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Where to Find Free Boxes for Moving


I recently moved from a nearby town, and my latest move was the third in just under three years. Besides discovering how difficult moving can be, especially after accumulating years of possessions, my experience with moving has led me to find the best free sources for boxes. Why buy cardboard cartons for moving when they are available for free from many different sources?

If you plan on moving across the country or just across town, consider the following places to find the best free cardboard containers that can be used for packing and moving. Skip the local grocery store and try these free sources for boxes. When available, they are ideal for holding precious possessions while moving from one home and into another.

Why Free Boxes from the Grocery Store Might Not Be the Best Choice

The very first time I required cartons for moving almost two decades ago, I immediately thought of a local grocery store when attempting to find free boxes. I did not want to pay for recyclable boxes, and the grocery store was more than happy to get rid of the boxes they could no longer use. I was happy to have found a source for free boxes – until realizing that my free boxes came with a bonus.

As I stood in line with my free boxes, and a few items I planned to purchase, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. The free empty cardboard boxes from the local grocery store were not entirely empty. A matter of fact they contained dozens of cockroaches scrambling to find a dark crease or corner in which to hide. I knocked one off my hand as I stood in line, and I decided the free boxes from the grocery store were not a good idea. I did not want to end up with cockroaches in either home, let alone in my car, and I decided to look elsewhere in my attempt to find free boxes for moving.

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Bank Boxes

When I discovered cockroaches in the free boxes from the local grocery store I decided to avoid boxes that previously contained fresh food. My dad contacted a nearby bank and obtained several free bank boxes. These sturdy cartons with built-in handles and lids that could be secured with wraparound ties were perfect to hold my belongings while moving, and best of all they were free. Contact your local bank to find out if they are willing to give away free boxes they planned to get rid of and recycle. They might not have built-in handles and secure lids, but they will be sturdy enough for packing and moving.

School Cafeteria Cartons are Ideal

When moving last year, a good friend suggested bringing home empty cardboard containers from the school cafeteria where she worked. She assured me that cockroaches, or any other disgusting pests, were not a problem, and each day she brought home containers that once held everything from individual servings of frozen school cafeteria pizza to pancake-battered sausage links on sticks. I was thrilled to have the free boxes for moving, and since they once held frozen food they were very sturdy. Call a local school and ask if they would be willing to give away containers that once contained frozen food or even school books. Chances are they will be happy to get rid of them, and you will have free sturdy containers for moving.

Spread the Word with Family and Friends

Within the past month I moved again, and this time I did not have access to no-cost containers from the school cafeteria delivered that had once been delivered by a friend each day. Instead, another friend provided free cardboard containers from a local Walgreens where he works, and most were perfect for moving. The only containers that were not suitable for holding anything were the large boxes that once held toilet paper. They were not sturdy enough to hold anything that weighed more than a few pounds, but worst of all the flaps did not meet on the top or the bottom and created huge gaps.

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In any case, do not spend money on containers for moving unless you do not have time to search for no-cost sources. When planning on packing and moving, be sure to spread the word with family and friends. More than likely someone works in a retail store or knows of a source of sturdy recyclable boxes that are free for the taking.