If you've ever moved using a moving company or even moved on your own, you already know that moving is expensive. Labor, the rental truck and all of the peripheral charges are often overlooked.
A big oversight is packing supplies, which includes the moving boxes you pack your belongings in. The amount of boxes you need depends a lot on the size of the home you are moving from.
If you plan on buying these boxes from a packing supply company, they could charge you anywhere from $2 to $6 per box! There are many ways you can save money when moving, and a great place to start is finding free moving boxes.
Finding boxes on Craigslist are just one of the many things you can find in their "free stuff" section. While you're at it, take a look around their website. You can probably furnish your new place with furniture and used appliances for little to no money.
TIP: Older boxes support less weight than newer and sturdier ones, so tape them well.
2. Liquor stores
Wine and liquor stores receive a number of shipments each month. These smaller boxes can easily be turned into moving boxes for items such as books and intimates. Don't be afraid to pop in and take a few off their hands. Not only will it help you save some cash, but you'll be doing them a favor by taking them off their hands.
3. U-Haul Box Exchange
U-haul allows people to sign onto their message board and search for free moving boxes in their area. It's also great if you need to get rid of those moving boxes after your move as well. Return the favor!
Freecycle is a worldwide network of "gifting" groups that divert reusable goods from landfills. Similar to U-haul's Box Exchange, Freecycle allows you to search for free moving boxes by location. New boxes are added frequently, so check continuously for new additions.
Your local bookstore or college is a great place to pick up boxes. Boxes of books get really heavy very quickly, and the boxes that bookstores use are specifically designed for that purpose. They are stronger and sturdier, so you don't have to worry about them breaking as easily as other boxes would.
6. Grocery stores
Whether your local grocer is part of a chain or a local Mom and Pop's, they're bound to have plenty of boxes from their weekly to daily shipments. Next time you need to go food shopping, talk to the manager and tell him or her that you are moving in the near future. They'll be more than happy to hold some aside for you or offer a bunch up immediately.
7. Family, friends and neighbors
Another great resource is asking friends, family or even neighbors for boxes from their recent move. Chances are they are looking to get rid of them anyway, so what better way than handing them right off to you?
8. Your workplace
A lot of people don't think of this as an option, but there's plenty of used, empty cardboard boxes available right under your nose at work. If you work in a retail store, they should be easy to find... but what if you work in an office?
- Printer paper boxes will be lying around and are thick and sturdy
- Ask if there are any leftover computer boxes in a storage room waiting recycled
- If you get a regular delivery of office supplies from companies like W.B. Mason, those boxes can also be useful
9. Large retailers
There is no doubt that large retailers will have boxes of all shapes and sizes lying around waiting to be recycled. Most, if not all clothing stores get shipments every day -- sometimes twice a day. Stop by your local retail store whether it be Walmart, Petsmart, Costco, Target, Best Buy, Staples or any country-wide chain.
Schools get books, boxes of paper and tons of new school supplies which makes them a great place to go for free boxes. Stop by the front office and see if they have any laying around that they're willing to spare.
TIP: Try to ask for boxes with lids, so your belongings stay in their designated boxes.