Free Moving Boxes: Where to Find Them and How to Get Them

Free Moving Boxes: Where to Find Them and How to Get Them

Finding free moving boxes can save you a significant amount of money when you’re preparing to move. Here are several places where you can find free moving boxes and tips on how to get them:

1. Grocery Stores and Supermarkets:

  • Produce Sections: Ask employees for sturdy fruit and vegetable boxes. These are often strong and come with lids.
  • Store Manager: Speak to the store manager and inquire about any spare boxes they might have.

2. Retail Stores:

  • Bookstores: They often have sturdy boxes due to the weight of books.
  • Electronics Stores: Boxes that held TVs or other appliances can be strong and well-cushioned.
  • Liquor Stores: They usually have small, sturdy boxes.

3. Online Marketplaces:

  • Craigslist: Check the “Free” section in the For Sale category.
  • Facebook Marketplace: Look for free items in your local area.
  • Nextdoor: Connect with neighbors who might be giving away moving boxes.

4. Office Supply Stores:

  • Office Depot, Staples: Check if they have empty printer paper boxes or other sturdy packaging materials.

5. Community Centers and Schools:

  • Schools: Contact local schools or universities; they often receive deliveries in bulk and might have extra boxes.
  • Community Centers: They might have boxes from various events and activities.

6. Freecycle and Freegle:

  • Freecycle: This online platform connects people who are giving and getting free items in their towns.
  • Freegle: Similar to Freecycle, it helps you find free stuff in your local community.

7. Recycling Centers:

  • Recycling Drop-off Points: People often drop off boxes here, and you might find some in good condition.

Tips for Getting Free Moving Boxes:

  1. Be Polite: When asking for boxes, be polite and considerate. Thank the people who provide you with boxes.
  2. Check Box Quality: Ensure the boxes are sturdy and in good condition. Avoid boxes that are torn, wet, or weak.
  3. Plan Ahead: Start your search for free boxes well in advance of your moving date. This gives you time to collect an adequate number.
  4. Be Persistent: If one source doesn’t have boxes, try another. It might take a bit of searching, but patience can pay off.
  5. Ask Friends and Family: Put the word out to your friends and family; they might have recently moved or know someone who has.

Remember, while free boxes can save you money, for delicate or valuable items, it might be worth investing in new, sturdy moving boxes to ensure the safety of your belongings during the move.

Exploring the Top Places to Get Free Moving Boxes

Certainly, here’s a more detailed exploration of some of the top places where you can find free moving boxes:

1. Grocery Stores:

  • Produce Section: Ask for apple or banana boxes, which are sturdy and often have lids.
  • Store Manager: Speak with the store manager and request boxes. Many stores have specific days for stocking, so inquire about the best time to pick them up.

2. Retail Stores:

  • Bookstores: They have small to medium-sized boxes that are ideal for heavier items.
  • Electronics Stores: Boxes from appliances like microwaves or TVs are usually strong and well-padded.
  • Liquor Stores: Liquor boxes are compact and sturdy, great for packing small, heavy items.

3. Online Marketplaces:

  • Craigslist: Check the free section in the “For Sale” category. People often give away moving boxes here.
  • Facebook Marketplace: Look for free items in your local area. You can filter your search specifically for moving boxes.
  • Nextdoor: Connect with neighbors; they might be looking to get rid of moving boxes after their own move.

4. Office Supply Stores:

  • Office Depot, Staples: Check with the store employees. Printer paper boxes are usually robust and come with lids.

5. Freecycle and Freegle:

  • Freecycle: Join your local Freecycle group and post a request for moving boxes.
  • Freegle: Similar to Freecycle, it’s another platform to find free items in your local community.

6. Online Retailers:

  • U-Haul Box Exchange: U-Haul has a section on their website where people can find free boxes, and you can post your own request.
  • Amazon and eBay: Sometimes, people give away used boxes for free on these platforms. Look for local listings to avoid shipping costs.

7. Community Centers and Schools:

  • Schools and Universities: They often receive shipments in bulk and might have boxes to spare.
  • Community Centers: Check with local community centers or event spaces, especially after events or activities.

8. Recycling Centers:

  • Recycling Drop-off Points: Many people drop off cardboard boxes here. Check with the staff or fellow recyclers.

9. Pharmacies:

  • Pharmacies: Large pharmacy chains often receive deliveries in sturdy boxes. Ask the staff if they have any extras.

10. Restaurants:

  • Restaurants: Particularly fast-food restaurants receive their supplies in sturdy boxes. These can be excellent for packing kitchen items.

11. Local Businesses:

  • Local Businesses: Check with small local businesses in your area. They might have boxes they are willing to give away.

Remember, always inspect the boxes before taking them. Choose boxes that are clean, dry, and in good condition to ensure the safety of your belongings during the move. Be courteous and grateful to the people providing the boxes; they are doing you a favor.


In conclusion, finding free moving boxes is not only a practical way to save money during a move but also an eco-friendly choice, as it promotes recycling and reduces waste. By exploring various sources such as grocery stores, retail outlets, online marketplaces, office supply stores, and community centers, you can gather a sufficient number of sturdy and reliable boxes for your move.

Remember to plan ahead, be polite and respectful when requesting boxes, and always inspect the boxes to ensure they are in good condition. Utilizing online platforms like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and dedicated websites such as Freecycle and U-Haul Box Exchange can significantly expand your options.

By being resourceful and persistent, you can successfully secure free moving boxes, making your moving process more budget-friendly and environmentally conscious. Good luck with your move!