18 Places to Find Free Moving Boxes Near You
Moving can be a hassle, so let’s talk about where to get FREE moving boxes, hassle-free.
Getting ready for a big move? I feel for you! I just did that myself and boy, it's a chore! Your world is about to become all about boxes – finding boxes, packing boxes, moving boxes, unpacking boxes, and getting rid of boxes! Fortunately, there are several ways, 18 in fact, in which you can get moving boxes for free. Here are the options!
Head over to Craigslist and do a quick search of the free section (it’s found under the “for sale” heading) to find free boxes from folks in your community. You can even utilize the “wanted” section to post that you're looking for free moving boxes. While you’re browsing, you might even discover other things that might help with your move or settling in your new place!
Quite similar to Craigslist, Freecycle can also help you grab some free boxes. Its goal is to connect neighbors and communities in order to prevent items from ending up in landfills – boxes fit the bill. Simply sign up (It’s free to sign up!) and then post that you’re looking for free moving boxes.
3. U-Haul Consumer Connect
You’re probably going to be renting a U-Haul to move your stuff, but did you think about them for boxes too? But, guess what? They have their U-Haul Box Exchange on their U-Haul Consumer Connect! In an effort to reduce waste, they help its customers sell, give away, or find boxes and moving supplies. They even have several programs that allow their customers to get together and share rides. Ride-sharing could come in handy with college-bound kids! It’s worth checking out as there’s no telling what you might discover!
OfferUp connects you to people in your area who are buying and selling locally. Try your luck searching “free moving boxes” and it will connect you to others looking to get rid of their boxes.
Nextdoor is similar to OfferUp in that it connects you with folks near you to help you find what you’re looking for! Maybe some of your neighbors have extra boxes lying around or they can point you to someone who does.
Facebook is good for a lot of things, and this is no different! Put the call out to your friends and see if they have some! You can even venture over to Facebook Marketplace and see if you can search for some out in your area!
7. Local Recycling Centers
Most recycling centers have a designated area where people can drop off lightly used boxes for others to reuse. They will likely be flattened making it easy to grab a bunch – and there will be lots available! You should find a variety of thicknesses and sizes too! All you’ll need is a little packing tape to put them back together.
8. Liquor Stores
Approach your local liquor stores for heavy-duty boxes! And these are likely to be very sturdy as bottles aren’t light! Another nice thing about boxes from the liquor store is that are partitioned, so they could be good for packing glasses, dishes, and other fragile items. Keep them from colliding and breaking in the moving process. (I like partitioned boxes for storing my Christmas ornaments too! So, once you’re done with them from moving, hang on to them for that purpose!)
9. Large Retailers
With shipments coming in every day, you should be able to find just about every kind of box at your local retailers like Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Office Depot, and Target! Don’t forget about Petco and PetSmart – they would have a magnitude of boxes as well. It’s always a good idea to ask for these boxes, but they have such a large amount of boxes coming through each day that most are quite happy to oblige!
10. Grocery Stores
Like retailers, grocery stores see lots of boxes on a daily basis! Speak to the manager and see if they can put some aside for you. Egg boxes are built sturdy because those eggs are fragile! Produce and fruits like bananas and apples come in boxes with the handles cut in for easy handling. Rumor has it that the best grocery stores for boxes are Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Whole Foods, WinCo, and Albertsons. Timing also matters at grocery stores. A lot of them are unloading boxes first thing in the morning, making early birds more successful!
Pharmacies, like Walgreens, are a great place to check with too! The boxes that medicines come in are usually pretty reinforced so they don’t get crushed and that’s good news for your belongings. Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS immediately come to mind, but if you have smaller, more local ones, they might be extra willing to pass them on as it is one less thing they will have to take care of!
12. Appliance and Electronics Stores
Appliance and electronics stores have BIG, sturdy boxes since the items they sell are so large. Now you might be thinking smaller boxes are more manageable to move in and out -- but hear me out on this one! Wardrobe boxes are very hard to come by, but they make your life so easy when it comes to moving a closet full of clothes! So just DIY one with the larger boxes you can score at these stores! With these big boxes, you can cut holes and add a dowel! Just duct tape it securely in place and voila! Start moving your clothes from the closet to the dowel and go! It sure beats taking the clothes off the hanger and folding them into boxes only to have to redo it all at the new place. It’s like a quick transfer!
13. Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants probably aren’t the first place to come to mind, but rumor is they are usually quite willing to help! Starbucks has been noted as being a willing source as has McDonald’s! You will want to make sure that what was in them didn’t leak or smell. Those things (especially scents) can transfer onto your stuff! But considering most items come in frozen, you should be okay! Don’t forget local bars too! They’ll have similar boxes to that of the liquor stores!
This was one of my favorite places to get boxes when I moved! Offices tend to go through a lot of paper. Paper reams come in a very uniform size box WITH a lid! This means these boxes store AND stack very well! You won’t be playing a game of Tetris with these boxes. They may have access to other boxes from deliveries as well. As long as you are willing to come and get them, they are usually more than happy to set them aside for you!
Schools also go through a ton of boxes with all the supplies they need on any given day and they would probably be the most willing to set them aside for you to pick up! You’re dropping off and picking up the kids anyway, so it’s probably the most convenient as well! Granted, you’ll probably only have luck during the times that school is in session, so keep that in consideration!
16. College Dorms and Apartment Complexes
If there’s one place that sees a lot of moving in and moving out, it’s college dorms and apartment complexes! You might check to see if there are any up for grabs from someone who has just moved in.
17. Friends and Neighbors
Get the word out to your friends and neighbors! The people closest to you will likely be more than happy to save their delivery boxes for you versus having to toss them in the trash! You might even find someone who has just moved themselves that would be happy to pass their stack on! You might even score packing paper and bubble wrap too!
Did you know? The little silica gel bags that are found in shoes, purses, and electronics are perfect for moving! The purpose of the silica gel is to absorb moisture and keep humidity from affecting products during transport and storage. Placing them in your boxes will help to keep your stuff good! It’s especially helpful to put them in with your photographs – it will help prevent them from sticking together or to the glass of your frames! Save those little packets every chance you get and maybe ask your friends and neighbors to hold those for you as well!
18. Your Work
Your work might be a very convenient place to pick up boxes for moving! Talk to your manager and see if they would be willing to place any boxes to the side for you to take home! You may be taking home a box or two every day, but it’s another accessible option since you are there so often!
As soon as you know you’re going to be moving, start collecting those free boxes! Give yourself the time to be picky about them – inspecting them and making sure that none are dirty or smelly as that can transfer onto your belongings. And if you can, I highly recommend that you either color code or label by rooms for easy unloading!
Now as far as packing, moving, and unpacking – well, good luck! It is quite a chore, so pace yourself.