Where To Get Moving Boxes And Supplies

where to buy moving boxes

Free cardboard boxes can be easy to find if you look in the right places. But does it make more sense to buy new or used ones instead? What are the best places to get boxes?

Free Boxes

Liquor stores are an excellent source for sturdy, cardboard boxes that are perfect for packing books. They might also have boxes with cell dividers that can be used for packing wine or champagne glasses. Boxes from liquor stores are very sturdy and won’t have the wear and tear that many grocery boxes have.

Retail stores typically have recycling dumpsters out back full of quality cardboard boxes. They’re usually broken down and flattened out, which allows you to pack more in your vehicle. Always bring a knife in case you need to break them down.

Fast food restaurants get french fry shipping boxes that are sturdy and perfectly sized. Call in the morning and they will save some for you to pick up later.

Most grocery stores and drugstores give their cardboard boxes away for free. Call and ask the store manager if they have any available. Small stores usually only get one shipment per week, so you may have to show up at a particular time in order to get boxes. Just be sure to only take boxes that are in good condition.

Photocopier paper boxes are sturdy and have tight fitting lids. Large offices and print shops almost always have a large supply on hand. Craigslist may also have listings in your area offering boxes for free.

Ask co-workers, family, friends, neighbors, if they have any cardboard boxes to give you. Ask your real estate agent if they know anyone who has moved lately that has some boxes leftover. Some people are more than happy to have someone take these boxes off their hands.

Buying Boxes

The upside to getting free boxes is obvious: they’re free. Since moving isn’t cheap, this may seem like the best way to go. However, transporting boxes can be a headache, even if you have a large SUV or truck. Even when boxes are flattened, they’ll still take up a lot of space. So you may have to take a number of trips to get everything you need.

Getting free, used boxes from the retail or grocery store is reasonable for local moves or for those with few possessions. However, those moving long-distance will want sturdy boxes in good condition that can be easily stacked.

Getting all the boxes you need could take awhile, especially if you live a house with three or more bedrooms. Time is of the essence when moving. Buying new or used boxes requires very little time and effort. Plus, they’ll likely be in better shape compared to most free boxes. If you hire movers or rent a truck, ask the company if they offer discounts on boxes. Storage facilities may also have cardboard boxes for sale.

Here are a few online box stores:

Buying online is very convenient because the boxes are delivered to your front door for free. The prices are pretty much the same across the board.

For those who have busy schedules, I would say that your time would be better spent elsewhere instead of searching for boxes. This is particularly the case if you have a lot of stuff that needs to be packed. Ordering all the boxes and supplies you’ll need allows you to get started packing quickly.

If you’ll be moving again in the future, investing in some plastic storage containers might not be a bad idea. Under-the-bed storage boxes are excellent for small spaces.


Here are some moving supplies that you may need:

  • Packing tape: sealing all the boxes shut.
  • Packing paper/bubble wrap: wrapping fragile items and providing cushion
  • Permanent markers: labeling each box
  • Moving blankets: protecting furniture
  • Box cutter/utility knife: opening boxes
  • Zipper storage bags: picture hooks, small items
  • Furniture pads: 2-3 for each piece of furniture

If renting a moving truck, you may want to get a moving strap for lifting heavy items and a rope for securing everything inside the truck.

See Also: How Many Boxes Do You Need?