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Where to Get Free Boxes? If you’re about to move, you might be thinking, “Where can I find a moving box near me?” Better yet, where can I get a free moving box? After all, a brand new moving box doesn’t come cheap. From hiring a mover to renting storage space, moving into a new home comes with necessary expenses. Think about it, the average cost of a local move is $1,250, and the average price of a long-distance move is $4,890 (1,000 miles). Given all the moving costs, spending your hard-earned money on a regular box isn’t ideal. After the action is complete, you can only recycle that bundle of $25 bank boxes, no matter what.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid spending a fortune on moving boxes. Finding free moving supplies near you in various stores, online marketplaces, and community groups can save you hundreds of dollars in moving costs. You may be relocating your entire home with free boxes, except for a few special boxes that fit certain TVs and mirrors.
How much does it cost to move a box?
According to CostHelper.com, the typical cost of a crate ranges from $1 for a small container to $3.75 for an oversized chest. However, professional boxes (think wardrobes and mirror boxes) cost more. Wrapping paper averages $9 a pack, glass wrap sets are $10 to $15 a box, and a kitchen set covering glass and cutlery costs about $102.
Moving kits for one-bedroom apartments range from $69 to $90 and contain 14 to 29 boxes. A two-bedroom moving kit costs $178-$197 and includes 55-60 moving boxes. A four-bedroom moving kit costs $311-404 and contains 86-119 boxes. (All kits also include additional materials such as tape and markers.)
Here’s how much each moving crate can cost:
- Small boxes: $1 to $1.70 each
- Medium Box: $2.35 to $2.79 each
- Large box: $3 each
- Extra Large Box: $3.75 each
- Cloakroom boxes: $8 to $12 each
- Picture boxes: $10 each
How many boxes do I need?
Generally speaking, a studio move requires boxes worth about $97. You need about $124 worth of crates to move a one-bedroom house and about $178 to move a three-bedroom house.
To find out how many boxes you need, use our packing calculator. This estimate is based on the number of bedrooms in your home, the number of people you’re packing, how you pack, and other factors.
Weight is also significant. Mobile boxes can hold approximately 30 to 150 pounds each, depending on their size and whether they are single- or double-walled. If you overfill them, they may break.
The 25 Best Places to Find Free Moving Cases
Happy crate hunting! I was wondering where to find a mobile chest near you? Below we’ve listed 25 places to find free boxes near you to ensure your move is as cost-effective.
U-Haul Box Exchange
The U-Haul Customer Connect Box Exchange feature allows people from all over the country to connect and find mobile supplies. All you have to do is your location and keywords; for example, type “free box” to find people near you giving away free mobile boxes. Often, the person giving away the moving package is someone who has recently moved and needs to get the mountain of movers out of the house as quickly as possible.
This online marketplace is a popular place to find just about anything. Your local Craigslist page is packed with great finds, from sofas for sale to job listings. The site even has a “free” section where locals can list items they’d like to give away. You’ll find it listed under “For Sale” in chronological order. We recommend starting here and seeing if anyone is giving away a mobile box. You can also post your ad to let people know you’re in the market for free crates and accessories.
Free loop network
Check Freecycle Network when looking for free boxes. Like Craigslist, the nonprofit Freecycle is a great way to find free content in your community. You have to sign up (for free) to join your local Freecycle community group. Then post on the web that you are looking for a free mobile box.
This popular social media site allows users to list and promote articles to anyone. It also makes it easy to find local items for easy pickup. We recommend filtering your search by location so you can find free mobile packages in your area. To find free boxes through Facebook Marketplace, enter “free boxes” in the search tab.
The next time you’re wondering where to get a mobile box, ask your local online community group for answers. If you haven’t already joined the Nextdoor.com Community Center, you should. You will find helpful information about the area (such as city news, community updates, local services, and more), but you’ll also find tons of free items from your neighbors. It usually includes moving boxes. The community platform has a “Classified Ads” section dedicated to selling merchandise and freebies. Think of it as a large online flea market near you. If you don’t see a free-moving box in the classifieds section, post what you’re looking for, and neighbors should respond quickly.
Quotes go up
OfferUp is a mobile marketplace app inherited from another similar app, Letgo. If you type “free crates” into the search window, you’ll see all the local listings of crates people are willing to let go of.
You can be sure there are tons of boxes in the back of the big box retailers. After all, they’re not called “big box stores” for no reason. With daily shipping, you should be able to find almost any type of box at your local Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Office Warehouse, Target, Kmart, and Best Buy. Also, consider dollar stores, shoe stores, sporting goods stores, and large home improvement stores like IKEA. Pro tip: If you can walk into the store when the staff is on the shelves, you can fill your cart with boxes in minutes. Of course, always ask beforehand.
Do you live near wine and liquor stores? It’s not a bad idea to drop by and ask the manager if you can take some boxes from him. Liquor stores receive many shipments each month that can quickly turn into moving boxes. Wine cabinets are categorized, so they may be suitable for packing wine glasses and other fragile stemware. Larger liquor stores receive more wine cases than they know, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Large and small local bookstores should have enough boxes for your odds and ends, small items, and (of course) books. You can also rest assured that these boxes are by no means flimsy, considering the weight of the book. Remember, you can also ask for extra boxes at your local college and university bookstore.
Both large grocery chains and small grocers should stock plenty of large boxes. Grocery stores receive weekly (and sometimes daily) deliveries to keep fresh produce in stock, so they don’t know how many sturdy boxes they recycle each day. The next time you go grocery shopping, we recommend letting your manager know that you’re about to move and that you want to get those extra grocery boxes out of their hands. They like to take the box home.
Like other large retailers, drugstore chains like Walgreens and CVS regularly receive deliveries several times a week. You may have noticed those big litter boxes at the back of the store filled with flat cardboard boxes. We recommend calling ahead or checking with the store when it’s an excellent time to get some boxes to coincide with your next delivery.
Arts, Crafts, and Hobby Stores
Try your nearest Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Jo-Ann, or Utrecht store. Like other retailers, they receive boxes of many different sizes.
Neighborhood coffee shops, including large chains like Starbucks and small local stores, receive regular supplies of coffee, coffee-making supplies, groceries, and more. You can score different box sizes, tiny ones.
As with liquor stores, bars are a great place to find boxes that move freely, especially ones with dividers (great for glasses). All you have to do is ask for the date it will ship so you won’t be late. Smaller businesses tend to get rid of their boxes quickly because they don’t have the space to store them. Even better if you go on vacation. St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and the Super Bowl are massive drinking festivals, and bars stock up accordingly.
Restaurants—especially fast-food restaurants—receive large quantities of perishable goods almost every day. That means a regular influx of boxes – and an excellent resource for getting mobile packages for free. Just stay away from crates full of food because your stuff runs the risk of smelling like something leaked from that crate.
Why not use a workplace box? If you work in a large office, there is a recycling room somewhere in the building. With tons of paper being shipped every day, you’ll find plenty of containers with lids.
Have you been to the recycling bin? It’s like hitting the moving box jackpot. Most cities have several recycling points that accept flat corrugated cardboard. Assuming the boxes are in good condition and ready to be used again, you may find a few moving packages for you to move.
Local auto parts, auto repair, oil change, and brake shops receive regular auto parts and accessories shipments. If you go in and ask, you might get some big boxes.
Apartment complexes tend to have a lot of people coming and going, which makes them a good source for getting some free crates. You can look for recycling bins on-site (ask permission first) or ask at the condo building office.
Many students will move in and out of residence halls if you drive at the beginning or end of the school year. It means box—free moving boxes of various sizes.
friends and family
The easiest way to find free boxes is to ask your friends and family. Knock, text, and call around to see if anyone has an extra package from a recent delivery or a movie. In today’s world, where everyone is connected 24/7, you can also post a status on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to let friends know you’re looking for something to move on.
Yard and Garage Sale
Yards and flea markets are guaranteed to have boxes, so stop by and ask if they’d be willing to drop some. Even better if you come at the end of the sale.
Someone in the neighborhood who just moved
Maybe your next-door neighbor or someone around the corner – take a walk in your neighborhood to see if anyone has moved recently. Warning signs will be crates left on the curb for recycling (we recommend getting permission to take them). Or ask around who just moved in. They probably have a lot of boxes they can’t wait to get rid of.
There may be several elementary, middle, and high schools. Call reception and ask if there are any boxes around. The start of the school year is an excellent time to check this, as schools will receive a flood of books and school supplies in the fall.
Books are heavy, so the boxes that hold them must be sturdy enough to support the weight. They are perfect for your readers and small items and clothes and shoes.