How to Get Moving Boxes (As Cheap As Possible)

I am moving in to a new location soon, so I need to get my belongings packed up and ready to go. Since people move on a regular basis, I figure some of you can use some of this great information. Essentially what I am going to be looking at is how to get moving boxes as cheap as possible. You might be amazed at how little you can spend (and in some cases will spend absolutely nothing!). Through these tricks, you can prepare ahead of time so that when they are needed you are good to go.

Store Trash

This is something you will need the store's permission for. A lot of places throw out their shipping boxes when they are finished. To get these, a majority of stores will not have any problems handing them to you. What you have to be careful of, though, is going through their trash on your own. This is against the law and can lead you in to a lot of problems. Instead, be sure that the manager or someone else that is in charge will allow you to take them.

The types of stores you will want to go to are department stores. These include those such as:

  • Best Buy
  • Radio Shack
  • Wal-Mart (although most of their boxes are ripped open, so it is hit and miss)
  • Staples
  • Office Depot
  • OfficeMax

These are not the only stores there are, either. Feel free to explore around where you live and just give it a chance. The worst the managers can say is no. If that happens, you are right back where you started so you still have not lost anything.

Purchases From Online

If you buy items online, whether it be from a place like eBay or Amazon, or even a normal store that you would usually go shop at in person, you get boxes with the majority of items. Since they have to be shipped in something, you can then take care of these boxes and use them for future packing. Shipping boxes do wonders, and they are absolutely free!

If you have friends and family that do some shopping online, you can ask them to save their boxes as well. Even if you just get a few every now and then, that adds up pretty quick. Just be persistent and grab all of them you can before they go out in the trash.

Items From Stores

Everything you buy in the store pretty much comes with some packaging. Most even come in boxes. By not throwing these away once you open items and take them out, you have even more boxes for your collection. Along with this, you will get boxes of various sizes and shapes, so you can use them to store just about anything in (including what originally came out of them). Awesome!

Schools – Paper Boxes

Paper boxes are great for storing a lot of items in. If you are able to get enough of these, you should be good to go for your storage need. They are very stable and they come in large numbers from offices such as at schools. Along with this, they come with lids so they can be stacked on top of one another to cut down on the amount of space they take up. When it comes to free boxes, these are the perfect solution. And they are free!


I would prepare and start collecting moving boxes weeks prior to your move. Start getting the boxes as you are organizing what you are taking with you to the new home and you will be much better off. This will allow you to take it much slower, packing things up as you are able to grab more boxes, and will cut down on the chances you will have to go out and buy boxes from the store. Keep in mind that stores get shipments in all the time, so if a manager is allowing you to take some boxes you should see when their shipments come in. This will let you come by more often and snag the boxes prior to them going out to the dump.

This is a great way to get your stuff together and packed for free. It does take time, though, so whether or not it is a good option for you will depend on how much time you have and your amount of patience. You are bound to find some stores that will not help you at all; some may even try to charge for their boxes. If you run in to people that do this, just brush it off and move on. There are plenty more to choose from!


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