Interior Home and Room Design App - DecorMattersInterior Home and Room Design App - DecorMatters
  • Create
  • Community
  • Blog
  • About
Free Sign Up
Decorating on a Budget

Where to Get Free Boxes: 10 Places to Find Free Moving Boxes Near You

by DecorMatters|updated Jan 29, 2024
finding free or low-cost moving boxes for new home

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Moving to a new home is exciting, invigorating, and a chance for a fresh start! However, it's also synonymous with expenses and, quite often, stress. Packing boxes, tape, bubble wrap - the costs can escalate quickly.

But what if I told you that one of your biggest expenses, boxes for moving, could be obtained for free or at a very low cost? That's right, free!

Our room layout planner has helped new homeowners and movers decorate new spaces for years. We know where to find moving supplies. This guide lists 10 free places to find moving boxes, such as local stores and online marketplaces. Get packing paper for free or cheap moving boxes that will make your move easier, more eco-friendly, and less expensive.

1. Local Retailers

Your local grocery, retail, or liquor stores are not merely places to shop; they are gold mines for free boxes near you. These businesses receive shipments regularly and are often inundated with more boxes than they need.

Instead of letting them go to waste, many store managers are more than happy to pass these on to those in need. They are usually robust and designed to protect delicate items, and if you specifically ask for containers that hold non-perishable goods, they'll likely be cleaner and sturdier.

2. Online Marketplaces

Online platforms like Craigslist, Freecycle, Facebook Marketplace, and Nextdoor are popular for free moving box exchanges in the digital age. People who have recently relocated frequently list their gently used boxes for others to pick up, transforming these platforms into bustling hubs where you can get moving boxes for free.

You can also find free boxes, bubble wrap, packing material, and other moving supplies without any cost. 

Tip: Set up alerts to quickly claim free stuff, as they are in high demand and go fast. It's your secret weapon to get them before others.

3. Community Groups & Events

Community groups such as local schools, churches, or non-profit organizations receive generous donations in large, sturdy packaging that they don't reuse. These institutions may be willing to part with them as a gesture of goodwill and community support.

Also, community events, garage sales, and local swap meets can be goldmines for free or cheap boxes for moving. Keep an eye on local community group postings on social media or community bulletin boards, where announcements and offers are frequently made.

Tip: Engaging with your community not only aids your move but fosters a sense of connection and sustainability.

4. Recycling Drop-Off Points

Local recycling centers collect many different boxes, some of which are barely used and still in great condition. People who just moved often bring their used boxes here, providing a constant supply of good materials.

Tip: Be mindful of the condition of the boxes. Not all may be in tip-top shape, so it's wise to carefully inspect each one.

5. Friends and Family

Sometimes, the most reliable solutions are closer than you think, hidden within your personal network. Friends and family who have recently moved or received large shipments are often more than happy to pass on their boxes, making them a great resource for your moving needs.

Tip: Build connections with those around you who are planning a move soon. They might be willing to pass the boxes on to you after they're done.

6. Work and Office Buildings

Working in an office, have you ever noticed the abundance of cardboard boxes lying around? These aren't mere disposable packaging; they're robust, resilient, and perfect for moving. With regular deliveries of office supplies or equipment, these boxes make their way into the workplace, and their sturdy construction ensures that they are more than suitable for packing heavy items.

Don't let these valuable resources go to waste, approach your office manager or colleagues. Additionally, don't overlook other businesses in your building. A courteous inquiry with administrative staff might unlock access to an ample supply of free, quality moving boxes.

7. Apartment Buildings

Apartment complexes are hotspots for moving activities, often having a high turnover of residents that leads to a constant flow of free cardboard boxes. In our years of moving expertise, we've found this to be a reliable, overlooked place where you can get boxes for moving.

Whether from recent move-ins or move-outs, these boxes are often discarded and ready for reuse. Check with the property management or maintenance staff to get insights into where these boxes are stored or if residents are planning to move soon.

Tip: Check the trash and recycling shutes/bins. Often, people are quite simply lazy and leave unwanted furniture and used boxes sitting around outside these areas.

8. Specialty Box Providers

When it comes to moving delicate or uniquely shaped items, turning to specialty box providers like U-Haul, Home Depot, Lowe's, moving companies, or big box stores can be a game-changer. These providers offer an extensive range of options tailor-made for moving needs.

They have boxes for clothes and glassware that keep them safe and prevent creases and breakage. And don't worry about breaking the bank; these boxes are not only sturdier but are also priced reasonably.

9. Educational Institutions

Schools often have extra strong boxes because they receive a lot of educational supplies, books, and equipment. Take advantage of this at the start of a new academic year when massive shipments arrive.

Not only are these boxes often available for free, but they're also designed to carry weight, ensuring they're ideal for your moving needs. Approach the administrative office with confidence. They'll appreciate your interest in reusing these materials and most likely direct you to the right department.

10. Libraries and Bookstores

Libraries and bookstores have consistently proven to be hidden gems for sourcing moving boxes. These establishments often receive large volumes of books in robust, uniformly-sized boxes, which make them perfect for packing your personal library or even other fragile items.

The boxes from libraries and bookstores are strong and secure, designed to hold heavy items and protect your valuable belongings.

Tip: Don't be shy about popping into the store in person. The staff might even assist you in handpicking the right packaging for your needs.

where to find free boxes for your new apartment moving

Photo by Erda Estremera

Moving to a new home shouldn't be seen as a daunting task or a necessary burden. By using these tips on where to find free or cheap moving materials, a difficult task can become a fun adventure.

Your journey doesn't end here! Once you've successfully moved into your new place, it’s time to unleash your inner designer and get creative with your new space. That's where the DecorMatters interior design app comes into play!

DecorMatters has a thriving community of 10 million designers. Design your rooms online with real furniture and personal items. Experiment, mix, match, play with different layouts, and create a stunning living space!

Start Your Design

Design your dream home at your fingertips.

Let’s Go

Subscribe to our blog for more interior design tips and trends!


Challenges Happening Now
Crazy Thu.
Crazy Thu.
Time until end of challenge21h left
View Detail
Join Now
View All
Trending User Designs
#daily #designgames #nauticalnook #green
Explore More

Subscribe to our blog for more interior design tips and trends!

Start Your DesignDesign your dream home at your fingertipsLet's Go

Subscribe to our blog for more interior design tips and trends!