Places that give away moving boxes

The moving process costs money. It’s a simple fact of life. Depending on whether you hire professional movers or conduct the move yourself the costs do differ. However, you can’t avoid them either way. What you can do, on the other hand, is to try to minimize them. Yes, some of the costs you can’t really change, no matter your method of moving, but there are some you can. Costs like transport, packing and packing supplies all may be lower in a self-conducted move. Especially the latter. A lot of people outside the industry aren’t aware of this, but there are places that give away moving boxes. Yes, you read that right. We’re not talking just about your standard cardboard boxes you can get at your local supermarket for free. We’re talking about all kinds of moving boxes. So, let’s see where you can get them.


Before we dive into the hunt for free boxes we need to think, what kind of boxes do we need? After all, places that give away moving boxes probably won’t have all kinds of boxes that you will need in one place. Therefore it’s smart to first look at the things you’re moving and decide first, what you will need to pack and what not to. Both packing and finding free boxes will take time. Time, that is always scarce in a moving situation. Therefore it’s smart to look at your belongings and sort them into two groups. One for the items that you will bring with you and the other for the items you won’t.

A man writing down in a notepad
Good planning is key in every move.

By doing this you not only will you save time that you would waste on packing the items you won’t be taking with you, you will save time on finding the boxes for those items. Additionally, if you chose to sell the items you will not bring with, you might even make some money on the side! Also, it’s a good idea to have a list of items you will be packing sorted in groups and then write down what specific moving supplies you will need for each group. This way you will know exactly how many boxes of each type you will need to find.

A list of places that give away moving boxes

Believe it or not, there are a lot of places that give away moving boxes. When we recently talked about a stress-free military move we consulted some of our army friends that told us that their preferred method of finding free boxes is looking up online. After all, with such limited time off, they can’t afford to go hunting for free boxes. On the other hand, other groups might have more free time, or you might have organized yourself for the move with a lot of free time, and you can go looking for free boxes around the neighborhood. There are a lot of places that give away moving boxes is what we’re getting at here. So here is a basic rundown, to help you find the right boxes for your move, for free:

Online places that give away moving boxes

There are several places that give away moving boxes online. These include:

  • Craigslist – This online platform designed around buying and selling items, also features a “free” section. Head on over there to find free boxes for you to use in your move.
  • Freecyclethis nonprofit online movement is all about giving away items for free to help save the environment. Hence the name. Naturally (no pun intended), it is a great place for you to look for people giving away boxes.
  • Facebook community groups – another good place online where you might find moving boxes for free are Facebook community groups. These are great because you can search for groups that deal specifically in giving away AND even if you don’t find any posting about free boxes you can always state that you need some. Chances are someone will contact you shortly and you will get your boxes for free.
  • U-haul customer connect – U-Haul’s message board designed around user interaction incorporates a section devoted to giving away free boxes. Called U-Haul Box Exchange, it allows the users to connect and sell or give away moving supplies, namely boxes.
A laptop on a table
You can find many places that give away moving boxes online!

Offline places that give away moving boxes

Aside from online, you can go looking for places that give away moving boxes offline as well. The choice here is abundant as well, so let’s check them out:

Your friends

Asking around with your friends, especially those that moved recently is certainly a great idea. Not only they might have moving boxes to give away, but they might also have packing supplies as well. You shouldn’t be shy about asking them either. After all, after the move, the boxes only clutter up the place for most people. You taking them off their hands is actually a help for your friends. Therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your friends if they have some boxes lying around to help you reduce your moving costs.


Big stores like Walmart, Target or even places like Barnes and Noble or Starbucks, receive boxed shipments on the regular. So it’s a no brainer to go ahead and ask them if they have any boxes to give away. It might be smart calling up the store manager first though, as some of them re-use the boxes to cover company expenses while others dispose of them en-masse. In the case of the latter, they might be willing to give you moving boxes for free as long as you call in advance so they can set them aside for you.

A market trolley in a supermarket aisle. Large market chains are one of the places that give away moving boxes
The larger the store the more likely it is they will have free boxes for you

Liquor stores

Now, this is something all movers can tell you about. Local movers, interstate movers, everyone knows that liquor stores have very good boxes you can get for free. It’s only logical. They need sturdy boxes to help transport bottled liquids. These are both heavy and fragile, so having quality boxes is a must for them. However, they may not have an organized system like larger stores for re-using them, meaning they are probably throwing all those boxes away. This is what makes them one of the best places that give away moving boxes.

Your workplace

Finally, depending on your line of work, your own workplace might have free moving boxes to give away. Ask around with your co-workers who might be in charge of disposing of them and then arrange for them to keep the boxes for you. After all, people will be more likely to help out someone from within the company than a complete stranger!

Searching through the places that give away moving boxes

Now that we provided all this info for you, it’s time to get down to it. Invest some time and look through these places that give away moving boxes. As the moving costs pile up, you will realize just how much it paid off. In the end, you will be glad you invested your time into this. Good luck!

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