There are many costs associated with moving, e.g.moving servicesor rent oneself storage unit, and more cost is the last thing you need while you're probablySave money to own your own home. Cardboard boxes shouldn't be one of them! There are many places you can find free moving supplies. So let's get started with Neighbor's list of the top 20 places to find free moving boxes!
Where can I find free moving boxes?
Storage or moving companies are usually willing to sell packing cases. However, you can always find free moving boxes at various locations around the city. This includes Craigslist, Liquor Stores, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, U-Haul Customer Connect, Office Depot or OfficeMax, Walgreens, PetSmart, Walmart, Target, WinCo, Costco, OfferUp, LetGo, Facebook, Freecycle, Dollar Store, Petco and others rites help. In commercial stores, just ask a clerk if there are boxes available for free. Look elsewhere for free moving boxes, such as classifieds, to order boxes.
The best places to find free moving boxes
1. Craigslist listing
Craigslisteit probably has the biggest free section of any website. They have free boxes for everyone who can move anywhere. Just go straight to the free area and look for moving and storage boxes. You have many options to choose from!
In my experience, you'll be lucky to find crates early in the week, right after everyone else has completed their moves the weekend before.
Yield: An unlimited number of boxes
2. Liquor stores
These boxes are perfect for moving as they are sturdy and extremely durable as they can hold glass alcohol bottles.
Every store is different, but all you have to do is ask when they deliver bottles and ask them to reserve some for you. Just make sure you go in the afternoon before they get busy with the late night hustle!
Yield: 5-10 free changing boxes per night
3. Barnes & Noble
How do books travel? In stable boxes. What do you want to wear when moving? Sturdy free boxes. So where should you go to get your boxes? A bookshop! AnyBarnes & NobleBookstore will do, as long as they have frequent supplies!
Just find out when they delivered your books and be on time because I bet more people than just you know about these tricks!
Yield: 4-8 boxes per shipment
We all must have our coffee. To make coffee we need coffee grounds, machines, filters, flavorings and cream. All in beautiful boxes! The typical Starbucks coffee shop may have between 2 and 3 shipments of supplies per week. They have the full range of boxes so I imagine you can find a box for whatever you want.
While you're there, enjoy a good cup of coffee!
Yield: 12-25 Swap Boxes per shipment (various sizes)
5. Local classifieds
Local classifieds marketplaces have thousands of listings that are your local offering free cases. With a simple search, you can find hundreds of people willing to give you free crates or sometimes sell their crates for $1. This is easily one of the best ways to find free (or essentially free) crates!
Yield: How many boxes are you willing to take!
6. U-Haul Client Connection
U-Haulhas a location in each of its stores where customers can donate their moving boxes to others for free! Through the U-Haul Box Exchange program, simply walk in and ask the store manager if boxes are available. Just enter your zip code and location and you're done! Check out all the stores in your area.
Yield: how many free boxes you can find
7. Office Depot ou OfficeMax
Tuesday is usuallyoffice warehousesfirst shipping day of the week and they will have so many boxes they won't know what to do with all of them. If you come along and offer to pick some of them up, I think they'd be very happy!
Order boxes with lids. These are usually the ones that contain printer and copier paper. This can be your one stop shop for moving and storage boxes!
Yield: 20-30 boxes per shipment (depending on store and location)
you just have to giveWalgreensWrite it down before you show up and ask for boxes. They tend to throw them away or recycle them too quickly. Call ahead and ask them to hold some boxes for you for your next delivery, or go to the store when they aren't too busy and just ask!
Yield: 10-15 storage boxes on average
Dogs don't come in boxes! No, but their food, water bowls, toys, beds, etc. come in cute little boxes! Take a look at your restaurantPetSmartand ask the manager if they have boxes for you to pick up. Try to go before 12 noon and you'll miss the typical dog lover rush!
Yield: 5-10 boxes
Walmart is the holy grail for finding boxes. They come in every size, shape, type, or box weight you can imagine!
Yield: 10 boxes daily
Target gets the biggest shipments during the week. If you go before 12pm you will miss the shopping rush and the staff and managers will be more likely to help you! They can even set the boxes aside for you at the customer service desk if you call ahead.
Yield: 1-10 boxes per day
Find a nearby grocery store, preferably one that isn't part of a large national chain. Call ahead and speak with a product manager or stockist (someone who stocks merchandise on shelves) and they can likely reserve some cases for you.
Yield: 4-10 boxes per day
Costcois known for reusing its boxes or repurposing them for other purposes. However, if you call ahead of a delivery, you can grab a bunch before they all run out!
Yield: 5-10 free moving boxes
This is a great mobile classifieds app for finding free moving boxes and other free and for sale items. Give it a try and you'll find that there are hundreds of people willing to sell their moving boxes for free or donate them. To hear!
Yield: how many boxes you find
15. Let go
Yield: how many boxes you find
16. Marketplace and Facebook Groups
Facebook Marketplace and Community Groups are great resources for empty boxes! Find some on Facebook and you'll be pleasantly surprised how nice people are to those who ask for help! And they're usually all local, so you don't have to drive for hours to get the boxes!
Yield: how many boxes you find or people are willing to donate.
17. Free wheel
Join one onlinefree wheelgroup, then make a post about how many moving boxes you need! If any are available, you'll get a lot of responses in an hour. They are people who care about making the most of their boxes and the environment. They will be more than willing to simply pass the boxes to you!
Yield: an average of 10-20 moving boxes
18 dollar store
The paradise of all things cheap and cheap, including thousands of free mobile boxes.money treeit's one of the biggest dollar stores to check out. Also heaven for thousands of boxes. Just go there and ask for the boxes, there are always tons.
Yield: As many as you can carry.
Same as PetSmart; You can find all kinds of weird shapes and sizes here! Free moving boxes abound.
Very similar to Walgreens. The home of free moving boxes for everyone!
Do you need to store your belongings while moving?
Try the neighbor - called thestorage airbnbfor a reason. With Neighbor you can find50% cheaper storage in your own neighborhood.
list your space
Best moving box sizes for almost anything
Most people automatically think that big boxes are the best.Moverbecause you fit more in a big box and you don't have to buy or move as many boxes. It's a great idea, but it doesn't work. Big boxes with lots of stuff means carrying something very big and sometimes oddly shaped. That means fewer rides, but those rides are harder - sometimes impossible! – and last the same amount of time at the end. Get only as many large boxes as you need and never fill them with books.
Before you buy cheap moving boxes, take a look around your house and see how many things you have and how you plan to move them.
Depending on their size, lamps can be transported more safely outside of a box. Also look at the storage options you already have. You can pack a laundry basket full of clothes or a garbage can full of cleaning supplies. This means you have to pack fewer boxes.
As you explore your home, look for oddly shaped things, things that gave you trouble the last time you moved, or things you're moving but don't want to keep (like a broom, for example). This will help you figure out how many large or oddly shaped boxes you need. Keep in mind that it's okay to have a lot of small and medium boxes, and it's actually easier to pack the moving truck.
Large boxes are for light, bulky items or items that literally won't fit in another box. Medium boxes are suitable for most of your packaging needs. These will be your boxes for the most part. Small boxes are perfect for books, heavy items, keepsakes, fragile china and other glassware.
They're also good for that random drawer of trinkets you tell yourself you'll be sorting and sorting through for years. There are also wardrobe bins that allow you to transport hanging clothes while still on the hanger, but it's also practical to simply fill suitcases, bags and laundry baskets with clothes. Another way to transport clothes is in your drawers.
Pull out each dresser drawer and place a few strips of masking tape over them to create a loose latticework. Voila! An instant box with no need to unpack. When moving day comes, just open all the drawers, put the dresser in the van, and put the drawers back in. So you don't have to struggle with a heavy chest of drawers or pack and unpack clothes.
How to Pack Books in Moving Boxes
Book packaging doesn't have to be daunting or overwhelming. Smaller boxes work best, but you may need to fit larger books in a medium-sized box. Try breaking up the heaviest textbooks or anthologies into a few different boxes.
As a general rule, always store or pack books upright, such as on a shelf, on their side (such as on a table), or spine-side down. Never pack them back so you can see the titles. The pages are so heavy that they literally tear the binding and damage the books.
This is especially true if you plan to store them. Start with the larger books and slowly work your way down to the smaller books. Try to pack them well so they don't have room to move.
However, do not overload the boxes, as too much pressure can cause the box to break mid-move. Once packed, the books can be taken anywhere in the moving truck. They form a very good solid foundation, but they can also be placed anywhere to fill in gaps.
How to pack fragile and electronic items
My new favorite friend when wrapping fragile items is bubble wrap! You can buy it at any mail order store, hardware store, or post office. It's a little pricey, but it ensures your fragile items stay in one piece. Other cheaper options include crumpled up newspaper, washcloths or towels.
Using sheets to protect your dishes allows you to pack two things at once, both to save space and to utilize the sheets. Throws are also very useful when transporting large and fragile items, such as ornamental vases or electronics.
A few-fold comforter is the perfect padding for a flat-screen TV, gaming system, printer, or sleeveless laptop. If possible, pack these items in their original boxes with Styrofoam inserts, but blankets and towels work well. The best way to transport fragile electronics is in a separate vehicle, usually in the backseat of a car or in the cabin of a trunk.
Try to keep electronics in a temperature-controlled environment. You should also make sure that you can keep track of these items during the moving process to prevent your electronics from being stolen.
Always pack your fragile items with potential disaster in mind. Remember that the smallest surface affected by a fall will prevent damage. A slab that falls on the edge is less likely to break than a slab that falls flat. Pack records vertically, like file folders in a file.
If they are very delicate and fragile, place a sheet of bubble wrap or cloth between each panel. Always pack glasses, glasses and wine glasses vertically. They will be able to absorb more pressure and distribute possible impact better than on the sides.
The glasses are strong and can be stacked on top of each other, but remember to protect any surfaces that could rub against each other to avoid scratches.
Protect boxes when moving
First, start with good boxes. Good doesn't have to mean new. A good box is corrugated cardboard (two pieces of cardboard with a paper zigzag in the middle), with no wrinkles or weak spots. Second, use the right type of tape.
Transparent packing tape is better. You can use masking tape, but it will peel off pieces of the box when removed, making it difficult to reuse or recycle. Third, use a lot of tape. Glue all of your box seams at least once, and the weak ones several times. Reinforce the bottom of the box by going over the main seam of the two flaps three times, once in the very center and twice on each side to hold them in place. This ensures that the bottom of the box won't cave in when you move it.
If you are using crumpled used boxes, it can be helpful to tape the sides of the box together to help the box maintain its shape during shipping.
Use good lifting techniques to protect the boxes and your back. It's best to hold the box underneath and give the bottom of the box extra support. When carrying, be sure to lift with your legs and not your back.
To protect your moving boxes (and your belongings), try to keep them out of water or snow, which can weaken the box. If you must place them in damp soil, try placing them on plastic sheeting, large black garbage bags, or a waterproof shower curtain.
The best way to protect your cheap moving boxes during the move is to place the larger, load-bearing boxes on the floor and move up to the medium and smaller boxes. Pack your moving truck so nothing has room to move. This will prevent the boxes from shifting, falling and breaking.
As you pack the moving vehicle, channel your inner Tetris knowledge by trying to complete each level without holes. Holes mean something has the potential to break. Essentially, stack things only as much as necessary and keep things as close to the ground as possible.
Other mobile features
Browse all of our moving and packing guides:
- how to move a sofa
- How to move a mattress
- How to move a fridge
- How to move a piano
- How to move a pool table
- How to pack shoes for moving
- How to pack plates and cups
Other useful mobile materials:
- Ultimate checklist for moving
- Where to find free moving boxes
- Tips for hiring movers and packers
- How much to tip the movers
- Should You Prepare Your Home When Selling It?
- Change of address checklist
- moving with children
- Moving with a dog
- Definitive Guide to Unboxing
list your space
Does Walmart give free boxes? ›
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.Does Dollar General give free boxes? ›
Dollar General has a lot of small or medium-sized boxes available for you to take for your move. Some stores keep them in a large basket in the back of the building and take them out to the recycling bin whenever it gets full. Contacting the store ahead of time is the best way to go about getting these free boxes.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.Can you get free boxes from UPS? ›
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.Can you get free USPS boxes at the post office? ›
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.How to get free moving boxes from USPS? ›
How Can I Get Free USPS Boxes? 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.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!
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.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.
Can you get free Flat Rate boxes? ›
USPS flat-rate boxes are free. Merchants order them at no cost and start shipping. Merchants will still need to purchase packing peanuts or similar cushioning material, but avoiding as much as $1 per box can be huge savings.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.What are the sizes of the free USPS boxes? ›
|USPS Service||NEW Outside Dimensions|
|Priority Mail Box 1092||2-7/8” (H) x 12” (W) x 13-11/16” (L)|
|Priority Mail Box 1095||3-1/8” (H) x 12' (W) x 15” (L)|
|Priority Mail Regional Rate Box B||3” (H) x 12” (W) x 15” (L)|
|Priority Mail Box 7||8-1/2” (H) x 12” (W) x12-1/4” (L)|
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 long does it take to get free boxes from USPS? ›
What else do I need to know about these free shipping supplies? Free shipping supplies are shipped free of charge. They are shipped via Parcel Select® service within 2-5 Business Days and should be received within 5-7 Business Days.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.
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.What does Walmart do with cardboard boxes? ›
Walmart's company-wide goal is to create zero waste. Corrugated cardboard is bundled into bales and sent to paper mills to be recycled into new paper products. In 2009, Walmart and Sam's Club recycled 4.6 billion pounds of cardboard. Lens Info - 24-70mm f/?Can you get flat rate boxes for free? ›
USPS flat-rate boxes are free. Merchants order them at no cost and start shipping. Merchants will still need to purchase packing peanuts or similar cushioning material, but avoiding as much as $1 per box can be huge savings.