Just think about it: a house move should be impossible without the exceptional versatility, remarkable convenience and outstanding mobility of cardboard boxes.
One of your priorities when getting ready to move out should be to save money, so the upcoming major task of packing up your home is an excellent opportunity to do so. How? It’s simple: DON’T PAY FOR MOVING BOXES.
One cardboard box is not expensive, but when you need to purchase 50+ boxes for your packing needs, you’ll suddenly start looking for some creative ways to find FREE moving boxes.
The problem you’ll probably face before the start of the packing task will be how to strike a good balance between PRICE and QUALITY when it comes to packing boxes. Truth be told, there are many places that offer free cardboard moving boxes, so in most cases, it’s relatively easy to get your hands on moving boxes for free… provided that you have enough TIME to do so.
Read on to learn how to obtain free moving boxes – a piece of information that’ll be especially important when you’re moving on a tight budget.
Get free moving boxes from FRIENDS & CO-WORKERS
Where to get free cardboard boxes? When you need free moving boxes to reduce your inevitable packing expenses, then your best bet is to first ask your friends and work colleagues if they have any cardboard boxes they won’t be using anymore.
It’s easy, really – sometimes good packing boxes can be yours just for the asking simply because you never know which one of your pals might have a solid stack of cardboard containers stored away, waiting to be used sometime in the future. After all, what are friends for?
In most cases, it’ll be impossible to meet all of your friends in person and ask them if they can help you out with cardboard boxes. However, you can still reach most of your buddies with a single post on your favorite social network.
“HELP! I’m moving and I need tons of moving boxes.” is a good example of how you can reach out to your friends and co-workers during a period where each ounce of help is greatly appreciated.
See also: How to get friends to help you move
Score free moving boxes ONLINE
The Internet is another good place to find free cardboard boxes – all you need to do is check several specialized websites to see if there are people who happen to offer any leftover containers free of charge in your area.
Believe it or not, some citizens would rather do that than to go through all the trouble of recycling the cardboard boxes left from their recent house moves. Plus, helping out other people in need should definitely bring more satisfaction and joy.
When looking for free moving boxes, make sure you check out at least these two websites:
- Freecycle. Freecycle is a non-profit network where more than 9 million registered users offer all types of things FOR FREE, including free moving boxes. Do a local search and see if anyone in your immediate area has more packing boxes than they need at that moment.
- Craigslist. You should be well familiar with Craigslist over the years, and this time you should really try to take advantage of its reputation as the best place for free moving boxes online. Again, limit reasonably your location criteria because paying for the shipping costs can easily defeat the purpose of your online search in the first place.
Might come in handy: How to sell stuff online when moving
Get free packing boxes from STORES
One thing you should remember before you decide to purchase your packing supplies brand new is that many local businesses get daily shipments and deliveries in various cardboard boxes, and then have no practical use for those containers. Such businesses (usually retail stores) are required by law to recycle properly their used cardboard boxes.
As you can see, if you play your cards right, there’s no real reason why you shouldn’t be able to find empty boxes for moving. Here are the best places that give free moving boxes just for the asking (well, at least most of the time):
- Big supermarkets. Just phone the largest grocery stores in your town or city and ask to speak with their respective managers. Better yet, take a quick tour around those supermarkets and have a chat with the store managers in person. As long as you respect their pick-up requirements, you should be able to get home with enough moving containers.
Look out for banana boxes because they are super convenient to carry around with smaller and lighter stuff.
- Home electronics stores. Most electronics shipping boxes are both clean and sturdy, so scoring cardboard containers from electronics stores is definitely a bonus. Do not turn down boxes that seem too big – you can always repurpose the thicker cardboard as you pack away.
- Bookstores. Bookstores often get their book deliveries in clean and extra strong cardboard boxes that come in small to medium sizes. Swing by a few large bookstores in your city and see what you can find there.
- Copy centers. The best thing about visiting a few copy centers in your area is that you will most likely find free copier paper boxes there. The indisputable advantage of copier paper boxes comes in their uniform size (easily stackable) and extra strength (safe enough for packing heavy books).
Must-read info: How to pack boxes for moving
Find free moving boxes at RECYCLING CENTERS
A recycling center may be one of the most unusual places to find free moving boxes for your next move. And yet, it’s worth a visit if you’re really determined to save big on packing materials.
The good news is that you can still find free moving boxes in good condition at those recycling centers. The bad news is that you should be extra careful when picking those containers: remember that getting packing boxes for free doesn’t mean that you should accept any boxes that come your way.
Read also: How to recycle moving boxes
Why FREE is NOT always better
Now that you know where to find free moving boxes, it’s time for a bit of caution: Yes, it’s good to be able to find moving boxes for free but you must never compromise SAFETY in your attempt to save money when moving house.
Practically, there are 3 fundamental requirements that each free moving box you manage to find must meet in order to be usable:
- DRY. Any free cardboard boxes you get offered must be completely dry and free of any previous water damage altogether.
- CLEAN. Take a closer look at each and every box before you accept it: Is it clean enough to hold your valuable items? Remember that used boxes have been used for transporting or storing something. The big question is figuring out the nature of that thing.
Also, the free moving boxes you get offered must be infestation-free. Should you notice any worrisome signs of possible infestation, reject a cardboard box immediately.
- STURDY. Test the physical strength of each cardboard box by applying a bit of pressure on the sides and bottom with your hands. If a box doesn’t look or feel strong enough to withstand the weight of whatever you plan to pack inside it, don’t take the risk of using it.
All in all, now you know that getting free moving boxes for your house move is easier done than said. However, please keep in mind that getting GOOD moving boxes may still be easier said than done.
Just in case: How to move without boxes