The truth is that there are no official rules regarding the types of boxes that can be used when moving to a new home or business location. Obviously, you want to use boxes that are the correct size, are sturdy, and are clean so that your possessions can be transported safely. But you don’t necessarily have to buy brand new boxes from your moving company, truck rental store or from the local home improvement store.
In fact, if you use a little creativity and persistence, you can often find all the boxes you need for free. Depending on how many possessions you are moving, it may take you a while to collect all the free boxes you will need, so your best bet is to start looking for boxes at least a few weeks — if not a month or more — before your official moving day.
Here, then are some suggestions on where to begin your search:
- Local Liquor Stores and Bars — Most business that sell liquor get deliveries daily of wine, beer and liquor. The boxes these products are packed in are often perfect for packing personal items in your home. And, unlike food boxes that you can get from grocery stores, these boxes are more likely to be clean. Because most businesses just throw out or recycle the boxes they receive their products in anyway, in most cases they are more than happy to let you take them off their hands for free. Just politely ask the manager and you should have access to all the clean, free boxes you need.
- Ask at Your Workplace — Depending on the type of business you are in, there may be boxes available at your workplace. Ask your dock manager or delivery department about the types and condition of boxes that may be available. Politely ask if they can set aside a few for you and be prompt about picking them up.
- Look on Craigslist or Freecycle — Craigslist is an online classifieds website where there are always people giving away free stuff, including boxes. Freecycle is another site that specializes in recycling used materials, such as boxes, for free (hence the name!). Check out these websites a few weeks before your move and you may find all the free boxes you need.
- Get the Word Out on Social Media — Thanks to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can reach dozens — or even hundreds — of friends, family and acquaintances instantly with just a simple posting. Let your social media contacts know that you are in need of moving boxes and you might be surprised by the strength of the response you get.
One thing to keep in mind is that you should “pay it forward” when it comes to moving boxes. After your move, make sure to offer the free, clean moving boxes to other people. This will not only help somebody else out, but it’s good for the environment as well.