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Where to Get Free Moving Boxes

June 18, 2024

Moving can be an expensive and stressful process, but finding good moving boxes doesn’t have to add to that cost. While you can choose to rent boxes, finding free moving boxes is a great way to save money. 

Although it is more cost-effective to try and find free moving boxes, they might not be a sturdy and reliable option for your move. At Stack Moves, we are committed to helping you have an organized and hassle-free move. We offer moving boxes for rent, and you can use our moving box calculator to determine the number of boxes you’ll need. Schedule your move for free with Stack Moves today!

In this blog, we will talk about moving boxes and how to get them for free. We will also talk about how to choose the right boxes.

Are Cardboard Boxes Free?

Are Cardboard Boxes Free?

Yes, for the most part, you can get free cardboard boxes. However, keep in mind that some stores and businesses might ask you to pay a certain amount of money for their second-hand boxes.

Using free cardboard boxes can lead to substantial cost savings. Instead of purchasing boxes, you can allocate your budget to other important moving expenses such as packing supplies like packing tape and packing glasses, hiring movers, or renting a moving truck. This approach allows you to stretch your moving budget further without compromising the safety of your belongings.

Cardboard boxes come with an additional benefit of being reusable, which has environmental benefits. By opting for second-hand boxes, you contribute to reducing waste and promoting recycling. This practice helps decrease the demand for new cardboard production, conserving natural resources and reducing your carbon footprint. 

Although you can get free cardboard boxes, you should still consider renting boxes. Rented boxes are often more durable and designed specifically for moving, providing better protection for your personal items. Additionally, rented boxes often come with convenient delivery and pick-up services, saving you time and effort.

Where to get Moving Boxes for Free?

Where to get Moving Boxes for Free?

Now that you know you can get free moving boxes, the next question is ‘Where can I get them?’ Finding free moving boxes can seem like a great way to save money, but it comes with its own hassles.

Searching for these boxes still takes time, petrol, and patience, so it’s worth considering whether the effort is truly worth the savings. Sometimes, renting boxes might be the more convenient option. For durable boxes, reach out to Stack Moves today!

However, you can get moving boxes for free on some online marketplaces and stores in your neighborhood.

List of top 16 places in LA to get Free Moving Boxes

Some of the top places in LA to get free moving boxes are: 

  1. Trader Joe’s 
  2. Costco
  3. Target 
  4. Walmart 
  5. Whole Foods 
  6. Liquor Stores 
  7. Bookstores 
  8. Grocery Stores
  9. Recycling Centers 
  10. Office Supply Stores 
  11. Fast Food Restaurants
  12.  Auto Shops 
  13.  Local Schools 
  14.  Community Centers
  15.  Facebook Marketplace
  16.  U-Haul 

Local Retailers and Supermarkets

The best time to visit these big box stores to find free moving boxes is in the early morning right before stores open after overnight restocking, or late at night when stores are restocking shelves and have empty boxes to spare. 

Some specific stores to find free boxes are: 

  • Liquor stores: These stores have sturdy boxes designed for heavy bottles. 
  • Bookstores: At bookstores, you get strong boxes perfect for heavier items. 
  • Grocery stores: Grocery stores produce bulk item boxes that are often very sturdy. 

5 specific stores to look at for free moving boxes are: 

  1. Trader Joe’s 
  2. Costco
  3. Target 
  4. Walmart 
  5. Whole Foods  

Online Marketplaces

You can also find free cardboard boxes on online marketplaces like Craigslist, freecycle, and Facebook Marketplace. For Craigslist, go to the “Free” section under the “For Sale” category to get free stuff. On the other hand, Freecycle requires you to join the local group and post a request for boxes. For Facebook Marketplace, you should search for “free moving boxes” and check daily for new listings.  

When searching any of these platforms, use terms like “free moving boxes”, “free cardboard boxes”, “packing boxes”, etc.  Then, set location filters to your area and sort by the most recent. It is also important to be polite and quick to respond to messages, mentioning when you can pick up the boxes. 

Local Community Groups

In local communities like community centers, Facebook groups, or Nextdoor, you can also get free boxes. It is easy to find people who want to give out their moving boxes for free, and you can be lucky to get them.

For community centers, visit or call to see if they have leftover boxes from events. You can also join neighborhood groups on local Facebook groups and ask if anyone has spare boxes. On Nextdoor, you can post a request or search for posts about free moving boxes. 

While on local community groups, you should be active and regularly check for posts, and be prompt in your responses. It also helps to be clear and specify the number and types of boxes you need. 


Offices and corporate buildings also serve as places to find free boxes. At these workplaces, ask at the reception if there are any spare boxes from supply deliveries, or ask the facilities management as they often handle shipments and may have extra boxes. 

To ask or arrange for pick up, you must be flexible when you email or call the office manager or facilities team. 

Friends and Family

Finding free boxes may sometimes prove to be challenging. In such situations, you can utilize personal networks to get them. You can do this by posting on your social media profiles asking if anyone has extra boxes. You can also call or send direct messages to friends and family who may have recently moved. 

It helps to plan ahead when coordinating exchange or pick-up times. Typically, you should schedule a time that works for both parties and have your vehicle prepared to transport the boxes. 

How to Inspect and Choose the Right Boxes

How to Inspect and Choose the Right Boxes

When selecting sturdy and clean boxes, you should look at the material quality, condition, cleanliness, and reinforced edges. Typically, boxes with reinforced edges or double-walled construction provide extra strength and are better suited for heavier items. 

At Stack Moves, we recommend a standard-size bin measuring 27” by 17” at the top, 24.5” by 14.5” at the bottom, and 13” tall as the best-size boxes for moving. This size offers a perfect balance of capacity and manageability.

While free cardboard boxes are great, many of them are not durable due to wear and tear or exposure to moisture. This can damage its integrity, putting your items at risk. Therefore, you should avoid boxes with visible rips, tears, or crushed corners. It is also best to avoid cardboard boxes with moisture damage, pest infestation, and odors.

How Many Boxes Do You Need for a Move?

How Many Boxes Do You Need for a Move?

When planning a move, one often wonders the number of boxes they will need for the move. The answer depends on the size of your home and the amount of belongings you have. With our moving box calculator, you can get an exact estimate of the number of boxes you will need for different-sized apartments. 

In our expert opinion, you will need 15 bins, 1 dolly, and 15 labels if you’re moving from, let’s say, a studio apartment, and as many as 50 bins, 3 dollies, and 50 labels for a 3-bedroom apartment.

Preparing Free Boxes for Use

Before you use your free boxes, you should wipe down the inside and outside of the boxes with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris. For boxes that stored food items, consider using a mild disinfectant to clean off debris so that your food items wouldn’t get contaminated. It is also helpful to use packing tape to reinforce the bottom of the boxes. You should apply at least two layers of tape along the seams and edges to ensure they can hold the weight of your items.

Importantly, you should clearly label each box with its content and the room it belongs to. To do this, use a permanent marker and write on multiple sides of the box for easy identification. In addition, group similar items together and pack by room. While doing this, ensure to have an inventory list to keep track of the content of each box. 

Alternatives to Cardboard Boxes

Alternatives to Cardboard Boxes

Renting plastic moving bins is a durable and eco-friendly alternative to cardboard boxes. These plastic moving bins are sturdy, water-resistant, eco-friendly, and convenient. When it comes to plastic bins vs. cardboard moving boxes, plastic bins are stronger but can be more expensive. However, cardboard moving boxes are more affordable and accessible. 

You can also utilize items you already have at home to efficiently pack your belongings. These items include suitcases, baskets, bins, and totes bags

Need Moving Bins for Rent?

Finding free moving boxes can significantly reduce your moving costs. However, finding free boxes requires time, effort, and patience. Therefore, it is best to plan and start early in the moving process to ensure you have enough sturdy boxes for your move.

When you order from Stack Moves, you get everything you need for a seamless move. Our services include dollies, boxes, and moving bins for rent. Contact us to learn more about our moving boxes for rent pricing

Rent Plastic Bins for Your Move!

Moving with cardboard boxes is a pain. Get pre-assembled bins delivered to your door and move hassle-free with Stack!

Stack eliminates the need for you to source, break down, or fill up your trash can with cardboard boxes.