Buying cardboard shipping boxes can really cut into the moving budget. Although buying small shipping boxes for packing is easy to do at a local moving company location, the expense can really add up, especially when dealing with a large household that needs to be packed. Even discount movers usually charge for cartons. There are several ways to get enough packing boxes to move a whole house full of items without any extra expense.
Dumpster diving is a common way that many people get boxes for moving purposes. However, dumpster diving is illegal in many areas and unsafe in many others. The best way to get boxes for free from a store or business is to simply ask. Most managers will be happy to supply the day’s worth of boxes to a friendly person who politely asks. Offer to break down the boxes or come back on a day inventory is shipped in for the best results.
Internet Classified Ads
Online classified ads on popular sites like Craigslist are a great way to find free moving supplies. Craigslist and other sites like it offer free sections localized to a specific area. Moving boxes are frequently listed here as people empty them out from their own moves. These boxes are sometimes fairly new and often in great condition still. Sometimes ad placers will even throw in leftover packing material and other supplies like tape or plastic furniture covers.
Friends and Family
Put out the word on a friend and family website or call around a few weeks before moving to let everyone know that boxes will be needed. Many people have a stash of boxes in the attic or garage that they would love to get rid of. This is also a good way to get free moving help; when people ask if manpower is needed, don’t be shy; say yes!
Ask at Work
Most companies, especially companies that offer or create a product, acquire numerous shipping boxes. These are normally not re-used by the company. A mail room or shipping department usually breaks them down and puts them out with the recycling. It’s easy to send shoot out an email to the mailroom employees asking for any extra boxes. Often they will be happy to offer many more than are needed.
Purchase Moving Boxes
As a last-ditch effort, packing boxes can be purchased. In order to purchase them at the best discount, buy in bulk and try to purchase ahead of time online. Try eBay and other auction sites first. Purchase far enough in advance to pay the least amount of shipping. Also, try calling customer service instead of purchasing the right online. Often a customer service employee will have the ability to throw in an extra bonus like tape or packing material.
With careful research, organization, and time spent planning ahead, it’s very easy to acquire moving and packing supplies at no cost at all. Remember to network both online and in-person and spread the word about a future move. People will often generously offer items before they’re even requested.