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8 Places To Get Moving Boxes For Free To Make Moving Day A Little Less Stressful

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Updated on December 24, 2019 by

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When you decide to take on the task of packing up your own moving boxes and doing it all yourself instead of hiring moving companies, there could be one key ingredient you forget — moving boxes. Unless you work somewhere there is an endless supply of free boxes, you might find yourself groaning at the cost of buying brand new boxes you probably won’t use again. In some cases, buying moving boxes might be your only option, especially if you need special wardrobe boxes. But if you familiarize yourself with all of the places to get moving boxes for free, you can save a few bucks during your move.

As it stands, moving is already a lot of work. You have found your dream apartment or house and now the only thing left to do is pack up all of your belongings and somehow get it all there in one piece. And even if you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for boxes, there is the cost of bubble wrap to ensure all of your precious fragile items make it from Point A to Point B in one piece — literally.

Why make things harder on yourself if you don’t have to? These are some of the most convenient places to get moving boxes for free so at least one aspect of moving day doesn’t have to be such a headache.

1. Craigslist

Bench Accounting/Unsplash

Craigslist is a treasure grove of affordable used furniture, cars, and almost anything else you can think of. When you’re in need of moving boxes, you can do a quick search on the site for free boxes and there’s a good chance you’ll find someone who wants to get rid of theirs. After moving, other people may have a ton of boxes they no longer need but want to get rid of and Craigslist is the perfect place for them to pawn those boxes off on someone like you.

2. Liquor Stores

You will need to contact the store ahead of time or maybe just walk in and ask about any extra boxes the clerks have, but a liquor store can also be a source for free moving boxes. All of that liquor comes in boxes and after the bottles are shelved, those boxes are essentially garbage. There’s a good chance the liquor store will welcome the ability to hand them over to you.

3. Supermarkets


Your local supermarket might also be inclined to give you extra boxes once they are no longer needed. Some local grocery stores might even have a designated spot in the store where they place discarded boxes for customers to take as they want. Check with your local store ahead of time and find out how and when you can get their unneeded and used boxes.

4. Schools

If you have a child who goes to school, you can also look to their school for empty unwanted boxes. You will have to check with the office and, possibly, with the janitorial staff afterward, but because it’s a school, you definitely shouldn’t rummage around on the building’s dumpster for unwanted boxes.

5. A Local Hardware Store

Bente Whyatt/Unsplash

Big box chain hardware stores might have a policy against giving old boxes to customers. But your local hardware store owner or clerk could be more inclined to give you the boxes that are no longer needed. In most cases, as long as you speak to someone in charge, they will be happy to oblige if the boxes are legitimately not needed.

6. Facebook Marketplace

Just like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace can be the perfect place to find inexpensive and even free items. All you need to do is place a wanted ad and wait for people from your community to message you about their moving boxes. They might want a small sum for them, but even that would be a fraction of what you’d pay a store for brand new boxes.

7. Recycling Drop-off Locations

Paweł Czerwiński/Unsplash

A lot of times, people drift off their old mixing boxes with the rest of their recyclables at a local drop-off. If the cardboard boxes are separate from other items or simply left out of the dumpsters, it can be a convenient place to grab moving boxes. You might need to check and make sure the boxes are clean and there aren’t any tears that can’t be fixed with masking tape. Other than that, however, most boxes found here can be totally acceptable.

8. Friends And Family

It should go without saying, but always ask friends and family for free moving boxes first. You would be surprised at how many people you know who have boxes lying around that they want to get rid of. You might even be able to convince them to help you with your move in the process, so in the end, it can be a total win-win for you.

Clearly, there are a ton of ways to get free mixing boxes if you try. Of course afterward you will be left with empty boxes of your own, but then you can just pay it forward with your own now-unwanted moving boxes. While it’s never a good idea to go dumpster diving for cardboard boxes, there are several other ways to get free boxes from retail stores or places where they might otherwise throw out boxes you can use for your move. It might be easier to go out and buy boxes for moving day, but free is always more convenient any way you look at it.

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