If you have a big move coming and you’re feeling a little panicked about finding enough packing boxes in time, you’re in luck – there are more options for moving boxes today than ever before. Here are some of the best places to start looking.
Find Out What You Need
All right, this isn’t technically a source on where to find moving boxes, but it is a great resource to use before you start finding your boxes. If you are like most homeowners or renters, you probably know that you need “a lot” of boxes for a move, but aren’t quite sure how many, or what kind of boxes.
Fortunately, the Internet can help. Take time to visit Moving.com and use their packaging calculator to help you calculate just how many boxes you need. You choose the number of bedrooms you have, your general lifestyle when it comes to stuff, and the number of people living with you, as well as your packing style. This all translates into instructions on how many boxes you should get, which sizes they should be, and what packing supplies to use. It makes a great guide for your later decisions.
Where to Find Moving Boxes: Try a Few Stores
Stores have long been a common source for free packing boxes, because stores receive regular shipments in cardboard boxes and may be looking for ways to get rid of their empty boxes. Grocery stores, bookstores, and liquor stores are all common suggestions when scouting out likely locations.
Here’s an important tip: Call the store first and ask them about their box policies. Getting packing boxes from stores has become fairly hit or miss. Many stores are beginning to re-use their boxes, or have contracts with recycling companies that take care of them, etc. Also new sustainability measures mean that stores are simple using fewer packing boxes in general. But if you can find a dependable source near your home, don’t let it go to waste.
Next stop on your box-hunting route, try a few social sites to see if anyone is offering up free boxes because they need to get rid of them. Sites like Freecycle actually specialize in services like this, and Craigslist may be filled with opportunities as well. You may also want to post on your social media sites in case you have a friend who has recently moved. Another option is a box exchange arrangement. Companies like U-Haul have exchange forums where customers can agree to exchange or sell their used boxes
The downside is, of course, that quality is hard to guarantee: These boxes are likely to have already been used and may be in poor shape, but it’s hard to tell unless you get photos first.
Use Dedicated Sites
In addition to social sites, there are a few websites dedicated specifically to supplying you with boxes for a big move. These websites typically offer a small fee for new or used boxes, but not nearly as much as you would pay for new boxes. One promising place to start is Usedcardboardboxes.com, which offers both box purchases and entire moving kit products at a discount.
Other sites tend to be very local. Movingboxesnow.com, for example, operates in the Chicago area, but not outside of it. So peruse a local search using your city’s name to see if there are any similar services near you to help out.
Buying Directly from Movers
If you are wondering where to find moving boxes at the last minute, ask your moving company! There are a couple advantages to buying boxes directly from moving companies. First, you are much more likely to receive high-quality, new boxes that are sturdy enough for your packing needs. Second, moving companies are the most likely to offer extra-large boxes or unique boxes for specific items that need extra care (think TVs or portraits, for example). Third, moving companies can advise you about how many boxes you need and what types of boxes work best.
The downside is price: While it may not be as expensive as buying boxes directly from a store, you will still have to pay more money than it would take to get used boxes via other means. But remember, you pay for what you get.
Photo Credit: Justin Shearer