I recently had to move. What this actually means is I recently had to figure out where the best places are to pick up free moving boxes.
If you’ve ever moved, you know this pain. It’s not like anyone keeps all their old boxes from last time. But what I ended up keeping was a heck of a lot of knowledge about where to get moving boxes without having to pay for them.
Here are some of the best sources our me and our readers have come across. (To save time with all of these examples, always make sure to call ahead, if possible!)
First, Post on Your Feed
If you have one, the very first thing you should do is post on your most used social media feed: Facebook, Twitter, etc. Chances are that someone in your life just moved and would be happy to have you pick up their boxes.
This is the easiest and often most effective free moving box trick.
Outside of people you know personally, remember that people will sometimes give away boxes on Craigslist. Don’t forget to check in neighboring cities as well!
Best Businesses for Free Moving Boxes
Liquor Stores Often Have Sturdy, Free Moving Boxes
Liquor stores are maybe the best businesses to check for free moving boxes because they receive boxes in bulk, and they’re incredibly sturdy, so the glass bottles don’t break. As with most of these locations, most employees would be happy to give the boxes away rather than taking the time to break them all down!
(College) Book Stores
This was not an idea that came to mind right away but it makes perfect sense. Have you ever had to move boxes of books? It only takes one time to learn that A) books should be packed in small boxes and B) those boxes better be darn sturdy. So, like liquor stores, book stores are definitely a good place to find sturdy boxes.
Near a university book store? Those places are used to students asking for boxes, so try your luck there first.
Free, Coffee-Scented Moving Boxes
Coffee shops are another good place to check out, as they are constantly receiving shipments of syrup bottles and other merchandise. Call your local coffee shop (or, sure, Starbucks) and see when a good time would be to come in.
Other Places to Check for Free Moving Boxes
Your Local Grocery Store
Grocery stores may seem like the number one, most logical place to find boxes, but they’re often very busy and can be hit or miss if that goldmine at any given hour will be yours. But if you are near a supercenter such as Walmart, Target, or a local grocery chain, make a list of those nearest you and give them a call before driving over. You may not have to look any farther!
Apartment Leasing Offices (AKA Free Moving Boxes Galore)
If you live in a fairly large city, there are likely people moving around all the time. Apartment complexes would naturally have new people coming in and therefore needing to get rid of their used boxes. Call or stop by a nearby apartment leasing office (or maybe ask your own!) and see if there are any there you can have.
Think about it. People are taking things in and out of storage all day long. Many people are discarding large amounts of free boxes into their dumpsters or recycling containers. A lot of storage places are happy to get rid of their excess waste to people who are about to move.
Protip: don’t stroll up to the emergency room and ask for free boxes.
However, hospitals go through tons of discarded cardboard boxes and are unlikely to have people claim them because people don’t think check a hospital. If you strike out elsewhere, look up your local hospital’s help center number and see if someone can’t help you out on your search.
Finally, if you happen to have a recycling center nearby, it’s possible it will be the only stop you’ll need to make! Just Google “recycling center near me” and see if this is an option for you.
I hope this makes the process a little bit easier on those of you facing a big move. It’s a lot of work, but having the inside scoop can lighten the load!
We also put together this free printable checklist sheet for you as you search local spots for your free boxes!
Also, if you happen to be an expert mover, please feel free to share some of your secrets to finding free boxes in the comments below!