Starting the packing process when it’s time for a big move can be overwhelming—and expensive. Whether you’re worried about money, convenience, timeliness, or the environment, we know a great place to start.

Figuring out where to get moving boxes might seem like a simple thing, but doing it right will save you a lot of trouble down the road. Make things as easy and stress-free as possible for yourself by following the tips below. Let’s cover some of the best places to get containers for your move.

Shipping and Retail Stores

We’re putting this on the list first, since it’s a free option—and who doesn’t love free stuff? Aside from using original packaging whenever possible, you can also try asking retail stores toward the end of the day if you can have any of their unused boxes.

Getting boxes this way takes a bit more effort, but if moving costs are your biggest concern, it’s the best option. These boxes will usually be clean, but you can pick and choose the ones you want. Liquor stores or retail stores like Target are great for this. Just make sure the store doesn’t already sell boxes—Home Depot, for example, won’t be too keen on the idea of giving them away for free.

Neighborhood Apps and Craigslist

Another good way to get moving boxes for free—or very cheap—is by using neighborhood apps or other community groups you’re a part of. You may be surprised how much some people like to share, especially when it comes to something they don’t need anymore. Most people would rather be a good neighbor and give an item away than throw it out.

If you live in an apartment complex, you can try asking your leasing office, since they tend to see many, many boxes cross their paths. New tenants move in and out all the time.

You can check Craigslist, too. It’s a great free platform to exchange goods locally, and it could be a convenient way to find boxes. Remember to keep safety in mind at all times.

Amazon

Amazon has become an e-commerce hub for just about anything you could ever need. If you can think it, you can probably find it on Amazon. Not to mention the fast and free shipping for Prime members. With its enormous variety of items to choose from, you’re likely to get exactly what you want—from quantity and size of container to shape and material. 

You can get moving boxes, storage containers, and cute storage supplies to complete your move as well. To give you an idea of value before you hit the site: some moving kits on Amazon are a mere $25, and we found some 24-packs of boxes for as little as $230. With a little hunting, you’re bound to end up with materials that will make your life easier during a move.

Walmart

where to buy moving boxes

You probably have several of this store’s locations within a fairly accessible radius of where you live, making it a cinch to pick up boxes whenever you need them. A lot of Walmart shops are open 24/7, so if you decide to do some late-night packing or find yourself in an emergency last-minute box shortage—no problem.

Similarly to Amazon, they have a large variety of supplies at your disposal. Their boxes are also some of the most affordable. For instance, a 14-pack of boxes is around $30, so it won’t break the bank. They also have specialty boxes for items like your TV, so you don’t have to worry about having the wrong fit and losing proper protection.

Home Depot and Lowe’s

These stores also have lots of locations, but you might try searching online before making the trip to see which ones have what you need. This is an option for those who don’t want to deal with crowds—especially during these times—since Walmarts tend to get busy. 

Home Depot and Lowe’s are ideal choices when you’re looking for individual boxes instead of bulk sets. One single, small box can be priced as low as a buck. An extra-large box? We’ve seen them go for as little as $2.50.

 

Alternatives to Cardboard Boxes

Before you head out shopping, keep the following in mind. It’s unlikely you’ll have enough storage supplies in your home to fill all your moving needs, but you’ll save money if you use what you have first and supplement the rest with new boxes—it’ll also be more eco-friendly. After taking stock, you might want some alternatives to those cardboard cubes; here are a few to look into.

Renting Boxes

Did you know you can rent boxes? It’s becoming a popular option over buying, especially in larger cities like NYC. Companies like Gorilla Bins will deliver packing and moving supplies to you, then pick them up when you’re done. You won’t have to worry about cluttering up your new home. This is both an eco-friendly and money-saving choice—for example, you can get 60 boxes for around $200.

PODS

PODS, or Portable On-Demand Storage, is an easy way to store and ship your items. While this may not completely eliminate the need for boxes, it’s an optimal pick for local moves. 

Use this for a shorter move, because using PODS for a long-distance move can go above the average person’s moving budget. If you’re moving close by, you can expect the use of PODS to cost between $200 and $800 depending on the size and number of trips required.

Household Items

Since your belongings will be moving with you anyway, why not use them to your advantage? If you have container-like items, you can fit other things inside them. Fill suitcases, hampers, dressers (just make sure the drawers are sealed shut so nothing falls out during the move), backpacks, and storage cubes to save money.

Now You Know Where to Get Moving Boxes—How About a Master Checklist?

Those are a few ways to get boxes that match all your budgetary, environmental, and distance needs. Now you’re prepared for a smooth, anxiety-free move.

While knowing where to get moving boxes will help a great deal, there are other items you should get your hands on before your move, as well—here are some more moving tips so you don’t miss a thing. 

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