In a perfect world, you’d be able to head down into your basement and walk right over to the carefully folded pile of boxes you used the last time you moved.
But of course, nothing is that easy—especially when you’re preparing for a move. You probably tossed those old moving boxes shortly after unpacking them in your new house.
Good news: You don’t have to spend a fortune on moving boxes this time around. Here are eight ways you can score them for free (or super cheap!).
You can score discounted moving boxes (and free shipping) through BoxEngine thanks to ClosetBox.
When you’re all packed and ready to move, give the team at ClosetBox a call or request a pick up directly on the website. They’ll store your belongings in a private vault so that your house is in tip-top shape while its on the market.
Once you find your new home, their team of professionals will deliver your belongings. You can start unpacking in no time!
If you’re not on Nextdoor yet, you might want to sign up for the free neighborhood social networking platform before you start the moving process. Neighbors are always offering up free moving boxes on Nextdoor, says company spokeswoman Jen Burke.
“Moving boxes are probably one of the very top items that we see posted on Nextdoor,” Burke says.
The best part? You won’t have to travel far to grab the boxes—you can probably walk. Plus, once you move into your new place, you can repay the favor by offering up your boxes to a new neighbor.
The next time you’re scrolling through your news feed, tap on the “Marketplace” section of Facebook. Type “moving boxes” into the search bar, then select the city or region you want to search in.
Chances are, you’ll find dozens of listings for free moving boxes.
All you have to do is send a message to the seller and coordinate a pick-up or drop-off time. If you’re super busy, ask the seller to simply leave the moving boxes on their porch. That way, you can pick them up while you’re running errands—even if they aren’t home.
4. Sam’s Club or Costco
While these boxes won’t work for all your packing needs (many of them don’t have lids), they can be pretty handy for moving your awkwardly shaped belongings—hangers, lamps, coffee makers, etc.
Don’t have a membership? Convince a friend or family member to let you tag along for the day.
5. Liquor stores
Pay a visit to your local liquor store and ask for any extra boxes they have lying around, suggests Jake Lane of Press, a laundry and dry cleaning delivery service.
“Boxes used to ship alcohol or glass bottles are typically thicker and stronger, which is perfect for moving,” Lane says.
The always-reliable Craigslist can help you find just about anything—a job, a new apartment and yes, even free moving boxes. They’re typically listed under the “For Sale” or “Free” section of Craigslist.
Whenever you’re using Craigslist, be sure to do it safely. Craigslist suggests meeting in a public place, telling someone where you’re going or inviting a friend to tag along.
Above all? Trust your gut. If something feels a little fishy, don’t risk it.
7. Small businesses
They might seem like an unlikely source for free boxes, but many small businesses have empty boxes lying around. Strike up a friendly conversation with the owner, who is someone in your community, and you’ll have free boxes in no time.
“We are a salon and spa that has several deliveries per week,” says Donna Brown, owner and creative director for Sadona Salon and Spa in Annapolis, Maryland. “We constantly have a lot of boxes for giveaway.”
Plus, considering checking in with local breweries and restaurants.
“We give our cases away for free to anyone who is moving,” says Ricky Klein, the owner of Groennfell Meadery in Colchester, Vermont. “I know there are other breweries who are happy to have their logo in your moving van and will give cases to anyone who asks.”
8. Dollar stores
They’re everywhere—Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar. Dollar stores are easy on your wallet when you’re shopping there, but they can also be a great place for scoring free moving boxes, says Katie Biggs of Fit Small Business.
Biggs, who has moved three times in the last year, says dollar stores are her go-to source for boxes.
“A lot of the products stocked in dollar stores are bulky in shape and size or delivered in large batches,” she says. “Pop into the store early in the day and ask if they wouldn’t mind hanging on to the boxes at the end of the day for you to collect, rather than breaking them down for the garbage truck.”