Where to Get Free Moving Boxes
Moving is expensive enough without having to pay for boxes, so save yourself some cash, and snag free moving boxes from these sources:
Friends and Family
Let your friends and family know you need boxes (a quick post on Facebook should do it), and watch the offers roll in. With all the online shopping that goes on nowadays, everyone has boxes to offload. And if you get lucky, your request may even turn up someone who's moved recently, or has access to boxes at work.
Tip: Ask your co-workers to save copy paper boxes and other large boxes for you. If you work in a big office building, it shouldn't take long to amass a bunch. Just be sure to take them home regularly, so you don't create a pile-up.
U-Haul Box Exchange
U-Haul sells moving boxes (no surprise there), but did you know they also maintain a board where customers can sell or give away their moving boxes when they're done with them? Yep, they sure do. Check the listings in your area, and you may just score some primo boxes at no cost to you.
Craigslist and Freecycle
Jump on Craigslist and Freecycle, and look for free box offers. After a move, people are eager to get them out of their garage. The end of the month is a popular time to move, so you'll find lots of listings at the beginning of the month.Just make sure any boxes you pick up are clean, bug-free and in good shape.
Tip: Post a request in the wanted section to get the jump on others who are looking for free boxes
Stores and Restaurants
Stop by a couple stores or restaurants, and ask them if they have any boxes they can spare. With all the shipments they get in over the course of a week, they'll probably be happy to hook you up. For the sturdiest boxes, try grocery, office supply, liquor, book and electronic stores and copy centers.
Be Considerate: Ask for boxes during off-peak hours, when they'll have time to entertain your request. If they don't have any boxes at the moment, find out when they'll be getting their next shipment. Then, promise to pick them up quickly, if they'll put some aside for you. Some businesses receive their shipments in plastic totes, or have to return their cardboard boxes to a distribution center, so don't get snippy if they say they don't have any to give you.
Snag boxes that have been hauled to the curb for trash pick up. If you cruise through an apartment complex or a new neighborhood, you'll increase your chances of finding a big stack of boxes from someone who just moved in.
Some dumps and recycling centers maintain a shed for moving boxes. You can drop boxes off when you're done with them, or take boxes when you need them. Either way, it ensures boxes get reused until they really need to be recycled. Check to see if your community has a program like this in place.
Pay It Forward:
Help others save money by passing your moving boxes on when you're done with them. If you don't have time to wait around for someone to pick them up, just haul them out to the curb on a sunny day, and post a "Curb Alert" on Craigslist or Freecycle. Someone is sure to grab them.