Where Can I Find Free Moving Boxes? (Bonus Free Printable Checklist)

Posted in: I'm Moving, Moving Boxes & Supplies

I recently had a friend ask me where the best places are to pick up free moving boxes. If you’ve ever had to move before, you know what it’s like to hunt down boxes for everything.  No one ever KEEPS their boxes from the last time because there is never room for a million boxes!  I did a bit of thinking and researching to come up with eight categories of where you’ll have the best luck.

1. Free Moving Boxes a la Social Mediasocial media

First, access your social media outlets – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Throw out a quick blip about needing moving boxes. Chances are that someone in your area just moved and would be happy to have you pick up their boxes rather than having to break them all down and hall them to the dump!

2. Local Grocery & Supercenters = *LOADS* of Free Moving BoxesThis Wal-mart sells paddleboats!

Next, try local grocery and super centers. Walmart, Target, and your local grocery stores go through countless boxes each day. Make a list of those closest and give them a call before driving all around town. You may not have to look any farther!

3. Liquor Stores Have Sturdy Free Moving Boxesliquor crates

If you’re still not having any luck, there are still several places left to call. Liquor stores are a good place to check out because they use sturdy boxes so the glass bottles don’t break! Again, I’m sure most employees would be happy to give the boxes away rather than taking the time to break them all down!

4. Coffee Shops: Free Coffee Scented Moving BoxesStarbucks

Coffee shops are another good place to check out, as they are constantly receiving shipments of syrup bottles and other merchandise. Call your local Starbucks or Caribou store to see when a good time would be to come in.


5. Book Stores: Another Sturdy Free Moving Box – topiabooks

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.

6. Apartment Complexes AKA Free Moving Boxes Galoreapartments

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 these different complexes and ask if there are any you can have.

7. Office Supply Stores and Newspapers – A Family Free Box Secret

paper boxes

I grew up in a Newspaper family and we had tons of people coming to us over the years asking for used boxes. All paper reams come in sturdy boxes, typically with handles and lids. In my opinion, they’re only one grade down from plastic bins! Office supply stores obviously sell the same merchandise and so have the same type of boxes. These are the best boxes!

8. World Wide Free Moving Boxes Webwww

Finally, you can search Craigslist and FreeCycle for local areas and people who have free boxes. As always, use caution and common sense when meeting people through sites like these. They can be fantastic resources when used wisely!

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! I also put together this free printable checklist sheet for you as you search local spots for your boxes (also linked at the end of this post).

And 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.

 Free Printable Download

About the author: Victoria is currently a grad student studying in Nebraska and working part time for the free movers marketplace, HireAHelper. She loves music, road trips, and reading.

(Photo courtesy: Jason A. Howie, Amit Patel, Raymond Shobe, Marco Pakoeningrat, Grand Canyon NP, Greg Goebel, Medil DC, and Chris RubberDragon).


  1. Daniel

    I’ve also heard hospitals and doctor offices are great places to check. I guess the medication and medical devices arrive in sturdy boxes that then have to be disposed of.

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