Free Moving Boxes for All!

August 16, 2010

Free moving boxes can help you save a little money when you move. I hated the thought of spending money on boxes I would only use once so I spent part of the weekend rounding up boxes to pack up our stuff. Here are five good places to look for free moving boxes:

1) Recycling Center Boxes
The cool thing about recycling centers is that there are TONS of free boxes up for grabs. I backed our CR-V up to one of the bins at a local recycling center and filled the back up with boxes. Typically the boxes have been broken down so you’ll need a tape gun to re-tape them once you get them home.

Of course they won’t all be standard size moving boxes, it’ll be a range of sizes. The really big ones aren’t good because they’re heavy to carry once you get them all full and the really small ones don’t hold much so they can be a waste of time to pack. But if you can find a local recycling center with a big bin of cardboard boxes you’ll be able to find plenty of medium sized boxes to pack with.

2) Grocery Stores Boxes
Grocery stores are a never ending source of free boxes since they’re constantly unpacking new shipments of food. Most of them do their restocking late in the evenings, if it’s a 24 hour store you can walk up and down the aisles and collect the empty boxes as they’re emptied. Even easier, if you call in and request boxes ahead of time some grocery stores will hold a bunch of boxes for you to come and pick up in the morning.

3) Office Boxes
If the company you work for gets any kind of deliveries you can hit them up for their empty boxes. For example, where I work the printing department always has empty paper boxes and the IT department periodically has empty computer boxes. Stop by and tell them you’re moving and ask them to let you know whenever they have boxes to get rid of.

Asking your co-workers can also be a good strategy if you let them know weeks in advance to save any empty boxes and bring them in for you. You won’t get enough boxes to pack up your apartment but every free box is one you don’t have to buy.

4) Craigslist Boxes
People who just finished moving are sick of hauling things around and want to get rid of all the boxes they just had to unpack. Trash companies often charge an extra fee to dispose of huge stacks of boxes so some people will offer free moving boxes if you just come pick them up. Keep your eye on Craigslist for people who just moved and are getting rid of all their cardboard boxes. If you can find the right family discarding a whole pile of them you might be able to get all the moving boxes you need from one place.

5) Moving Company Boxes
Some of moving companies that gave us bids to move our furniture offered 10-15 free boxes if we used their moving service. If you’re moving everything yourself this won’t help you but if you have movers coming to help with a house full of furniture you might be able to get some free moving boxes out of the deal. If you’re trying to decide whether or not hire movers or which moving company to use stay tuned because we’ll cover that later this week.

Good luck moving!


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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7 Responses to Free Moving Boxes for All!

  • Pam

    Every time I have moved I have stopped by at a few local McDonald’s locations and got boxes from them. They are the perfect size and very durable.

    • Kathie

      I can’t speak about any other state, but here in California if you were to drive up to a recycling center and start taking boxes, you’d be arrested. Once someone drops off items at a recycling center, it becomes the property of that center. Please check with the center before taking anything. Just saying…

  • danielle

    omg i’m planning on moving next month! i’m bookmarking this page. thanks!!


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