14 Places to Get Moving Boxes For Free

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Free moving boxes are available at plenty of stores and online marketplaces to help you save money while moving. By finding free boxes, you can cut down on unnecessary moving expenses.
Moving expenses can rack up quickly, and one way to cut down costs is finding free moving boxes. You can find free moving boxes near you at several locations and potentially move all of your belongings in free boxes!
It can be stressful getting everything together to move, but finding free moving boxes is a breeze thanks to this guide from top-rated home and car insurance super app Jerry.
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Top 14 places to get free moving boxes

If you’re looking for free boxes for your next move, you’re in luck! No matter where you are, you should be able to find lots of moving boxes for free in your area. We’ve researched for you to find the best places to get free moving boxes, so keep reading to see what will work best for you!

Large retailers

Large retail stores will almost always have plenty of boxes to spare—there’s a reason they’re known as “big-box stores.” These stores have frequent (sometimes daily) shipments with boxes of all shapes and sizes. Some may limit how many you can take at once, so ask first. Here are some of the large retailers you can visit for free moving boxes:
  • Best Buy
  • Costco
  • Rite-Aid
  • Target
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart

Craigslist

Craigslist has just about every kind of list you can think of—the “Free” section on the website included. Start there to see if anyone near you has any boxes they want to get rid of. You will probably have the best luck towards the beginning of the week, and you can also post your own ad looking for boxes on the website.

Liquor stores

If you need strong boxes for your move, don’t hesitate to ask your local liquor stores. They receive weekly to monthly shipments, and their boxes are durable and sturdy since they hold multiple glass bottles at once. Most are partitioned, so they’re great for stemware and other fragile items.
Pro tip Make sure you ask for boxes during the afternoon so you’re not interrupting any of their business rushes!

Offices

Offices have paper and other supply shipments coming in frequently, so why not ask them to save some of the boxes for you? 
If you work in an office, start with your workplace and see if the recycling room has any old boxes laying around that are up for grabs. Paper boxes are a great find—they are sturdy and are great for protecting any belongings you put inside.
If your workplace doesn’t have any available boxes, try asking other offices around town. If you call ahead, you may be able to have an employee set some aside for you.

Bookstores

Whether you go to a small, family-owned bookstore or a location of a nationwide chain, a wide selection of books are among the stacks, and they all likely came in boxes! They won’t be flimsy either—these boxes are guaranteed to be sturdy since they’re used to ship books across the country. University and college bookstores are also good options! 
Helpful hint: you’ll get the first pick on boxes if you learn when their shipments arrive.

Grocery stores

Grocery stores maintain a supply of fresh produce—which means having weekly (if not daily) shipments. They recycle these hefty boxes and generally have lots sitting around. You can call ahead and have an employee set boxes aside for you or let a manager know you’re moving on your next grocery trip and would love to take some boxes home. You’ll likely end up with a lot of banana boxes!

Schools

Chances are you live near multiple schools or even multiple school districts if you live in a bigger city. The best time to check for free boxes is towards the beginning of the school year—after new school supplies and textbook shipments come in for the students. All you have to do is call the school’s administrative office and see if they have any boxes you can take!

Recycling drop-offs

Want to hit the jackpot of moving boxes? Visit one (or more) of your city’s recycling drop-off points. The boxes are usually already flattened out, but as long as you find ones in good shape, you can easily restore them. Take as many as you can find to pack up your knickknacks!

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a particularly good way to look for local pickup options for free boxes. It’s very easy—just enter “free boxes” in the search box, then you can filter the results by locations near you. You hopefully can find as many as you need, or at least as many as people are willing to give away.

Pet stores

Pets may not come in boxes—but all of their food, toys, beds, and other supplies do! You can head to a national chain location or a local small business to pick up some of their surplus boxes. Pet food and cat litter are heavy, so you’ll score some strong boxes. If you go to a chain, try to go in before noon to avoid their busiest time.

Classifieds

Rifling through local classifieds may be one of the easiest ways to find moving boxes for free. You never know if your neighbors are trying to get rid of any leftover boxes! With just one quick online search, you could potentially find thousands of local listings to pick up as many boxes as you need. You can post your own ad for boxes, too!

Freecycle

The Freecycle Network is a non-profit that operates like Craigslist and is a great option for finding free things nearby. Just sign up to join your community’s Freecycle group—it’s free. Once you join, you can browse current listings and make your own post in the network saying you’re on the hunt for moving boxes.

U-Haul box exchange

U-Haul runs the U-Haul Customer Connect Box Exchange program across the nation. People from all corners of the country can connect to find whatever supplies they need for their move. Just enter your location and a keyword such as “free boxes” to see where you can find moving boxes for free. Most U-Haul stores also have a specific area to leave boxes out.

Friends and family

If you tried all of the other options and didn’t have any luck, or you’re looking for the absolute easiest option, ask your friends and family if they have any leftover boxes. You can ask in person, send a text, or call around to snag some free boxes. Remember to use social media, too—posting on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram can definitely help in your search.

Homeowners insurance

Moving can be a long and stressful process, but protecting your new home and belongings with a solid homeowners insurance policy is easier than ever. Jerry makes it quick and simple to find an affordable policy customized to your needs. Just download the app and enter your information, then Jerry compares rates from top providers in the country in under a minute!
Once you pick the quote that’s right for you, Jerry takes care of the paperwork and can even help you cancel your existing policy. On average, Jerry users save over $800 per year on car insurance alone—when you bundle car and home insurance policies, you can save even more on both!
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FAQs

Home Depot typically does not give away boxes for free since they sell a variety of moving boxes. However, you may be able to have an employee reserve leftover packaging if you call ahead of time.
Lowes sells their own moving boxes, so they usually do not give out free boxes. You may be in luck if you call ahead of time and ask someone to reserve any unwanted or leftover boxes for you.

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