. They are very poor quality moving boxes and should not be used where protecting your belongings is important.

8. Home Goods Stores

If there's one thing DIY stores like IKEA, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Bath, and Body Works have in common, it's a constant supply of boxes. Just call and ask if there are any.

Pro tip:Lesser-known “local” stores in this category are much better than well-known national stores like the ones above. Stores that specialize in gardening are also good choices.

9. Convenience stores at gas stations

Gas stations tend to fill a handful of boxes every now and then. Their close proximity makes them an ideal place to grab a few crates at short notice.

10. Garages for automotive lubricants and brakes

Local brake and oil change shops regularly receive large shipments of auto parts and accessories. Guess what containers they come in? Yes, you guessed it: cardboard boxes.

Go to the closest one you can find, ask politely, and you'll walk away with some big boxes in hand. Watch out for the fat!

11. Pet Shops

Pet stores can sometimes have a surplus of boxes available. Since most people skip this cardboard box font, they may have a gold mine in sight. See a local pet shop around the corner? Come in and ask; Maybe they have the box you need.

12. Auto Parts Stores

Auto Zone, O'Reilly's Napa, Checker, Advance and similar stores are potential havens for boxes waiting to be discovered. Talk to the manager and you can get everything you need in one stop.

13. Auto Repair Shops

Just like auto parts stores, mechanics and collision repair shops usually stock boxes. Make sure they're available before you head out, and watch out for oil and grease.

14. Groceries

Aside from your favorite groceries, almost every other grocery store stocks a huge inventory of boxes.

Cautious: As with the dollar store option above, there are many boxes here that are too flimsy for your moving needs. Also, avoid wet or sticky boxes; Notorious for harboring or attracting insects, they can severely compromise the integrity of your boxes.

15. Marketplace and Facebook Groups

Facebook Marketplace is a great place to meet new people and their unique collection of boxes. If that's not enough, you can always explore free groups where members actively squander what they see as worthless commodities. There are many Freecycle, buy/sell/trade and local support Facebook groups in each city.

Pro tip:Join and post in as many local groups as possible. This increases the odds that you'll find that person with the pile of free moving boxes ready to pick up your belongings.

16. Shoe stores

Like books, most shoes come in boxes. And those smaller boxes are in turn stacked into larger boxes that fit your current moving needs exactly. Head to the nearest Shoe Carnival, Shoe Pub, Champs, DSW, Finish Line, and Shelf Room to receive one of two categories of crates. As with everything on this list, start with your local corner shops before the megastores for the best chance of finding a large free supply of boxes.

17. Music Stores

Music stores are one of the best places to buy large, sturdy, quality boxes. If you're looking for something that can handle extra stress and strain, this is a great place to start. Visit the nearby Guitar Center, Musician's Friend, or the Sam Ash store and you might find a box big and sturdy enough to hold your stuff.

18. Arts, Crafts and Hobbies

Your local art center is also a place to get free boxes. If you want something more try to find your nearest Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Jo-Ann or Ultrecht store.

19. Car audio installation centers

As long as they have it in stock, car speakers and installation center boxes are great. The loudspeakers, loudspeaker boxes, amplifiers, etc. come in very large boxes that can be wonderfully converted into moving boxes. If the shop sells the gear and also does the installation, it's a perfect place to find TONS of empty boxes that need a new home.

20. Sporting Goods Stores

The best sporting goods stores often have a number of cardboard boxes lying around with no home to call. Do you have a great sports shop near you? Now it's time to adopt a lonely cardboard box.

21. U-Haul Client Connection

The U-Haul Client Connection Hub is like Facebook, but this time exclusively for people on the go. The platform helps bring together individuals from across the country, each with their own unique relocation needs.

How do you like the boxes?Here?

Simply enter your location and enter the search term "free boxes' in the site search box. This should display a list of any offering free boxes in your area.

That's it folks.

So there you have it, my list of21 places to find free boxes for your move.

Search two or three of these locations and you should get all the free boxes you need.

Pro tip:When you're done moving, make them available free of charge for the next person who needs moving boxes.

More tips for free moving boxes

  • Remember, the more local the store is, the more likely they are to help you out with a few free cases.
  • Big box stores like Walmart, Costco, Staples, OfficeMax, Sams Club, Target, Kmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. do not offer free boxes. They all have strict company policies that prohibit employees from sharing them and should be avoided.
  • Before you stop by to order freebies, it's a good idea to call ahead and ask a member of staff or a manager if they can help. Also ask about the best entry time.
  • All boxes are NOT made equal. Many storage boxes are made of extra thin cardboard and are nowhere near the quality of real moving boxes. Make sure you are aware of the quality and strength of the boxes you choose! Check for holes, rips, cuts, rips, wet/soft spots, etc.

I would love to hear about your personal experiences with this list. Be sure to add suggestions, testimonials, and feedback in a comment below.

Thanks!


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FAQs

How do I get free moving boxes from Walmart? ›

Get free moving boxes from Walmart after 10 p.m.

If you can stay up until 10 p.m., visit your local Walmart to grab some moving boxes! Walmart unloads new shipments late at night, leaving empty boxes up for grabs for anyone willing to arrive late.

Does Home Depot give free cardboard boxes? ›

Calling in advance to see if they have boxes available, making sure they have enough time to help you, and being kind can make asking for boxes a lot easier. Another useful approach is to speak to the customer service representative of the store.

What is the cheapest packing material? ›

What is the cheapest packing material? The cheapest packing material is any material that doesn't cost you anything, like free boxes, tissue paper, or strips of cardboard gathered from local retailers. If you're purchasing supplies, packing peanuts are an affordable option.

Will Target give me free boxes? ›

To be on the safe side, we recommend you call your local Target and ask if they'll be willing to set aside some boxes for you. Most of the time, the answer is yes.

Can you get free boxes from CVS? ›

1. Pharmacies. Turns out, your local Walgreens, CVS, or even your mom-and-pop pharmacy could be an excellent destination for finding cardboard boxes at no cost.

Are boxes free at post office? ›

The USPS will keep you well-stocked with boxes, stickers, forms and more for free. These pre-printed envelopes, Tyvek® mailers and boxes can be used to send items through Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express, and they're eco-friendly.

Can you just go to USPS and get free boxes? ›

The answer is yes, you can pick up free boxes at the post office. What's more, you can order USPS boxes free online. Not ALL of their boxes are free, however. Here's a rundown on what boxes and envelopes you can get free online from the U.S. Postal Service.

Does USPS have boxes for free? ›

You can order free boxes and envelopes online at the USPS store. The Postal Service will even deliver the supplies to your door for free. Most boxes will typically come in packs of 10 or 25, so keep that in mind as you complete your order.

Does UPS and FedEx give free boxes? ›

USPS, FedEx, UPS®, and other major couriers offer free shipping boxes with the purchase of your shipping service. Most major couriers also offer free packaging materials and shipping labels with the purchase of your shipping service.

Can you get free boxes from supermarkets? ›

Ask your local supermarket for free cardboard boxes

Supermarket stock, especially fresh produce, is delivered to stores in cardboard boxes. Ask your local supermarket if they have any large cardboard boxes for you to use. If you take their boxes, they have less to dispose of, so it's win-win!

Are boxes cheaper at Lowe's or Home Depot? ›

Although each of these boxes is very similar, the better deal is probably at Home Depot. They have significantly more reviews to count for as a slightly better star rating. In addition, this retailer has a convenient bundling option that Lowe's doesn't.

What is the most wasteful packaging? ›

In nearly every example of bad packaging that you saw above, there was an excess of clear plastic wrapping.
...
You throw it out.
  • Microwavable food trays.
  • Shampoo and bathroom products.
  • Plastic bags.
  • Frozen foods.
  • Cleaning products.
  • Disposable cups & cutlery.
  • Blister packs & clamshells.

Which packaging is cheaper paper or plastic? ›

Paper packaging can cost more than plastic, however, with innovative packing machines, clever packing techniques and space-saving product design, paper packaging can save your business money with increased efficiency and reduced packaging materials.

What is the best shape for packing? ›

Hexagons are the most scientifically efficient packing shape, as bee honeycomb proves.

Can you get free boxes from Costco? ›

These locations get frequent shipments of frozen and dry goods, so ask when they get shipments on your morning coffee run. You can get free moving boxes from Walmart, Target, Costco, and other retail stores. Keep in mind that the boxes might be broken down flat for recycling, but you can easily tape them back together.

How long before moving should you start packing? ›

Q: When should you start packing to move? A: If possible, start planning your packing strategy six weeks before your move. At first, you'll need to do the prep work, like decluttering, cleaning, and purchasing moving and packing supplies. Then, the last two to three weeks can be used for packing.

How do you get free stuff from Target? ›

How to Get Free Target Samples
  1. Shop with the REDCard Debit Card. The REDCard is a must-have for regular shoppers since it helps you save money at Target on every purchase. ...
  2. Shop With Ibotta. ...
  3. Create a Baby Registry. ...
  4. Take Surveys. ...
  5. Get the Target Beauty Box. ...
  6. Use the Circle App. ...
  7. Use Social Media.
May 10, 2021

Can you get boxes from Walmart? ›

Walmart offers a large variety of moving boxes both online and in its stores. You also have the option to order your boxes on Walmart's website and pick them up at your local store on the same day—an added level of convenience during a busy move or home renovation project.

Does ups have empty boxes? ›

UPS Box Sizes FAQ

Yes, UPS provides merchants with free boxes for most shipments. You can order free UPS boxes online at UPS.com. Do UPS stores sell boxes? Yes, you can purchase boxes at UPS Store® locations.

What sizes are the free boxes at the post office? ›

Free USPS Priority Mail Boxes are Smaller
USPS ServiceNEW Outside Dimensions
Priority Mail Box 10922-7/8” (H) x 12” (W) x 13-11/16” (L)
Priority Mail Box 10953-1/8” (H) x 12' (W) x 15” (L)
Priority Mail Regional Rate Box B3” (H) x 12” (W) x 15” (L)
Priority Mail Box 78-1/2” (H) x 12” (W) x12-1/4” (L)
4 more rows
Oct 25, 2021

How much is a flat rate box? ›

Domestic Priority Mail Flat-Rate Packaging Information
PackagePrice
Priority Mail Small Flat-Rate Box$4.95
Priority Mail Medium Flat-Rate Box (FRB1)$10.35
Priority Mail Medium Flat-Rate Box (FRB2)$10.35
Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box$13.95
2 more rows
Aug 13, 2009

Can I get boxes at USPS? ›

You can purchase boxes and tubes of various sizes at most Post Offices. Select Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail boxes are available free at the Post Office for items sent using either of these services.

How do I get free USPS boxes and envelopes? ›

To order free labels, boxes, and envelopes online:
  1. Go to The Postal Store® at www.usps.com/shop and select “Supplies” – OR - move your cursor over “Shop” in the top navigation and select “Shipping Supplies.”
  2. Order free supplies by selecting "Free Shipping Supplies" in the left-hand navigation.

How long does it take to get free boxes from USPS? ›

The USPS will mail the supplies directly to you, a process which typically takes 7 to 10 days. If you can't wait that long, stop by your local Post Office to pick up smaller amounts of the free shipping boxes and envelopes.

Is USPS cheaper than UPS for boxes? ›

UPS is often more expensive than USPS due to fees and surcharges, especially when it comes to shipping smaller packages. Generally, USPS offers much better rates when shipping smaller packages of less than two pounds. UPS typically is a better choice when shipping larger, heavier packages by offering superior value.

Does USPS have free boxes that aren't flat rate? ›

USPS offers free shipping boxes to match most of its shipping services, though you'll have to pay for USPS Forever Prepaid Flat Rate boxes. Order USPS boxes online or from your local post office. Easyship saves you up to 70% off discounted USPS shipping rates with our Free Shipping Rates Calculator.

Is FedEx or UPS cheaper for boxes? ›

If we compare UPS and FedEx domestic services, UPS is cheaper than FedEx. UPS is recognized as the best option for domestic package shipments as it offers cheaper shipping rates, while FedEx ranks as the most expensive carrier.

Is FedEx cheaper than USPS for boxes? ›

On average, shipping with FedEx is a cheaper option for sending large packages domestically or overseas. However, USPS offers unbeatable prices through their Flat Rate shipping services, that are suitable if you can fit your item inside their standard packing boxes.

How to get free FedEx boxes? ›

Free FedEx Express packaging available online

If you're shipping using FedEx Express, packaging is complimentary. We'll ship it to you for free when you order it online. And don't forget you can get flat-rate shipping with FedEx Express packaging.

Does Amazon give you boxes? ›

Yes, Amazon can provide you with packing materials. These can include poly bags, boxes, stretch wrap, bubble packs and more. Some US sellers may also get free supplies from shipment providers like UPS, FedEx and USPS if they use their services.

Can you get boxes from Aldi? ›

Just pop your quarter into the slot and pull. Then you're ready to go! Another option instead of (or in addition to) a grocery cart is to grab one of the cardboard boxes throughout the store where items are displayed, and then use it to help carry your groceries.

How can I get free groceries? ›

Free Food and Grocery Programs
  1. BackPack Program.
  2. Drive-thru Pantries.
  3. Mobile Food Pantry.
  4. School Breakfast Program.
  5. School Pantry Program.
  6. Senior Food Programs.
  7. SNAP Application Assistance.
  8. WIC.

Are package boxes free? ›

USPS Will Never Charge You for Priority Mail Packaging

They're always free, no matter if you get them at your local Post Office or on USPS.com. This includes Priority Mail Flat Rate and Priority Mail Express boxes and envelopes, as well. The only thing you'll need to pay for is the cost of postage.

Do UPS boxes cost money? ›

Related Information. UPS packaging is provided free of charge to UPS account holders for selected air and UPS Worldwide Express® services. Other packaging supplies are sold at The UPS Store® and UPS Customer Centre locations.

How do you pack for moving? ›

General moving and packing tips
  1. Start with items you won't need right away. ...
  2. Pack similar items together. ...
  3. Keep essentials packed separately for quick access. ...
  4. Label each box by its contents and room. ...
  5. Color code boxes by each room. ...
  6. Allow yourself plenty of time to pack. ...
  7. Load furniture, appliances and larger items first.

What is the most thrown away item? ›

Here's our list of the top five most wasted foods and how to use them up.
  • #1 Bread. Over 240 million slices of bread are chucked away every year. ...
  • #2 Milk. Around 5.9 million glasses of milk are poured down the sink every year, but it's so easy to use it up. ...
  • #3 Potatoes. ...
  • #4 Cheese. ...
  • #5 Apples.

What is surprisingly not recyclable? ›

Not everything can be recycled, even if it's made up of recyclable materials. Plastics like clothes hangers, grocery bags, and toys aren't always recyclable in your curbside bin. Other things that aren't recyclable include Styrofoam, bubble wrap, dishes, and electronic cords.

What is the number one most littered item? ›

Chances are you're not alone; cigarette butts are far and away the most littered item in the world, with roughly 4.5 trillion being tossed each year.

Are paper sandwich bags better than plastic? ›

Life cycle studies done in Europe and North America have determined that, overall, plastic bags are better for the environment than paper or reusable bags unless the latter are used many times.

What is the annoying plastic packaging called? ›

These nearly impenetrable shells, which are often called oyster, clamshell or blister packs, are ubiquitous precisely because they are hard to open—the inconvenience is designed as a defense against shoplifting.

Why use paper bags instead of plastic bags? ›

Paper bags have some advantages over plastic bags when it comes to sustainability. They are easier to recycle, and, because they are biodegradable, they can be used for purposes like composting.

Do and don'ts in packing? ›

Packing Do's and Don'ts
  • DON'T pack too much. ...
  • DO pack a change of clothes in your carry-on. ...
  • DON'T bring too many shoes. ...
  • DO roll your clothes instead of folding them. ...
  • DON'T forget TSA guidelines for carry-on liquids. ...
  • DO research your destination's climate. ...
  • DON'T forget to have a copy of vital documents.
Aug 30, 2022

Which room should I pack first? ›

Start The Packing In The Least Used Room

You don't want to start packing in the kitchen or with your child's favorite toys. Instead, start in the least used room and work your way to the more frequently used spaces after that. Your least used room could be the garage, basement, closets, or your attic.

What is the smartest way to pack? ›

Here are a few general suitcase-packing rules you should follow to speed up the process:
  1. Narrow Down Your Must-Haves.
  2. Arrange Your Clothes Carefully Using Your Favorite Packing Technique.
  3. Pack Wrinkle-Resistant Fabric.
  4. Keep Clothes in Place with Dry Cleaning Bags.
  5. Toss in an Extra Bag for Laundry.
  6. Respect the Rule of Threes.
Jul 15, 2020

Does USPS still give free boxes? ›

Free Shipping Supplies Can Help Lower Shipping Costs

The USPS will keep you well-stocked with boxes, stickers, forms and more for free. These pre-printed envelopes, Tyvek® mailers and boxes can be used to send items through Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express, and they're eco-friendly.

Does Walmart let you have boxes? ›

Walmart offers a large variety of moving boxes both online and in its stores. You also have the option to order your boxes on Walmart's website and pick them up at your local store on the same day—an added level of convenience during a busy move or home renovation project.

Can you get free boxes from USPS for moving? ›

You can order free boxes and envelopes online at the USPS store. The Postal Service will even deliver the supplies to your door for free.

How can I get free boxes for shipping to my house? ›

The US Postal Service (USPS) offers the greatest variety of free shipping boxes and free shipping supplies. Everything from Priority Mail Express Boxes to padded Flat Rate Envelopes is available – all free. You can even get shoeboxes, military care boxes, and DVD boxes for free.

Does FedEx give free boxes? ›

Free FedEx Express packaging available online

If you're shipping using FedEx Express, packaging is complimentary. We'll ship it to you for free when you order it online. And don't forget you can get flat-rate shipping with FedEx Express packaging.

Can I walk into USPS and get boxes? ›

You can purchase boxes and tubes of various sizes at most Post Offices. Select Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail boxes are available free at the Post Office for items sent using either of these services.

What sizes are the free boxes at the Post Office? ›

Free USPS Priority Mail Boxes are Smaller
USPS ServiceNEW Outside Dimensions
Priority Mail Box 10922-7/8” (H) x 12” (W) x 13-11/16” (L)
Priority Mail Box 10953-1/8” (H) x 12' (W) x 15” (L)
Priority Mail Regional Rate Box B3” (H) x 12” (W) x 15” (L)
Priority Mail Box 78-1/2” (H) x 12” (W) x12-1/4” (L)
4 more rows
Oct 25, 2021

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