Wondering where you can find boxes in your area? Don’t want to spend a bunch of money buying boxes you’re going to use for the move and then recycle? Here, we have some ideas of where you can find free boxes near you to make your move much more cost-efficient.




Big-Box Stores




Big-box stores like Target, Home Depot, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Best Buy are all great places to hunt for boxes. As their name suggests, these stores always get a ton of boxes of products. While you may be able to pick some up any day that you are going to one of these stores, it may be helpful (and more successful) if you call ahead to see when their next big shipment is coming and ask if you can snag some boxes then.




Grocery Stores




Like big-box stores, grocery stores get most of their items delivered in boxes, and usually, these shipments happen weekly or even daily. Fruit boxes, like apple or banana boxes, are great for packing fragile items. 




Unfortunately, most grocery stores break down and recycle their boxes relatively quickly because they may not have space to store them. So, if you don’t want to miss out on these freebies, call your local grocery store ahead of time and ask them if they might be able to save some boxes for you to pick up.




Liquor Stores and Bars




If you’ve ever used boxes from liquor stores before, you’ll know they are perfect for moving. They are often small and sturdy, which is the best for moving heavier items like books. You can also use the ones that have dividers to pack smaller, more delicate items — such as glasses or trinkets. Many liquor stores will pile boxes out front or back that you can take, but make sure to ask before you do!




Coffee Shops




Coffee shops usually get one to two shipments of items per week to restock. So whether you are thinking about a Starbucks or a local coffee shop, there is a good chance that they’ll have a variety of boxes available every week. To know when the best time to go hunting for boxes is, you can call your local coffee shop and ask if you can grab some boxes after they get their next shipment in.




Recycling Drop-Offs




Most cities have a recycling drop-off. If you are in or around Charleston, here is a list of recycling locations you can try. These locations usually have tons of boxes you can use (if they are in good enough condition) for your move.




Libraries and Bookstores




They have to get all of those books delivered in something, right? Well, as it is, most of the time, libraries and bookstores get their books delivered in boxes. 




These boxes are sturdy and robust because, well, books get heavy. Make sure to look for smaller boxes when browsing these areas because large boxes can get too difficult to carry if you are packing heavy items. You can also ask local college or university bookstores if they have extra boxes.




College Dorms/Housing




On the topic of colleges and universities, if you are moving around the beginning or end of the school year, chances are you might be able to find some free boxes around the dorms. Usually, there is a collection of big and small boxes around these times.








While schools often do not receive shipments as regularly as grocery stores or other food service locations do, there is a chance that they will have some extra boxes lying around. You can call the front office and see if they have any extra boxes you can take.




Often the beginning of the school year would be the best time to check your local schools because they are likely getting new shipments of books and school supplies during this time.




Other Ways to Get Boxes




If you can’t find enough boxes by using the suggestions above, there are a few other ways you can solve your box problem.




Save Boxes You Get in the Mail




If you’re moving, you probably aren’t getting that many packages in the mail — after all, most of us are trying to pair down our belongings, not add to them. But any boxes you get in the mail can be used for packing up your home. You can also ask your friends and family to hold on to any boxes they get so you can use them.




Rent Plastic Moving Boxes




Plastic moving boxes are a stable solution that will ensure that your items are kept safe (and not spilling all over the sidewalk when you try to move them). 




These boxes can usually be rented from places like U-Haul. You can look up options online if this sounds like a good solution for you.




Purchase What You Can’t Find




Sometimes you just can’t find what you are looking for. If this is the case, you can always fall back on the backup plan of purchasing some boxes. Usually, you can get boxes from Home Depot, Staples, U-Haul, your local moving company, or Amazon.




Hire A Packing Service




Many people forget that some moving companies, like Go Smooth Move, offer more services than just transportation for your stuff. For example, some companies provide packing services where the movers will come in, pack up all of your items, load the trucks with your possessions, and even unload them in your new home. 




Usually, with these services, the movers will provide any of the supplies you need to pack up your items — such as boxes, tape, and other packing materials.




A Few Tips About Hunting for Moving Boxes




Before you go out and scour the streets for empty boxes, there are a couple of things you will want to keep in mind.




Ask Permission



As we have been saying throughout this article, ask permission before taking boxes from anywhere. Often, boxes left around are free to take, and you save several employees the work it would take to break them down and recycle them. 




But this is not always the case. Some stores may reuse those boxes or have somewhere where they are donating them.




A common rule to go by is just to ask before you start loading up on boxes.




Only Take Sturdy, Quality Boxes




Nothing is worse than packing up your sentimental and valuable belongings only to spill them all over the floor when the box you are using breaks. 




Not all boxes are as sturdy as you need them to move your items. Do not waste your time on these boxes — it will only make a move more frustrating.








Moving is already stressful enough. You don’t want to spend your time worrying about where to find boxes to fit all of your items as well. We hope that these ideas of where to find moving boxes help you make your move a little easier.