Where to Get Empty Boxes for Moving

If you’re moving soon and need to get empty boxes, look no further!

The truth is that even empty boxes cost money, but there are a number of ways to find free ones. Boxes can also be hard on the environment, since new cardboard almost always comes from non-sustainably managed forests, which means the cheapest, most eco-friendly option is to find previously used boxes.

Where can I get empty boxes?

ASK AROUND: All you need to do is put the word out to neighbors, friends, relatives, etc., that you’re in the market for as many free moving boxes as possible.

People to ask first include friends who may have recently moved as well. If these options don’t avail you of any free empty boxes, the next place to try is work. Offices produce a lot of waste in the form of empty boxes for paper, toner, beverages and other office supplies. Chances are you’ll be doing your company a favor by taking these boxes off their hands.

GROCERY STORES: The shipping of food is an endless source of empty boxes, and grocery stores don’t always reuse theirs. And since restocking occurs nightly, you can stop by or call ahead to ask for some free boxes pretty much daily.

Try smaller chains and nonchain stores first, since larger chains tend to use high-quality boxes, which they’ll be less willing to give up.

THE MOVING COMPANY: Many moving companies include a certain but small number of free boxes as part of their service. While the number won’t be enough for all your needs, every bit helps. Further, if you’re moving any items of a peculiar size and shape, moving companies often specialize in hard-to-find packaging.

POST OFFICE: The USPS has free Flat Rate boxes that can be picked up without calling ahead or any questioning at almost any post office.

You might also consider using the USPS to ship specific items you’d prefer not to worry about on moving day.

RECYCLING CENTER: If you haven’t found boxes at a store or friend’s, recycling centers are your best bet. The downside is that most of these will be broken down (tape removed, folded up, tied together in large numbers) to comply with local recycling laws. These boxes will be in all sizes and in different states of repair, so careful sifting will need to be done.

FREECYCLE AND CRAIGSLIST: Freecycle is an online open flea market where everything is free. It’s where people can list an item they no longer want but are trying to get rid of. Whereas Craigslist is an online network of city-based communities listing classified ads for many products and services. Sometimes both sites have offers for free or low-cost boxes.

Hopefully this guide has been helpful in answering any questions you had regarding where to find empty boxes.

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