How to Find Free or Cheap Moving Supplies

If you are preparing to move you probably have a lot of packing ahead of you. Here is how you can minimize the cost of moving boxes and packing supplies while doing your part to reduce waste:

  1. Begin at your local grocery store. While many larger companies have reuse and recycle programs you can likely still find boxes available for free.
  2. Browse your local Craigslist website, while some people do sell their old moving boxes many just want to get rid of them and will do so for free.
  3. If you live in an apartment complex or high rise building you likely have people moving in and out often. Watch for these people and ask them if you can take their unwanted boxes off their hands.
  4. Also for apartment and high rise tenants, if you have a shared trash room or recycling area you can probably find boxes that are being discarded from a UPS or USPS shipment. Many of these boxes are in great condition and can be reused.

If you are unable to find cheap or free boxes through these methods then you may have to purchase them. If this is the case then these tips will help you at least reduce the cost of the supplies needed:

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  1. Although not available in every city, used box companies are popping up across the country. These companies acquire boxes from local businesses and residents after they have been used and then resell them to you. Because the boxes are used they are much cheaper than traditional moving supplies, it's also an environmentally friendly option!
  2. If you move often you may want to consider purchasing plastic bins from Wal Mart. The initial cost may be a bit much but you can reuse them for years and avoid having to purchase boxes again in the future.
  3. Similar to #2 above, if you are moving locally there are now companies that will rent reusable containers. They generally provide pick-up and drop-off service and charge per container per week. While none of these companies offer long distance service yet, there are several that are rapidly expanding. One such company is BungoBox based in Orlando, Florida. They are franchising their business and currently have locations in South Florida, Tampa, Orlando and Phoenix, Arizona. BungoBox could be the first company to offer moving container rentals nationally in the next few years.
  4. Instead of buying your supplies at a local retail outlet like Lowe's, Home Depot or U-Haul, take a few moments to search for a local manufacturer. Many cities have at least one company that manufacturers corrugate and they may offer steep discounts to customers like yourself.

Want more information? View our other moving guides related to affordable moving supplies.