One of the most difficult challenges for people making a move is to find moving boxes. Free moving boxes, that is. Sure, you can buy boxes from your moving company, a hardware store, or an office supply store, but you’ll pay a handsome fortune to acquire them. Instead, you can find moving boxes by looking for them through a variety of sources. We’ll take a look at each one, including a few unusual places.
- Friends, family, and neighbors. Ask the people you know if they have boxes to spare. You may be surprised to discover that a friend has a garage full of boxes he doesn’t know what to do with. As long as the boxes are suitable for moving, then take them. You might also put out the word to people you work with — the more who share their good news, the better your chances of obtaining what you want.
- Visit your town’s recycling center. Most communities have recycling centers, acting as a central point for cans, bottles, scrap, and paper goods to be handled. Some centers allow people to claim recyclable items, essentially saving the town money in handling fees. Among the items present are boxes, including moving boxes. Contact the recycling center manager and ask that a slew of boxes be held for you. Then, stop by and pick up what you need.
- Stop by the local liquor store. Liquor boxes are ideal for moving fragile items. Given that they are compartmentalized, they’re ideal for placing vases and other fragile items within each slot. Speak with the manager to determine what is available. If you are a regular and recognized customer, you may be able to come away with a small collection of very usable boxes. Stopping by multiple liquor stores may score you a generous supply of the very best packing boxes.
- Drop in to a big box retailer. The largest retail stores — WalMart, Target, Sears, and the rest — have significant amounts of inventory passing through their doors. Much of that inventory is delivered in plastic recycle cartons — you won’t be able to acquire those. But what every store does have is a dry goods section. And that means the boxes holding paper towels, toilet tissue, napkins, household cleansers, and the like need to be disposed of. A number of retailers recycle these boxes and get paid for what they supply. However, you may be able to walk out with a few boxes, especially if you know the manager or are a recognized, loyal customer.
- Consider the warehouse club. Another retail outlet where inventory is big and always changing are warehouse clubs. Stores such as BJs, Sam’s Club, and Costco have a broad selection of items and these are usually packed in large cartons. Those cartons will either be crushed or recycled. They might also be available to customers such as you, but only if you ask for them. Speak to the manager directly and show her your club card.
- Head to the grocery aisle. Like liquor stores, grocery stores have a very good selection of compartmentalized boxes. Fruit and other delicate items must be kept separate to avoid bruising. Head to the fruit and vegetable department and ask the manager about boxes and the availability of same. You might also come away with a number of other boxes that once held coffee, candles, soft goods, and alcohol.
- Say it with flowers. Your florist may have a few boxes on hand too. After all, when roses are shipped in from abroad, they need to be carefully packed and boxed to avoid damage. Florists also get boxes containing various accessories to decorate wreaths, fill out gift baskets or otherwise embellish their products. Ask your floral designer for what boxes they may have.
Make Your Move
If you can acquire a variety of boxes, that’ll be great for your move. When packing, attempt to limit the contents to 25 pounds — you will want to avoid back strain. That means the light items such as pillows and blankets can go in the big boxes. Heavier items such as books should be placed in smaller boxes explains the Allied Moving Company.