10 Places You Can Find Free Moving Boxes

Close-up of a young man's hand holding an open cardboard boxMoving is an expensive process. A $1,170 process in fact, according to an average from the American Moving & Storage Association – and that’s when you’re staying in the same state! If you’re looking for ways to cut costs on your next move, start with the basics. You won’t find movers or a moving truck for free, so take advantage of these ten places you can find free moving boxes!

1. U-Haul Box Exchange

Moving creates a lot of waste, something that U-Haul sees first hand. To help reduce this problem, they’ve created a space to connect with people who might have spare boxes. Simply go to Uhaul.com/exchange and pop in your zip code to see what’s available in your area.

2. Craigslist

Did you know that Craigslist has an entire section of stuff that’s free? Yup, free ninety free. Head to your local Craigslist website, search for boxes under the category “free stuff,” and see what you can find. A lot of people would rather hand off boxes than break them down for recycling!

3. Liquor stores

Liquor bottles are heavy, which means the boxes used to carry them have to be sturdy. This makes them perfect for moving. Ask the cashier at your local liquor store if you can steal a few cardboard boxes after their next delivery before the boxes get broken down. These boxes tend to be the perfect size for packing books, drinking glasses, and fragile home decor!

4. Grocery stores (specifically the produce section)

These places get new shipments every single day, so they’re bound to have some boxes lying around. The boxes used to transport fruit and other fragile perishables are perfect for transporting larger, lighter items, like blankets and towels.

5. Pharmacies

Like your grocery store, your local drugstore receives regular shipments in boxes of all sizes. Head to your local CVS, Walgreens, or Rite-Aid to see if you can snag a few.

6. Freecycle.org

The Freecycle Network is a fantastic way to find free moving boxes in your community. Head to the main site and search the name of your town. Once you’re on your town’s message board, you can view the totally free items that people are offering. On the flipside, you can also post a wanted ad for moving boxes.

7. Office buildings or office supply stores

Two words: paper boxes. The boxes used to ship reams of paper are heavy-duty and they’re perfect for a big move. Some of them even have those nifty lids and side handles! Politely ask the office receptionist (or cashier at the supply store) if they have any boxes they can spare.

8. Auto shops

Car parts can be large and come in equally large boxes. Call local auto shops and ask them if they currently have any boxes, or if they receive boxes frequently. If so, ask them to set them aside for you. These boxes can be great for protecting big pieces of artwork during a move.

9. Recycling centers

The downside of getting your moving boxes from the recycling center is that they’re probably broken down. The upside is that they’re free, so who cares? Call your local recycling center and ask if you can swing by and pick up a few boxes. They should have plenty, but some days may be better than others depending on your recycling center’s schedule and hours. Also, depending on how your recycling center is set up, you may be able to simply reach into the recycling bins and grab what you want.

10. Social media

When in doubt, tweet it out (or Facebook it out or Instagram it out… you get the idea). If you have a lot of local social media connections, chances are you’ll be able to find someone who recently moved or knows someone who did. Post a quick plea for free boxes, add a #SOS to the end, and see who saves the day.

When it’s moving crunch time, you can be efficient by calling ahead to businesses to confirm they have boxes before heading there. Save even more time by skipping this major moving hassle altogether! When you rent furniture, you can forget about moving boxes – and the heavy lifting as well! Visit CORT.com to see just how easy and affordable it can be to rent furniture for your next apartment.