Moving can be an expensive endeavor, and you’ll want to cut corners anyplace you can. One way to do that is by getting ahold of as many used moving boxes as possible. This can be something of a difficult proposition, though, as free moving boxes are in high demand and are always a hot property among movers.
With that in mind, here’s a list of the top five places you’re most likely to get your hands on free boxes for moving. This list is by no means definitive. Keep in mind that in order to find boxes, you have to think like a box. Ask yourself this question: If you were a box, where would you hide?
1. Big Apartment Complexes
If you’re not too proud to go dumpster diving, you might just discover the mother lode by sniffing out the leftovers of the recently moved-in. Cardboard’s recyclable, but not a lot of people go to the trouble of delivering a huge stack of broken-down boxes to their nearest recycling factory—most people just want to finish moving in.
If you don’t like the idea of rifling through other people’s discards, or if your search results come up empty, approach the business office of your apartment complex and ask the manager directly. They may already have collected a sizeable amount of boxes from their tenants.
2. Go Online
There are a number of websites that offer to match people up with free moving boxes, with the overall aim of reducing the number of perfectly good boxes that wind up in landfills after being used only once. One of the most prominent is www.freecardboardboxes.com. You can also always check out Craigslist, OfferUp or join some local Facebook Groups to see if anyone in your immediate area is looking to help out a fellow mover and reduce waste.
3. Look at Work
Depending on where you make your living, you might actually be sitting on a gold mine of used moving boxes. Businesses often receive shipped goods like computers, printers and bathroom supplies that come in sizes perfect for the average mover like you.If tou work at a business that handles appliances or home-goods, you’ve struck gold! Think of places like Lowes, Home Deopt, Hobby Lobby or even Advanced Auto.
4. Shop Around
Literally. Hit up department stores, bookstores stores, pet stores and grocery stores for free moving boxes, as these are places that see a huge daily influx of product that’s delivered in cardboard. Wholesalers like Costco are also a good resource, as are liquor stores.
Think of places that would have boxes familiar with heavy lifting and you’ll find sturdy boxes perfect for the move! Most importantly, you should never feel as if you’re asking to be given something for nothing. In many cases you’ll find that you’re actually doing the store a favor by taking what they consider garbage off their hands. Ask if they have any boxes you can take off their hands or help them break-down so they can leave early today…as the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
5. Ask Around
It never hurts to put the word out to your friends, family and co-workers. You might be surprised at how many will be willing to unload their unused cardboard boxes on the condition that you get rid of them when you’re done, or pay it forward by keeping them on hand until someone else puts the feelers out for used boxes.