Finding Boxes, New, Used, or should you rent?
Best to find them before they look like this!
Below are some suggestions or recommendations for finding moving boxes.
Boxes – You have some options, first you can buy new boxes, or buy used boxes, or rent plastic boxes, and of course you can search for free boxes. For your move you only need standard shipping boxes also known as stock boxes or regular slotted cartons. We will briefly discuss each option below.
New Boxes – First option is to buy new boxes. You can order a moving package from an online company that includes a set number of boxes and tape and some void fill/cushioning all for one price. Not always the best deal when you break it down and the packages never seem to be enough. You can buy your boxes by the bundle from a packaging distributor which will get the lowest price per box and pick up your tape and bubble at a local office store as those are those are expensive to ship. We started selling a UPSable Bubble Roll that ship ground service since the full size rolls are freight only. Full details below in the cushioning section. We recommend box sizes that work for you and not too large to carry and stack. Some people have recommended that if you have shelves in your storage areas it is not a bad idea to order boxes that fit your shelves and you can use them for long term storage once your move is done. If you buy boxes at a retail store, office product store or hardware store you will pay the most as they are priced for convenience and nothing else.
Used Boxes – Buy used boxes for your move on the internet. Several companies are selling used boxes online sometimes they are used and sometimes you get new factory misprints, overruns or customer returns that are no longer needed. You might find a local company that sells used moving boxes and that way you would save shipping costs. Amazon and EBay also has used boxes and packaging for sale from various merchants. Products can vary so you will have to see what is available as your move approaches. Many times they will offer to buy back boxes when finished.
Rent Boxes – Companies are renting boxes for moving, some are corrugated and some are plastic. One company BUNGOBOX will deliver the boxes and pick them up when finished. Check locally to see what is available.
Free Moving Boxes
Yes you can still find free boxes everywhere and you’re helping the environment by recycling and reusing boxes instead of purchasing new ones. Be careful, just because the boxes are free doesn’t mean you should take them. Be sure the free moving boxes are clean, sturdy and remember we live in a world with bugs. Also watch out for glitter which is a big issue when looking at free boxes. Keep your valuables safe and use moving boxes that clean and are in good condition. You also want to make sure that you have permission to take any free boxes you find.
Number One Suggestion – Reach Out to Your Social Circles – Your friends or family members may have all the answers and suggest where you can obtain free moving boxes.
Your local stores and businesses are great resources for finding free moving boxes. Just ask businesses in your local area if they have old boxes you can take off their hands. Stores that are known for offering clean, strong, free moving boxes include print shops, grocery stores, office supply stores, auto supply stores, liquor stores, bookstores, computer stores, hobby stores, hardware – home improvement stores, home goods stores, toy stores, shoe stores, and pharmacies. Many office buildings gets tons of packages everyday and after they’ve unpacked those boxes they just don’t need them anymore so you might be doing them a favor by taking the empty boxes. Remember to ask and they might put some aside for you during the week. Also remember to check Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and McDonald’s fry boxes. Target gives away their boxes, call and find out what days they get their trucks and ask nice if you can have some boxes. The bigger FedEx Office stores will often save their empty paper boxes for a while for customers, paper boxes are some of the best boxes available for free. There’s also Bars and Restaurants.
If you are in college or near one don’t forget that dorms and libraries are also great sources for free boxes. Most of these boxes are thrown out, and the students would be more than happy to see them find a new home instead.
Apartment complexes are also a great place to look for free moving boxes, people are constantly moving in and out of apartments. You might go to the apartment complex office and speak to the manager to see if there are any free moving boxes available. Worst they can do is say no.
Recycling Centers, Try 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. Look for boxes that are in good shape and can be re-taped and re-used. Simple dust or glitter can be cleaned up with a vacuum.
Local schools are another good option, they order supplies, paper, and many get daily deliveries of product. They often come in very sturdy cardboard boxes. 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 too!
One good source for free boxes is Craigslist. craigslist.org is an excellent resource for finding free moving boxes. You can use the free section of Craigslist to see if any one is giving away free moving boxes. They are quite bulky and not everyone wants to store boxes. You might 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. You can also try the wanted section to post that you’re in need of free moving boxes. It’s common for people who are giving away their moving boxes to look there before posting in another section. You can also use the Craigslist search box to search for free moving boxes. If you find someone selling their moving boxes you may be able to negotiate with them so you can swap something you already have and no longer want for some free moving boxes. When you’re finished moving and unpacking Craigslist is a great place to offer your boxes to someone else who is moving. If you can’t find someone to take your free moving boxes then recycle them at your nearest recycling center. https://craigslist.org/
reddit is a popular community that has local forums and boards similar to Craigslist. The reddit community is pretty responsive and lot’s of free moving boxes are offered here.
City-Data: Similar to the options above, the City-Data forums are localized and active with tips, advice and, of course, free moving boxes.
Another resource to check for free boxes would be Freecycle. You’ll need to join your local online Freecycle group but then you can post that you are looking for free moving boxes and see if you get any responses. You’re also encouraged to give away your stuff for free on Freecycle. https://www.freecycle.org/
OfferUp – This free app OfferUp gives you access to people in your area who are giving away boxes for free. Make sure to check carefully for the free ones!
LetGo – This is another free app LetGo that allows you to search for free box listings in your area. Easily contact the seller and plan a time to meet.
U-Haul has several programs that allow our customers to buy and sell boxes with each other, we are told some offer free boxes on the service. This benefits the environment by keeping moving supplies out of the landfills. U-Haul Box Exchange® In an effort to reduce waste, U-Haul helps its customers sell, give away, or find boxes and moving supplies. https://www.uhaul.com/Exchange/
Your Workplace. Don’t forget to check your workplace for boxes or ask friends.
Just keep your eyes open about a month before your move. You might see boxes at the curb or in recycling boxes that others have used.
Moving Tips from BoxesandBags – GBE Packaging – Fast Professional Source for Wholesale Shipping and Packaging Supplies Since 1998.