Packing on a Budget? Here’s How to Get Free Packing Boxes in No Time

By Robert C. L.

According to professional organizer Jane, “The best way to get free packing boxes is to visit your local grocery, liquor, or retail stores and ask if they have any extra boxes they can spare.”

For example, grocery stores receive shipments almost daily, leaving them with a surplus of sturdy boxes. 

But wait, there’s more to finding the perfect packing boxes than just asking at stores.

Uncovering the hidden gems of free packing boxes can save you money and stress. 

Did you know that bookstores and liquor stores also have an abundance of boxes? 

Stick around to learn all the clever tricks and tips to ensure you never run out of packing boxes.

Key Takeaways

  • To get free packing boxes, people suggest checking local stores, such as supermarkets, coffee shops, and liquor stores, which often have extra boxes they are willing to give away. 
  • Additionally, online platforms like Craigslist, Freecycle, and Facebook groups can be useful for finding people giving away free moving boxes. 
  • Many also recommend asking neighbors who have recently moved or visiting local recycling centers for broken-down cardboard boxes that can be repurposed for moving.
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Source: Adulting with Esther

Platform Free Packing

Moving can be a daunting task, and the costs can quickly add up, especially when it comes to packing materials like boxes. But fear not, my friends! There are plenty of ways to score free packing boxes without breaking the bank. Let’s explore some of these money-saving strategies together!

Local Stores

One of the best places to find free boxes is right in your neighborhood. Here are some tips for scouring local stores:

  • Grocery Stores: Approach the manager politely and inquire about any extra boxes they might have from recent deliveries. Grocery stores tend to receive shipments daily, so you might strike gold!
  • Book Stores: Book boxes are sturdy and perfect for packing heavier items. Ask the staff if they have any spare boxes they’re willing to part with.
  • Liquor Stores: These stores often have durable boxes designed to protect fragile items, making them ideal for your move.

Remember, always be polite and considerate when requesting boxes from store managers.

Online Platforms

The internet is a treasure trove of freebies if you know where to look. Here are some online options to explore:

  • Freecycle and Craigslist: Search for listings of people giving away free moving boxes in your area. You can often find a wide variety of box sizes and types.
  • Neighborhood Groups: Check local Facebook groups or NextDoor for neighbors offering up their gently used boxes. This is a great way to connect with your community while saving money.(1)
  • Search Engines: Try searching for phrases like “find free boxes near me” or “free boxes in [your zip code]” to uncover hidden gems.

Neighbors and Friends

Don’t underestimate the power of your personal network! Here are some tips for tapping into it:

  • Ask Neighbors: If you notice someone in your neighborhood has recently moved, don’t be shy! Offer to take those boxes off their hands.
  • Reach Out to Friends: Share your box-hunting mission with friends and family. They might have some extras lying around or know someone who does.
  • Check Yard Sales: Keep an eye out for yard sales in your area. Sellers often give away boxes at the end of the day.

Remember, a little kindness and gratitude can go a long way when asking for help from others.

Fun Facts

  • Did you know that some big box stores have entire departments dedicated to recycling and giving away used boxes? It’s true!
  • In some areas, you can even find free boxes at fast food restaurants or other unexpected places. Keep your eyes peeled for hidden treasures!

With a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can save big on moving costs by snagging free boxes from all sorts of unexpected places. Happy hunting!

Recycling Centers

Packing on a Budget? Here's How to Get Free Packing Boxes in No Time

If you’re on the hunt for free packing boxes, recycling centers can be a treasure trove waiting to be explored. These facilities often have an abundance of cardboard boxes that have been discarded, and they’re usually more than happy to share the wealth!

  • Visit Local Recycling Centers: Start by checking with your local recycling center or transfer station. Many of these facilities have designated areas where they stockpile boxes and other recyclable materials.
  • Check Availability and Pickup Times: Before you make the trip, it’s a good idea to call ahead and inquire about their box availability and pickup times. Some centers may have specific hours or days when boxes are available for the taking.
  • Ensure Boxes are in Good Condition: While you’re at the recycling center, take a few moments to inspect the boxes before loading them up. Make sure they’re in decent condition and free from any major damage or contamination.

Real-Life Examples

  • In many cities, you’ll find dedicated “haul stores” or “free stores” located at recycling centers, where residents can drop off or pick up items for free, including moving boxes.
  • Some recycling centers even offer a “call ahead” service, allowing you to reserve boxes in advance and ensuring you don’t make a wasted trip.
  • Savvy movers often visit recycling centers first, knowing they have a good chance of scoring high-quality, free moving boxes in various sizes.

So, before you start shelling out cash for packing supplies, consider checking out your local recycling center. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be doing your part to reduce waste and support a more sustainable community.

Logistics and Preparation

Packing on a Budget? Here's How to Get Free Packing Boxes in No Time

Scoring free packing boxes is an awesome way to save money on your move, but it requires a bit of planning and preparation. Don’t worry, though – with these handy tips, you’ll be ready to haul those boxes like a pro!

Plan Ahead for Collecting and Transporting Boxes

  • Make a list of potential sources for free boxes, such as local stores, recycling centers, and friends or neighbors who’ve recently moved.
  • Map out the locations and plan an efficient route for picking up boxes to save time and gas.
  • Consider the size of boxes you’ll need for heavy items or large furniture, and prioritize those sources accordingly.(2)

Have a Vehicle or Storage Space Ready

  • If you’re using a car or truck, make sure to clear out space in advance to accommodate the boxes you’ll be collecting.
  • Alternatively, you could rent a moving van or trailer for a day to make hauling boxes a breeze.
  • If you don’t have immediate plans to pack, find a dry, secure space to store the boxes until you’re ready to use them.

Thank All Sources for Their Generosity

  • Remember, these boxes are being given to you for free, so a little gratitude goes a long way.
  • Thank the store managers, recycling center staff, or friends who provided you with boxes – a genuine smile and kind words can make someone’s day.

Real-Life Examples

  • Many print shops or office supply stores are a great place to find free moving boxes, especially at the end of the school year when they’re looking to clear out excess stock.
  • Some savvy movers have even scored bubble wrap and other packing materials from local businesses that would otherwise throw them away.

With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can easily gather all the free moving boxes you need for your next big move. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be doing your part to reduce waste and support a more sustainable community.


Where can I find free packing boxes?

There are many great places to find free packing boxes. Local stores like grocery stores, retail stores, and liquor stores often have sturdy boxes they are willing to give away. You can also check with coffee shops, college dorms, and storage units for free or cheap options.

Are there specific types of boxes I should look for?

Yes, look for sturdy boxes that can handle heavy and fragile items. Liquor boxes are often strong and great for smaller items. For larger boxes, try places like office depot or stores that sell large moving supplies.

Can I get packing boxes online?

Yes, you can find free packing boxes online through websites and social media groups where people give away boxes after moving house. You can also check online marketplaces and community boards.

How can I find free boxes in my local area?

Visit local stores and ask if they have any boxes they are willing to give away. Grocery stores and liquor stores are usually good places to start. You can also check at garage sales and storage units for free packing boxes.

What should I do if I need boxes for a long distance move?

For a long distance or cross country move, you might need larger boxes and more durable options. Check with truck rental companies as they sometimes have boxes available. You can also look for larger boxes online or at local stores that cater to moving supplies.

How can social media help me find free packing boxes?

Social media is a great way to find free packing boxes. Join local community groups or pages where people post about giving away packing boxes. You can also post a request asking if anyone has boxes to spare for your upcoming move.

Are there any tips for packing fragile items?

When packing fragile items, use plenty of packing paper and packing tape to secure them. Liquor boxes with dividers can be especially useful. Make sure to label these boxes clearly so they are handled with care during the move.

What if I need boxes urgently?

If you need boxes urgently, check with local grocery stores or liquor stores as they often have boxes they need to get rid of quickly. You can also visit coffee shops or use social media to find people nearby who can help.

Can I get free packing boxes from retail stores?

Yes, retail stores often have a lot of boxes that they are willing to give away. It’s best to ask them if they have any boxes available, especially after they have received new shipments.

Are garage sales good places to find packing boxes?

Yes, garage sales can be great places to find free or cheap packing boxes. People who have recently moved or are clearing out items may have extra boxes they no longer need.

Can I use boxes from a storage unit?

Yes, storage units can be a good source for free packing boxes. People often leave behind boxes they no longer need. Check with the storage unit office to see if they have any available.

How can I find the top 20 places for free packing boxes?

You can find lists of the top 20 places for free packing boxes by searching online. Websites and blogs often compile lists of the best places to find free moving supplies, including packing boxes.


Getting free packing boxes isn’t just about saving money—it’s about resourcefulness and creativity. 

By tapping into local resources like grocery stores, liquor stores, and recycling centers, you can score sturdy boxes without breaking the bank. 

Remember, a little effort in searching can yield big rewards in savings and convenience. 

Now, armed with these insider tips, you’re ready to tackle your next move or storage project with confidence! 

Share your experiences or any additional tips in the comments below to keep the conversation going!



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