21 Places to Get Free Moving Boxes

Moving boxes can be used for so many things even when you’re not moving. Here is a list of 21 online and local places where you can find free moving boxes for all your needs!

Why purchase something when you can have it for free? In today’s digital world a quick google search can get you exactly what you need for the price you’re looking for; you just need to know where to look. One thing that you won’t find cheap on Google is moving. If you’re looking to move anytime soon, think about what you need to make the job cheap, easy, and don’t forget to make it environmentally friendly. There are several options for an eco-friendly move, and re-using moving boxes is definitely at the top of the list. Cardboard boxes usually end up at the dump after a single use but are typically still in very good condition. So why not find free used moving boxes from your neighbors, local stores, or re-use the Amazon packages stockpiling at your door?  Re-using moving boxes will lower your costs, save cardboard from going to the dump, and help you organize and effectively move your items. For delicate items, make sure you check out eco-friendly moving and packaging materials to prevent damage or breaking your items.

Where can I Find Free Moving Boxes?

Free moving boxes shouldn’t be hard to find in your area, as long as you know where to look. Start with looking in local Facebook groups such as Buy Sell Trade groups in your area, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Neighbors who have recently moved, Costco, Target, PetCo, Liquor Stores, U-Haul customer connect, OfficeMax or Office Depot, OfferUp, Dollar Store, Walmart, and many more have an abundant of moving boxes available, you just have to ask!

1. Amazon

Amazon has been operating around the clock to deliver the essential items people needed during the COVID lockdowns. People have ordered more packages in 2020 than ever before, with Amazon delivering around 2.3 billion of the 4.5 billion parcels delivered in the U.S in 2020. With cardboard boxes being delivered right to your door every day, why not save them for moving? Re-using Amazon boxes is probably the most eco-friendly way of getting free boxes without lifting a finger.

If you live in an apartment complex you can assume all your neighbors are also ordering from Amazon, so it wouldn’t hurt to check the recycle area or send a message to your neighbors saying you need some moving boxes so feel free to drop them off. You will have plenty of boxes in no time!

2. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook marketplace is one of the best places to look for free moving boxes online in your community. The Facebook marketplace has exponentially grown as more users realize it’s simple and safe to use. People love helping others in their community and the Facebook marketplace is just the place to find someone who is willing it give away their used moving boxes. Since there is built-in trust through Facebook profiles, it’s easy to use the messaging system to contact people to get the moving boxes you need!

3. Facebook local Buy Sell Trade groups

If you are unfamiliar with the Facebook marketplace but are active in local Buy Sell Trade community groups, this can be one of the best ways to get in contact with someone local to exchange for the moving boxes you need. Local Facebook community groups have an abundance of people looking to help one another and give or trade away the things they don’t need. All you need to do is create a post asking if anyone has moving boxes and wait for responses, you are bound to find someone who has just moved to the area that can help you. Who knows, maybe you will meet a new friend and show them around the area before you move.

4. Craigslist

Craigslist is of the best overall website where people can find free stuff. Plenty of people in your area will list used moving boxes they don’t need. Just go to the “For sale” section, click on free, then search for Storage and Moving boxes. Now all you have to do is call or email the person who added the listing and you’re on your way to getting your moving boxes!

5. People who have recently moved

People are constantly, if you live in or near an apartment complex, you are bound to run into someone who is unloading their belongings to move into their new place. You can post on the apartment bulletin board or community discussion board, check for boxes near the recycle area, or even ask the movers if you can have their boxes after their done. I am sure anyone will be willing to give their moving boxes to someone in need rather than sending them to the dump.

6. Costco

This is one of my all-time favorite places! I love everything about Costco and especially that they let their customers re-use the boxes in which the products and packages are shipped. This is a very eco-friendly and efficient way of doing business and satisfying your customers. If you’re planning on moving in a month or two, just stock up on these boxes over a short period, and you will have enough moving boxes for all your stuff. Also, if you call ahead then they just might put aside some boxes for you to pick up before they get used up.

Bonus: Your cat will love these Costco boxes!

7. OfferUp

OfferUp is an app where you can buy & sell used stuff, or give away the stuff you never use for free. This is an app that’s working on building a better community by making it easier for people to sell or give away the things they don’t need to others who need them. Finding moving boxes is just another benefit of this community app. It’s as easy as downloading the app, searching for moving boxes, then contacting the listing in your area.

8. U-Haul Customer Connect

U-Haul has areas at each store where customers or movers can leave their used boxes for others to pick up and use. It’s as simple as finding a U-Haul store and asking the manager if they have moving boxes available for you to use. You can see how many stores are in your area through a quick Google search and gather moving boxes for all the stores. Then once you’re done moving you can donate them back to U-Haul for someone else to use!

9. Office Depot or OfficeMax

After the first shipment of the week, Office Depot receives loads of moving boxes that they never re-use. All you have to do is show up or call ahead and ask if they have any extra boxes you can use for moving. Since large companies have to pay to recycle these moving boxes, they will be more than happy to give them to someone in need for free!

The boxes that ship printer and copier paper work the best. They have lids and are a perfect size for typical household items like your kitchen items, books, and dishes.

10. Walmart

Walmart is the largest retail store in the nation so you can guarantee they have moving boxes. They probably have every moving box you can ever imagine, even ones for sale. But don’t get tricked, just visit your local Walmart and ask if you can get some used moving boxes to help you move. It’s easier and cheaper for them to give them to customers, so they have no reason not to give them to you.

11. Target

Target is a place where you can pretty much find anything… including free moving boxes. Right after Target gets its big shipment in, go to your local store before the rush of shoppers and ask one of the employees or managers if they have any used boxes they are going to throw away. Since they get hundreds of boxes shipped a week, I would be very surprised if they said they are unable to provide you with any. If you call in advance maybe they will set aside some so you can drive by and pick some up at the customer service desk.

12. Petco

No one ever thinks about going to Petco for their moving boxes but large retail stores are perfect for just that. Petco receives thousands of toys and pet food in cardboard boxes so just go to your local Petco and ask one of the employees if they have moving boxes available. I’m sure you will be as surprised as we were!

13. Freecycle

Freecycle is an online community across the globe where people give and receive free stuff in their local communities. Their intent is to keep stuff from going to waste and filling up the landfills by giving it away for free to someone in need. This is an eco-friendly and environmentally driven initiative that everyone should use. There will be people who care enough about the environment to post their used moving boxes to give to someone else.

14. Liquor Stores

If you’re someone who likes to host a party or friends for drinks, you probably have a lot of wine, cocktails, and martini glasses. These glasses are very delicate and tricky to move so go to your local liquor store and ask for some used wine boxes. These are perfect for keeping these glasses safe while moving so you can have a party in your new home right when you get settled in!

15. Nextdoor.com

Nextdoor is a community app where you can join and see what is happening in your neighborhood or community. People post everything from local businesses, crime in the area, and even lost pets. There are also people looking to pass on their used moving boxes to someone who needs them. This can be a great place to find someone who just moved to the area and is looking to make friends and give away their moving boxes.

16. WinCo

If there is a WinCo near you then you should definitely reach out to the local manager or an employee about their used boxes. WinCo is a large grocery that receives tons of shipments of produce, and packaged food. Just call or speak with a produce manager to see if you can get some free moving boxes from their recycle.

17. PetSmart

During COVID, families, and people started adopting pets out of animal shelters. This was an uplifting thing during a hard time for the world. What this means is people need dog food and pet toys for their pets which requires moving boxes to get these items to the store. If you go to your local PetSmart, I am sure they will be able to give you some of their extra boxes.

While you’re at it pick up your little Teddy some dog treats for being such a good boy!

18. Walgreens

Like all large retail stores, Walgreens gets plenty of boxes when they get shipments in. You just have to give them a call and ask if you can have some for your move and let them know when you are coming by. I’m sure they will be glad to save some boxes from going to recycle to help you with your needs.

19. Starbucks

You can pretty much find a Starbucks on every corner of the U.S, which means they get loads of shipments of coffee or coffee-related items. All these little items come in boxes so I can imagine you can find some boxes that will work for your items.

Also, while you’re there you can grab some coffee to energize you for your move!

20. Barnes & Noble

What’s the best way to transport books? You guessed it… sturdy moving boxes! Although it may seem like Barnes & Noble is a thing of the past, they still have retail stores located all over the country. Find a local Barnes & Noble bookstore that has just received a shipment of books and request if you can have some of those boxes to move your books at home. I am sure they would love to help someone move their books rather than throw their boxes into the dump.

You can find many bargains at the Dollar Store, but free moving boxes are probably one you have never thought of. They get large shipments of products that all come in cardboard boxes to throw them away in the recycle. Just show up and see if they can provide you with some moving boxes which won’t even cost you a dollar!

Need to store your stuff while moving?

Try out PeerStorage – considered the Airbnb of Storage. With PeerStorage, you can either rent out your unused space for extra money or find storage options for 50% cheaper than your local storage facilities. Not only can you save on free moving boxes, but you can save on storing your belongings!


Other Eco-friendly Storage & Moving Resources:

Other storage resources:

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