Top 17 Places That Offer Free Cardboard Moving Boxes

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We are moving soon and the question of where to get free moving boxes always becomes a number one concern as you need moving boxes in order to pack up your home or apartment.

Four years ago, my husband went to U-Haul to buy moving boxes, and I tried to hide my shock that he was spending money on cardboard moving boxes especially when I knew that we could find free moving boxes!

But, since we packed quickly, and for a move across the country, the uniform moving boxes were nice as well as the boxes and other professional moving supplies that were specially designed for things like our dishes.

We have kept these cheap cardboard U-Haul boxes through a few more moves. We gave a few away, but stored the collapsed moving boxes under our queen bed for years now, as we move often. Because we paid for them, and know we’ll move again, we don’t want to give them away just yet!

But, many people (and stores) are not so attached to their cardboard moving boxes (thank goodness)! The following is a list of places where you can find free moving boxes.

17 Places where to find and get free moving boxes

Photo Credit: sunshinecity and everystockphoto.

Where to Get Free Moving Boxes

If you want to get free moving boxes from a store or place of business, it is recommended that you call ahead instead of just dumpster dive or loiter. You can go in store and ask for a manager who can better tell you when shipments come in and if they are willing to hold some larger cardboard boxes for you. Many are very accommodating.

One of the downsides of accumulating free moving boxes from a variety of sources is the variety of box sizes you’ll receive, which can make stacking boxes in your moving truck, trunk, or car a little more tricky.  But, some of these random sized boxes may be perfect for certain objects in your home which won’t fit in more standard-sized cardboard boxes.

  3. U-Haul Box Exchange
  4. Facebook Community Groups
  5. Friends
  6. Family Members
  7. Department Stores like Walmart or Target
  8. Liquor Stores
  9. Fast Food Restaurants (frozen goods, like McDonald’s fries, come in plastic bags inside the boxes so they’re clean, and a great size)
  10. Grocery Stores
  11. Office Supply Stores
  12. Bookstores
  13. Banks or Offices (usually boxes with lids, like for reams of paper)
  14. Electronic Stores
  15. Near (or in) dumpsters in apartment complexes
  16. College Dorms
  17. Dollar Stores

How to Save Even More on Moving Costs and Have the Best Move Ever

Moving is expensive (especially if moving 1000+ miles away like we’ll be doing soon!) and free boxes can help cut down moving costs. See my post for my Top 5 Tips for Saving Money on Moving Costs.

If you want a less stressful, more organized move, subscribe below for three handy moving printables! They’ll help you find the perfect apartment, streamline the moving process, and get your full rental deposit back.

And if you need help staying organized, I highly suggest The Dating Diva’s Moving Organization Kit!

Also, be sure to check out Top Moving Tips and Tricks, and Tips for Apartment Hunting – Finding the Perfect New Apartment! 

And if you are moving far away with your young kids in tow, read my post Simple Tips for Taking Road Trips with Kids.

Plus, here are 50+ Deep Cleaning Tips and Tricks in case your new home (or current home) needs a little cleaning TLC.

Where have you gotten free moving boxes from before? Where is your favorite place to get moving boxes from?

Moving Soon? Grab These FREE Moving Checklists!

Organize your move with 3 FREE moving checklists when you subscribe that will help you:

  • Find the perfect new apartment
  • Keep your entire rental deposit
  • Streamline the moving process

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    • Nancy Logan says

      Be very careful about getting boxes from people you do not know. Bed bugs are at epidemic level now. It would be terrible to get boxes that have bed bugs. Getting rid of them is very expensive.

  1. says

    If you have any Regis salons in your area, or Regis owned salons like Mastercuts, Smartstyle, etc, give them a call. They get shipment every two weeks in very nice, sturdy boxes, and most would gladly give them to you if you are available to pick them up on the same day!

  2. Taia says

    Bike shops, and automobile repair shops. You’d be amazed how well framed art fits into a bike box or radiator box. Plus car repair places usually have super sturdy boxes, ask for wheel boxes, they are super strong!

  3. says

    These are great suggestions! I decided not to pay for moving boxes this time and following your advises asked some friends and relatives if they know people who moved recently and have boxes left. The result was that a week later a Had enough free moving boxes fo all our stuff and few extra for the kids to play with. Thanks for the ideas!

  4. says

    Boxes are crazy expensive! This is a great list of resources. I’ll be sharing it with my clients for sure (I’m a Realtor) on a round up of favorite moving tips.

  5. Lizza Reed says

    I manage a movie theater and I can attest to the fact that they always have tons of boxes of all sizes. Big ones from cups, small ones from candy, sturdy ones from heavier bottled items like cleaners and butter plus every size in between! Go to the busier bigger theater since they go through more supplies.

  6. says

    Great post!!! Its really ultimate tips given by you for all of us.This is a great list of resources. I’ll be sharing it with my colleagues for sure on a round up of favorite moving tips.Thanks for these resources.

  7. Randy says

    I found a big box to fill my need, at a shoe store. That’s right, all those little boxes that contain two shoes, came in a much bigger box. Also, places that print lots of tee shirts. Like for sports teams, or events that need shirts that say “staff” or “security”.


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