Searching online community groups like Facebook, Craigslist, and other social media platforms is a good way to see if anyone is giving away moving supplies. The first thing you can do to get free boxes is to look into Freecycling. Freecycling groups focus on recycling items and giving them away (or getting them) for free.
Since Freecycling is a nonprofit movement, many people participate when they want to pass on items they’re done with. Look on Facebook or local community boards to see if there are Freecycling groups near you.
Once you find one, post a “wanted” request asking for moving boxes, packing supplies, and tape. Let others know when you need them by, too, so you can get them on time for your move. You can also browse the items that people have already posted. You may find that someone has boxes ready to go, and you just have to send them a message to schedule a time to pick them up.
You can also look offline by checking your local community centers and community bulletin boards, where you may find offers.
Another option for you may be to go dumpster diving for lightly used items. Dumpster diving is when you look through the dumpsters outside stores, shops, or neighbors’ homes. Digging through a recycling bin or dumpster may help you find some much-needed boxes or material for packing.
Another helpful tip to get free boxes is to order them from the U.S. Postal Service. If you plan to ship your items to your new home, this is even more helpful since these boxes often have flat rate shipping rates.
The U.S. Postal Service will ship a stack of boxes right to your front door, so you don’t even have to go to the postal office to pick them up.
It’s good to check with local businesses before buying boxes for your move. Below are some of the stores that may be willing to help.
Grocery stores usually have many boxes that hold the smaller items sold on shelves. If you check with your local grocer, they may set aside some boxes for you. Ask for the delivery schedule, so you can be there when the boxes are ready.
Furniture often comes packed in large boxes. Most of those will get thrown away.
Go to the furniture store and ask if they have any old boxes lying around. They may also have some packing supplies on hand, like bubble wrap, wrapping paper, or styrofoam that they’re willing to give to you.
Most stores will be happy to set the items aside for you, so call or visit in person to ask.
When stores are closing, they may have items to get rid of. Some of those could be packing boxes and packing supplies.
If you see a local shop shutting down, ask if they have extra moving supplies that you can take for them. They may appreciate the help clearing out the business.
Another option is to look at wineries or liquor stores. Bottles often come well-packed in cardboard boxes with packing materials inside, so you may be able to walk away from your visit to a local winery or liquor store with dozens of boxes if you come on the right day. Call ahead, and the manager or owner may be willing to set boxes aside for you.