Planning a Move? Here’s Where To Get Free Boxes

Boxes on ground near moving van

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Woman carrying boxes into her new home
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Budget Boxes

There's no doubt that moving is expensive — the average cost to move over 100 miles can be up to $5,000, according to Zillow. Moving locally? That can still reach up to $1,200. Moving supplies, such as packing tape and large boxes, can be an enormous part of this expense. For example, a 97-count moving box kit from Home Depot costs $580, while a pack of 12 large moving boxes from Amazon is $49. (If you're wondering whether the moving boxes are shipped in, well, more boxes, they're actually plastic wrapped — so unfortunately you won’t be getting free cardboard boxes with your order.)

So what can you do to make your move less expensive? You can try to move your own items instead of hiring movers, and you can try to score free packing boxes. These are some of the best places to get free moving boxes.

Related: The Cheapest Ways To Move Across the Country — And Other Moving Tips


U-Haul Box Exchange

Uhaul offers an apartment moving kit for $111; save the money and try their free service, U-Haul Customer Connect, instead. It matches customers who need boxes and moving supplies with people selling or getting rid of their boxes. This may be ideal for finding specialty items, like wardrobe boxes, for free. You can search by location or keywords to find what you need, and there are also specific services for college students and those in the armed forces.

Related: 10 Moving Nightmares (and How to Avoid Them)

Young hispanic man talking on the smartphone using laptop at new home.


You can find nearly anything on Facebook these days, including moving supplies.Try perusing Facebook Marketplace to search for free boxes in your location, or join a neighborhood-specific Facebook group to ask for boxes other members don't need.

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Mature woman with Moving Boxes in New Home


Just like with Facebook, try checking out your local community groups on Nextdoor to see who may be trying to get rid of their empty boxes.

Contactless payment at convenience store

Liquor Stores

Pop into a nearby liquor store to see if they have any boxes you can grab. This is a particularly great source for cardboard boxes with partitions if you’re looking to pack up your own fragile items like glasses.

Bookstore full of books makes for better everyday life


Bookstores can be few and far between these days, but if you need sturdy boxes for various heavyweight items (or, of course, books), it’s worth finding one to ask what they have. 

Men is loading boxes with vegetables

Grocery Stores

Considering how many boxes of inventory come into most grocery stores daily, there should be a range of shapes and sizes of boxes that a grocery store may let you take off their hands. Coffee shops may also have similar offerings.

moving to new house - cardboard boxes with belongings stacked in living room after moving day


Don’t forget to try Craigslist, an online classified site that is notorious for offering free stuff. Search the “free” section, or post in the “wanted” section. 

Loading furniture into removal truck


Join the Freecycle network for finding freebies of all types near you. No group near you? It’s easy to start your own on the site.