12 Places to Get Free Moving Boxes

How to Get Moving Boxes for Free

Free moving boxes can be found everywhere if you keep your eyes open. Not only will using free moving boxes save you money, you're helping the environment by reusing boxes instead of purchasing new ones.

I've got a lot of ideas here on how you can get free moving boxes. Some take only a few clicks of the mouse and others will have you get out and do a little digging. With all of these ideas though, you have a great chance of finding free moving boxes for your next big move.

Keep in mind, that just because the boxes are free doesn't mean you should automatically take them. Make sure that the free moving boxes are clean and sturdy. You want to keep your stuff safe and so your moving boxes need to be in good condition. You also want to make sure that you have permission to take the boxes, a simple and polite question will more than likely get you a "yes".

Tip: Remember when you're finished unpacking after your move that someone else would appreciate your free moving boxes. If you can't find someone who wants your free moving boxes then recycle them at your nearest recycling center.

Looking for more moving freebies? Find free change of address cards and free address labels for your new home.

1
Craigslist

Young woman placing box on stack of belongings in apartment
PM Images/Stone/Getty Images

Craigslist is an excellent resource for finding free moving boxes.

Use the Free section of Craigslist to see if any one is giving away free moving boxes. You'll have better luck finding free moving boxes on Craigslist near the end of the weekend or the beginning of the week since that's when most people take the time to unpack or clean out old boxes.

I also suggest using the Wanted section to post that you're looking for free moving boxes. Many people who are giving away their moving boxes will look here before posting in another section.

You can also use the Craigslist search box to search for free moving boxes. Even if someone is wanting money for their moving boxes you may be able to negotiate with them so you can swap something you already have and no longer want for the free moving boxes. More

2
Freecycle

A pile of labeled moving boxes.
Peter Dazeley/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

After Craigslist, I suggest checking Freecycle to see if there are any free moving boxes available in your area.

You'll need to join your local online Freecycle group and then post that you want some free moving boxes and see if you get any responses. You never know what might just be laying around someone's garage. More

3
Find Free Moving Boxes in Your Area With U-Haul Customer Connect

Boxes on ground near moving van.
OJO_Images/Getty Images

U-Haul Customer Connect is a new service set up by U-Haul that lets you search for free moving boxes near you, from people who have just got done unpacking and need to get rid of their boxes.

Enter your zip code or city into the search box and you'll find free moving boxes that are just waiting for a new home. More

4
Facebook Community Groups

Social media 'Like' symbol on keyboard.
Peter Dazeley/The Image Bank/Getty Images

There are Facebook groups for just about everything these days, and this includes your local community. 

Do a quick search on Facebook for local groups near you that deal with free stuff, swaps, or just community groups where people post often and seem friendly.

The great thing about these Facebook groups is that you don't need to wait until someone posts an offer of free moving boxes, just post that you're looking for some and you'll be amazed at how many people have some or know some neighbors that will have some available soon.

5
Free Moving Boxes From Retailers

A man unpacking merchandise from a cardboard box.
Hero Images/Getty Images

Your local stores are great resources for finding free moving boxes.

Just ask retailers in your area if they have some boxes you can take off their hands. Many will be very glad to get rid of the boxes they have before they go to the trouble of tearing them up. After all, the worst thing they can say is no.

You can also drive down the alleyways of stores and look for their cardboard recycling bins where they put boxes they no longer need. Out of common courtesy, I suggest checking with the store before you take any of these boxes.

Stores that have especially good free moving boxes include computer, office supply, book, shoe, liquor, pharmacies, home improvement, and grocery stores. These are the places where you'll find the strongest and cleanest moving boxes.

6
Office Buildings

Cardboard box on office floor with businesswoman in background.
Westend61/Getty Images

Office buildings gets tons of packages everyday and after they've unpacked those boxes they just don't need them anymore.

Go in and chat with the person working at the front desk and they'll be able to point you in the right direction on where you can go to see about getting some free moving boxes.

7
Find Someone Who Just Moved

A man handing a moving box to a woman.
PeopleImages.com/DigitalVision

People move all the time and they need a ton of moving boxes to move their stuff. After they've moved they can't wait to get rid of all the empty boxes taking up space in their new home.

Check around your neighborhood and keep your eyes and ears open to see who's just moved in. They probably have a garage packed with free moving boxes that are yours for the taking.

8
Apartment Complexes

Friends unpacking boxes in apartment.
CaiaImageCLOSED/Caiaimage/Getty Images

Apartment complexes are a great place to look for free moving boxes because people are constantly moving in and out of apartments.

Go into the apartment complex office and speak to the manager to see if there are any free moving boxes available. A friendly manager will be able to tell you who to get them from or where you need to go to fetch them.

9
College Dorms

A student unpacking at a dorm.
Peathegee Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images

Every new school year, colleges and universities have Move-In Day where students move into the dorm or on-campus housing for the school year.

There are a lot of boxes heading into the dorms on this day but you never really see them leaving. Most of these boxes are thrown out, and the students would be more than happy to see them find a new home instead.

10
Recycling Centers

A family disposing of cardboard boxes at a recycling center.
i love images/Cultura/Getty Images

Where do people take their unwanted cardboard boxes? Usually to a recycling center.

Stop by your local recycling center and speak to the attendant if there is one, or take a peek into the cardboard box bin and see what's available. 

Most of the boxes will be broken down, but a little packing tape will fix these right up. More

11
Local Schools

The entrance of a public school.
stevegeer/E+/Getty Images

When schools order supplies, they often come in very sturdy cardboard boxes. While the schools often reuse as many of the boxes as they can, they still have boxes that they simply don't need.

Stop by your local elementary, middle, and high schools and see if they have any boxes they'd like to get rid of. Don't forget those community colleges and university offices either!

12
Empty Boxes at Yard Sales

Portrait of smiling woman with box at yard sale.
Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury/OJO+/Getty Images

If you drive by a yard sale, be sure to stop by. Not only may you find some new treasures, but you might also find some free moving boxes that the owner is wanting to get rid of.

Tip: Stop by yard sales near the end of the day when most of the stuff has been sold, you'll must more likely to find empty boxes then.