If you’re relocating long distance or moving locally soon and don’t have that big of a budget to work with, you might be wondering where to get free moving boxes. Today, modern pre-cut boxes of corrugated cardboard are taken for granted. Only a few know that they were designed by accident in 1890, thanks to Robert Gair, a printer and paper manufacturer from Brooklyn. This discovery, like many others, came to be a result of a careless mistake. But, today, it’s hard to even imagine what relocations, especially cross country ones would look like without this accidental invention.
Depending on the size of your apartment or the house, you should obtain various quantities of different packing materials for moving. If you decide to buy them brand new, packages will be among the biggest expenses. Relocation costs are pricey, especially when it comes to long-distance removals. So, why not consider obtaining freebie cardboard boxes, save a few hundred bucks and find the cheapest way to move out of state? Furthermore, you won’t just save your money, but also your nerves and avoid moving stress.
How Can I Get Free Boxes?
So, where can you find free-of-charge cartons for your interstate relocation? It turns out that they are everywhere around you – from the stores to supermarkets. Head to the first supermarket near you and ask. They probably already have a carton, or maybe two at no cost. Keep in mind that most of the establishments that sell goods have scheduled deliveries for the week, meaning that they might have an abundance of packing supplies destined for recycling. That means there is a good chance that you will get several cardboards. This can help you economize on other things you need for your first apartment. So, let’s take a glimpse into places you can check for free-of-charge materials.
What Stores Will Give You Boxes?
As we said, there are plenty of different places ready to help you by giving you packages or boxes with lids without charge. If you’re wondering, Does Walmart have free boxes? or Does Home Depot give free moving boxes?, you can get the answer by visiting these locations. They’ll likely be happy to provide you with their overflow that will serve you well. Let’s check where to start:
- Local orchards – these sites are perfect if you live in a rural area. You can find strong, wooden crates that are super durable and perfect for your fragile items.
- Grocery shops – you know the place where you often go to buy your favorite sweets and snacks? Well, it can provide you with tons of crates, cartons, and packages. You just should ask the store manager if there is packaging material in their storage they don’t need anymore. Grocery shops usually receive shipments every day, so there are good chances you’ll find what you need.
- Liquor shops – even if you don’t consume spirits, you shouldn’t overlook these spots. They might be your best bet when it comes to durable packaging materials – they are sturdy and reliable because alcohol bottles are heavy and fragile, meaning they require additional protection. The best option is to ask where they receive the shipment and to put aside some for you. Here’s the simple calculation when it comes to yields: 5-10 free moving boxes per night.
- Auto supply shops – here you can find large cardboard containers for your belongings, such as electronics or dishes
- Retail giants – these are locations where everything comes in large packages due to their massive shipments. So, if there are Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, or Costco near you, head for your freebie supplies ASAP.
Don’t forget about supply stores or hardware stores – they have a constant flux of cardboard boxes. Also, five-and-dime shops might be full of cartons in various sizes. Since they usually sell everything from apparel, hardware, and cleaning products to home furnishings at discounted prices, you can choose the size of the most suitable box for your needs.
Don’t Stop at a Local Store in Your Neighborhood – Consider Free Boxes Online
People usually don’t make a connection between the internet and no-cost things, but when it comes to packaging material, there are tons of excellent websites where you can get what you want without charge. The best thing about these online sources is that they will show you where you can obtain cost-free cartons near you, which is an excellent way to save your time and transportation costs.
Craigslist Respects Your Time
Craigslist is definitely the number one friendly-website when speaking about your moving budget, and diligently used time. There are plenty of users offering all types of packaging material after they have moved so expect fruitful results. Just make sure to avoid ads that provide shipping services to your address, since these are not always reliable.
Check the USPS Mailing Supplies Page
Why not try with the US Postal Service? Visit this page and check for free-of-charge (or cheap) deals on mailing boxes. Have in mind that there is a limitation of pro bono cartons per one person and that USPS typically takes several days (3 to 5) to ship your order.
Get the Right Box on Freecycle
This non-profit network has more than 9 million registered users all over the world. Freecycle membership is cost-free, all items are posted without charge, and anything posted on the website costs nothing. All in all, Freecycle is a modern and simple way to get everything you need free-of-charge and to connect with your local community members at the same time.
Consider Facebook Marketplace or Mailing Lists You’re a Member of
Online groups and mailing lists are great options when you want to get something at no charge, and you’re tight on time. If you’re not sure how Facebook Marketplace works, its concept is the same as mobile selling apps. You can always check among existing posts if there is anything for you or can post on your own feed that you’re looking for packing materials.
Local Spaces and Educational Institutions
If you think you’ve exhausted all the possibilities, there are more places worth trying – from your building’s recycling bin to district elementary school. Let’s start with recycling options and find out where you can find packaging material for your relocation.
Recycling Centers or the Post Office
Visiting the post office in your neighborhood is always a good option when looking for empty cartons. People often leave their packages here after receiving a mail. Also, consider local recycling centers that accept all paper and cardboard products, and don’t be surprised if you get straighten cartons. To prepare them for your move, re-tape or re-fold them, and check if they are reinforced enough to safely store your belongings.
Look for the recycling room or the package center in apartment complexes. You can do this in your own building or head to others in your neighborhood. Ask the property manager to carry all the supplies available and add these cartons to your existing free-of-charge pile.
Local Elementary Schools and Universities
When thinking about schools and universities, the first things that pop up are desks, books, and various educational equipment. All this stuff must be delivered before the school and semester year begins in large packages. Also, don’t forget about universities’ dorms and apartments – most of the students relocate at the beginning of the semester. Try to find these leftover boxes on campus and ask officials whether you can help them by taking these supplies off their hands.
What About People You Know
Just when you thought you had nowhere else to look for handy crates, a friend who had recently moved came across your mind. He probably has leftover packaging material in his garage or attic. It doesn’t cost you anything to ask and you’ll be doing a huge favor to one another.
Contact Friends and Family
Maybe some of your family members know someone who doesn’t know what to do with small or large cartons. Even more, if you’re relocating for the first time, this might be an excellent opportunity to find out more about moving tips and relocation hacks from a person who has already gone through the entire nerve-wracking process.
Your Office Might Be an Oasis of Leftover Free Boxes
Some of your colleagues are probably informed if any box or the large carton is remaining from supply orders. Companies receive many deliveries almost every day, and you can talk with people in charge of procuring office supplies if there are some strong cases for you.
Stop by Garage Sales or Ask Your Newbie Neighbor for Help
Neighborhood garage and yard sales usually happen when people are trying to get rid of unnecessary items. During the decluttering process, they will use cartons, so take advantage of a yard sale to drop by and ask if there is any package for you.
Also, if someone is relocating into the house in your street, you can help your new neighbors to get rid of tons of packaging material. Make sure to knock on their door after two or three days, when they had time to settle down and unpack their belongings.
Still Wondering Where to Get More Free Moving Boxes – Consider These Places as Additional Ideas
When living in the city, you can rest assured that there is no shortage of places where you can find supplies for your relocation. If your apartment is near a printing house, copy centers, or any location dealing with paper and cardboard daily, you’ll likely find adequate materials to store your belongings. Here are some additional suggestions on where to check:
- Bookstores – since books are one of the heaviest items, you will find strong and durable cardboard containers in bookstores. These have thicker walls for extra protection, so if you have a lot of books that should be transported, bookstores will probably meet your needs.
- Copy centers – it’s well known that copier paper must be stored somewhere before it arrives in a copy center. If you’re looking for the boxes uniform in size and strong enough, these containers might be perfect. Also, they are sometimes designed with lids and handles for easier transportation.
- Your local library – new books and periodicals usually come in strong containers, so you can drop by and ask if they have recently received some fresh editions in sturdy packaging. If they have any, you’ll get at least a couple of reliable packages.
What Kind and How Many Moving Boxes Do You Need?
Obtaining free-of-charge containers is an excellent chance to save your money, but that doesn’t mean you should accept any kind of containers. Make sure to check each of them before you decide to place your items inside. Keep in mind that the safety of your possessions is your priority. That’s why the packaging material you obtain should be clean, strong, and dry.
And here comes another question: How many free boxes should you acquire?
Suppose you’ve created a moving to-do list beforehand in order to facilitate the whole relocation process for both professional movers and you. In that case, you can have peace of mind when the packing starts. Still, it’s good to know that you should have different-sized containers (small, medium, large) for all your household items. If you notice that you won’t have enough materials, don’t worry. You can always order moving supplies from your removal company and check with them if there’s anything more you have forgotten.
Generally speaking, if you’re packing DIY, you’ll need around ten small cartons, eight or nine medium-sized containers, and six large cardboard packages for an average room. Of course, consult relocation experts if you have some doubts or additional questions. Among other useful advice, they can suggest you think about moving insurance and auto shipping service if you want to bring your vehicle with you.