Where can I get free boxes for a move?


The number one moving supply you’ll need on moving day is moving boxes. Whether you’re moving locally or long-distance, you’re going to need plenty of boxes! Depending on your move, you may even need a few dozen of them, and purchasing them from places like Office Max or moving companies can quickly add up. To save you some money, we’ve made a list of all the places you can find free boxes for your move. Check them out.


Amazon Deliveries. Well, technically, you paid for these, but you can get the most bang for your buck from all your Amazon purchases by keeping all the boxes they deliver in. Although they might be on the smaller side, they are still great for putting away things like plates, video games, and frames. Bonus: they often come with bubble wrap you can also use for your move.


Neighbors. If you’re constantly throwing out cardboard boxes, imagine how many more your neighbors also have. So as soon as you find out you’re moving, put the word out with your neighbors. They’ll more than likely have a few boxes of their own they are more than willing to give you.


Local Classifieds. Apps like Craigslist, Neighbor, Offer Up, and your local Facebook group almost always have someone trying to get rid of their cardboard boxes. So don’t be afraid to post your own ad looking for free boxes. Chances are, as long as you’re willing to pick them up, you’ll find more than enough people willing to donate them.


Local Grocery Store. If you’ve ever driven through the back lot of your local grocery store, chances are you’ve seen their section of trash cans that contain mountains of cardboard boxes. The good news is that you don’t have to go dumpster diving for these. Reach out to the store manager and ask if you can grab the next batch of boxes they toss. This is an often-overlooked source of tons of free boxes and is actually one of the best suggestions on our list. Grocery store boxes make some of the best moving boxes, thanks to their side handles.


U-Haul. Did you know U-Haul has a cool spot in each of their locations where people can opt to leave their moving boxes for other movers? All you have to do is look up your local U-Haul, drive over, and see if they have any boxes. If you live in a metropolitan area, you might even have a few locations to choose from.


Office Depot or Office Max. It’s not what you’re thinking. The great irony here is that while Office Max and Office Depot are certainly places you can purchase your boxes, they also have a ton of cardboard boxes they’re constantly trying to get rid of. So next time you’re looking to score a bulk of free boxes, call them first thing in the morning and find out when they’ll be getting rid of their next batch and if you can take them off their hands. They’ll probably be happy to hand them off.


Walmart.  Believe it or not, Walmart has also become somewhat of a go-to for boxes. If you go there after 10:00 p.m., you should find any size box leftover from their drop-off shipments. This is actually a pretty well-known place to get free boxes. So if you’re looking for a particular size, maybe get there a little early.


Target. Target is also known for getting rid of its boxes. However, their shipments are a little trickier to get your hands on. Some people swear they get their shipments on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, while others report it’s every other day. To be on the safe side, we recommend you call your local Target and ask if they’ll be willing to set aside some boxes for you. Most of the time, the answer is yes.


Barnes & Noble. If you can score some boxes here, you’ll be in pretty good “moving” shape. Because books are heavy, their boxes tend to be consistently sturdier. However, there are different reports about unloading times that seem to vary across places, so your best bet might be to call your local Barnes & Noble and find out if/when they’ll be getting rid of their boxes.


Local Drug Stores. By now, you’ve probably noticed a trend. You should be able to find free boxes at any of your local stores, but an easy one seems to be the drug stores. Such places include stores like Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, etc. The key is not to be shy and call to find out about their drop off-time. Ask about the best times to pick up boxes after they unload their cargo. Some stores do it early Saturday mornings. Others do it at the beginning of the week. Either way, you won’t find out until you ask.


Apartments. Apartment buildings usually have colossal recycling bins that are filled to the brim with boxes. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, feel free to hunt down some boxes in any nearby apartment buildings. It’s usually a good idea to befriend someone in the establishment or even the property manager to help avoid any misunderstandings.


Local Recycling Center. This one can be hit or miss, but it’s worth mentioning. While your local recycling center will certainly be filled with cardboard boxes, half of them might either be ruined or on the verge of being sold. Either way, if all else fails, it can be a good choice.


There you have it. There is absolutely no reason why you have to spend any money on boxes on your next local or long-distance move. All you need is about an hour of free time and maybe a few minutes to make some calls. Happy box hunting!