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Places to Get Free Moving Boxes

by Point2 Editorial Staff
6 min. read

Are you planning to sell your home or did you just put a home under contract to purchase? If so, then you’ll probably need to gather boxes for moving. One of the many expenses you’ll face when moving from one home to another is buying packing materials. Fortunately, you can save some money by getting moving boxes for free — if you just know where to look. Here are some options to find free moving boxes in your area.

Friends & Family

One of the best places to get moving boxes is from people you know, and if you let your friends and family know that you need boxes for moving, you might get lucky. Use social media to contact everyone all at once or text individual people directly if you think they might have some packing boxes stashed away. What’s more, if one of your friends or family members recently bought or sold a home, they’re likely to have some leftover boxes.

Your Employer

If you work in an office or a factory, they may have some spare boxes for moving, too. Contact the person who is responsible for supply orders to see if they could save some boxes for you.

Other People Who Have Moved

If someone in your neighborhood has recently moved, they could be a source of packing materials, as well. Or, perhaps your friends know someone who recently moved. There’s no harm in asking, and you might be helping someone who wants to get rid of their unwanted moving boxes.

Yard Sales

If a neighbor is having a yard sale, it means that they’re getting rid of a lot of things — things that may have been kept in boxes. This could be another opportunity to get free moving boxes, so just ask if they have any to spare.

Holiday Season

If you’re moving around the holidays, it’s highly likely that people you know will have some boxes that they would otherwise end up recycling or throwing away. With that in mind, reach out to others so they can put aside suitable boxes for you. Prior to Christmas is one of the best times for this, given the number of boxes that are used.

Online at Craigslist or Freecycle

Checking on Craigslist or signing up for Freecycle could also provide a source of moving boxes for free in your area. In the meantime, post a “wanted” message if you don’t find anyone looking to get rid of boxes near you.

Recycling Centers

If you have a recycling center near you, this could be another option to pick up cardboard boxes. Often, the centers will require people to break down the boxes, so if you get some from here, you might need to retape them.

Donation Centers

Typically, when people donate items from their home to one of the major donation centers, there are excess boxes. Donation companies like Goodwill or The Salvation Army, among others, are excellent choices for finding free moving boxes.

Schools & Colleges

Because students have to order books each semester, the mailing rooms of colleges and universities should have a lot of suitable boxes. If you have a college nearby, stop by the mailroom to see if they have some available. Likewise, when students move into the dorms, there could be more free boxes. Find out from officials on campus if and when boxes are available.

Elementary schools could be another source. The school will have supplies and books delivered, and they’ll need to do something with the boxes. So, make contact with the staff to find out if you can get the packing materials you need.


If you talk to the apartment manager of a local complex, they might be able to help you, as well. For instance, the community might have a recycling room or package center where cardboard boxes can be found. Plus, those who are renting an apartment for the first time are often looking for a place to get rid of their excess boxes.

Grocery Stores

One of the best places to find free boxes for moving is your local grocery store. Check with the manager of your nearest grocery store to see if they have some boxes available. They have deliveries arriving on most days, so this could be a great way to get your hands on the number of boxes you need — even if you have to return another day.

Liquor Stores

Liquor stores are another excellent place to get moving boxes. Boxes and crates that have carried bottles will be great for moving. Not only will they keep your fragile possessions secure, but they might even have handles to make moving easier, as well.

Large Retailers

Often, larger retail stores — like Walmart and Costco — are a good source, too. Sometimes, these boxes will be reused at the checkout, so if you shop at these stores, use boxes to pack your items.

Any other retail stores could have free moving boxes for you, as well. For example, if you ask at book or hardware stores, you could get some strong cardboard boxes for your move.


If you live in an area that has orchards, check to see if they have any crates they no longer need. Wooden crates, in particular, could come in useful for some of your more fragile possessions.

Specialty Boxes

Do you have a need for something other than cardboard moving boxes? Some people prefer to use storage bins or plastic moving boxes. In this case, there are quite a few places to get plastic moving containers. Some of the best options are U-Haul Ready-to-Go, RentaCrate, Bungo Box and Ready-to-Go Boxes.

Getting Rid of Your Moving Boxes

Other than just throwing them away, how do you dispose of your moving boxes? Well, just like you, there are probably others who will be moving who are looking for boxes. So, place a post on your social media accounts to let your circle know that you have boxes available. Otherwise, here are some excellent ways to dispose of your moving boxes.


Moving from one home to another is expensive enough, but it will be a little easier if you can save on packing materials. Plus, if you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll get all the boxes you need for your move without spending anything. Just make sure you give yourself enough time before moving day to get all the packing materials you need.

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