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7 Places to Find Boxes for a Move

1. An Office Supply Store

Of course, office supplies are transported in robust cartons. More fragile items, such as computers and other electronics, may arrive with a large amount of packing material that is discarded. So go to places like OfficeMax and Staples and see if they have any boxes that printer and copy paper come in. Alternatively, find out when they receive shipments and on what days of the week. Paper boxes can securely store pots, pans, and even books. They’re the perfect size for not cramming too many heavy goods into one package. Because some of those boxes already have a lid, you’ll need a small amount of tape.

2. Libraries and Bookstores

Books, of course, come in a variety of sizes and formats. Because, duh, books are heavy, they all have one thing in common: they’re tough and durable. Most bookstores receive shipments once or twice a week, so visit a few in your region to learn about their delivery schedules. Make a plan to get moving boxes after that. If you live in a big city, the shipments are probably more frequent and more significant. Most large bookstores are willing to give you boxes for free.

3. Restaurants and bars

Vegetables, liquor, canned goods, and other such items are regularly delivered to restaurants. Restaurants are a fantastic place to buy packing boxes because they need to be sturdy to prevent the fragile goods inside from crashing to the ground. The liquor crates that are plentiful in bars can be used for a variety of purposes. Pack plants, last-minute knickknacks, and other items that don’t require a sealed box. Typically, the tops are already removed. Restaurants will have French fry freezer boxes, produce crates, and dry storage boxes on hand. Keep note that the cartons may have a fried food odor (or food in general). You should usually avoid using them for bedding, clothing, or other items that can collect odors from food.

4. Grocery Stores

Ask your local grocery stores when their large shipments arrive well in advance of your moving day. Inform them that you need moving boxes. You might get lucky and get some free used boxes if they’re feeling charitable. The solidity of banana and apple crates makes them particularly useful. They do, however, contain openings in them to allow the fruit to breathe. They make fantastic moving boxes for your bedding as long as they’re clean (no rotten apples!). Alternatively, line them with a trash bag to hold your clumsy sock collection.

5. Drugstores

Almost certainly, you live near a Walgreens, CVS, or Rite Aid. Find out when their most significant shipments arrive and schedule a visit, just as you would at the grocery store. If the boss is feeling kind, they might inform their employees that you’re seeking moving boxes so they can keep the nicest ones — and you’ll spare them the bother of breaking them down. To put more in your car, stack the tiny boxes into medium boxes and the medium boxes into giant boxes.

6. Liquor Stores

You might have considered going to the liquor shop for different reasons when thinking about where to acquire moving boxes for your upcoming vacation, but how about getting some boxes as well? Wine and liquor boxes are sturdy, although they’re usually small and have their tops chopped off. They may still be a tremendous aid when it comes to transporting your possessions if you use them strategically and imaginatively. Although not as strong as liquor boxes, the larger cases that six-packs arrive in can also serve as great moving boxes. Be aware that liquor boxes are frequently kept together with staples (which makes them more durable than glued boxes), so be wary of sharp stray staple ends.

7. Home improvement stores

Large boxes — think appliances, tools, paint cans, etc. — can be found in places like Lowes and Home Depot, but getting to them may be problematic due to the nature of large stores. It never hurts to ask, and if you’re lucky, you might find a great place to acquire moving boxes. For the sake of convenience, you might be better off going to a small, locally-owned hardware store where you can make friends with the employees — and where the employees are probably relieved they won’t have to break down all of those boxes this week.