With a move on the horizon, everyone ends up searching for that one thing they know they’ll need: lots of boxes. Every city has the same type of sources, including Craigslist, your friends and family, Facebook and many commercial locations such as liquor stores, grocery stores, book stores and big box department stores.
Finding boxes ranks up there in importance with finding a dependable, experienced moving company to handle your move. Chances are, one of the following locations, websites or apps can connect you with the boxes you need.
Free Stuff on Craigslist
This should be your first stop. Craigslist offers many opportunities to find free boxes in the “free stuff” section for the city where you live. Go to that section and then simply search for boxes. If there aren’t any just now, just wait. They’ll usually turn up eventually.
Ask Your Friends
This is Step 2. Your friends and family have boxes that they set aside but no longer need. You never know until you ask. They just might satisfy your box needs without you having to spend a dime.
Facebook Community Groups
This is another situation where you never know unless you ask. Facebook Community Groups for your area have people who might either have boxes they are willing to give or who connect you with someone who does. Also, apps such as LetGo and OfferUp may have listings for free boxes.
There are a wealth of options in this category. The important thing to remember is to call ahead. The last thing you want is spend a day driving around to different locations, looking for free boxes that don’t exist. And the last thing the store manager wants to see is someone lurking out back, looking for boxes.
With that in mind, the following are some of the most likely locations where you can pick up free boxes.
- Liquor stores. Most liquor stores get weekly deliveries, more if they are an extremely popular spot. Most of the boxes are built to handle a heavy weight, so that’s a plus. Liquor stores are also the most likely place where they’ll just stack the boxes outside for people to take what they need.
- Grocery stores. Boxes vary in size and quality, but the bonus is they get deliveries daily.
- Book stores. If you’re lucky enough to still have an independent bookstore in the area, call and ask about boxes. Barnes and Noble also is an option. The big bonus here is that most book store boxes are sturdy because of the weight of books.
- U-Haul Customer Connect. U-Haul has a program that allows people to share rides and transfer boxes, which keeps boxes from filling up landfills.
- Starbucks. All the things we love in our Starbucks coffee are shipped in boxes, and every location gets at least several deliveries per week.
- Office Depot or OfficeMax. This is box heaven on shipment days, which are usually at the start of the week. They have boxes of all shapes and sizes, so it’s the perfect place to find what you need.
- Walgreens. Like most of the chains, Walgreens is efficient. They remove boxes quickly for recycling, so call ahead and ask if they can set aside a few for you. Other pharmacies such as CVS and Rite Aid may also be a source of boxes.
- Pet stores. A major source of boxes for all the pet supplies they sell.
- Big Box Stores. Many consider stores like Wal-Mart, Target and Costco the best places to get boxes because of the wide variety available. You will want to call ahead and ensure they allow people to get boxes at your location. If so, it’s a gold mine.
One of these is likely to come through from you. It’s worth the effort to investigate all these options until you have success. Getting free boxes lets you scratch off one item of the “things to worry about during my move” list!
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