People who are in the process of moving from one place to another have a considerable financial burden on their shoulders. You have just purchased or rented a home, invested in decor, spent money on personal transport, and have other such expenses to handle. Thankfully, there are ways to cut down on your moving expenses. You can choose to back load instead of requesting a full truck transport service, pack your own items instead of asking the movers to do it, and find free moving boxes instead of purchasing them.
Free or used cardboard boxes do not just save you money, but they also reduce your environmental impact. Used boxes are usually in good condition, able to transport your possessions safely. You just need to spend some time researching where to find good strong boxes for your move. We have put together some tips and guidelines that can help.
Free or cheap moving boxes
Used cardboard boxes are usually recycled or thrown away, which is why they are available for free or at a very low cost from several sources. If you are looking to save some money on packing materials, consider the options listed below:
- Movers – Some movers offer a limited amount of packing material free of charge to their confirmed clients. Often, they also offer other materials like packing paper, plastic wrap, or even tape. Before you start hunting for materials from other sources, ask the mover if they provide packing materials free of cost, or if removing the materials from the list of services has any impact on the overall cost of the move. If the packing materials are truly free, the overall cost will be unaffected; but if they aren’t, you will pay less for the move when you choose to use your own packing materials.
- Gumtree – Gumtree is an online marketplace like eBay where people can sell items at a competitive rate within your local area. This platform does not provide free cardboard boxes but they are very affordable. For example, some boxes only cost $0.50 to $1.00 each. Even if you require a dozen boxes, you won’t need to spend more than $6.00 to $12.00. These boxes are usually in great condition, and will withstand the rigors of transport.
- Retailers – Local retailers receive a number of cardboard boxes of different sizes on a regular basis. They’re forced to throw these boxes away or send them to the recycling plant. You can visit your local retailer and ask them to set some aside for you. You just need to inform them a few days before the move so they have time to collect the boxes. Most retailers will be happy to hand these boxes over to you free of charge, sparing them the effort of tearing the boxes up for recycling.
- People who have moved – If someone in your neighbourhood has moved recently, they might have cardboard boxes lying around their home. Ask them if you can take these boxes off their hands, you could help them unpack those boxes in exchange. Most homeowners would love to have a garage free of spare cardboard boxes.
- Recycling centres – Unwanted cardboard boxes are sent to the recycling centre for disposal. You can visit your local centre and ask to look in their used cardboard bin. Most recycling centres might be willing to part with a few boxes. Unfortunately, most boxes in these centres are in a broken-down and poor condition. You will need to sort through the pile to find the strongest and most intact boxes. You can fix damage with packing tape, glue, and some paper. So don’t worry if they are a little worn down because you will be discarding them after the move is complete.
- Garage sales – Visit local garage sales and see if they have any empty boxes. You might not find many options here, but it’s likely that the owner would have a few boxes lying around that they want to get rid of.
- Local schools – Local schools and universities will have ample boxes lying around because they order supplies regularly. These institutions will use the cardboard and plastic moving boxes repeatedly until they’ve become worn and useless, but they will still have several boxes that they don’t need. Ask if they have a few of them lying around and if you can take them off their hands.
As you can see, there are many sources of free and cheap moving boxes so you don’t need to spend your money on new packing materials.
Types of free moving boxes
The best way to ensure your possessions are safe is to choose the right kind of moving box. Here are some of the options available to you:
- Television box – Your expensive flat-screen television should be stored in a box that is the right size to ensure it fits securely and can be transported safely.
- Glassware box – If you have a large collection of wine or beer glasses, you should consider moving them in a glassware box. It stores all the glasses in individual pockets so they don’t knock against one another and can be transported securely.
- Dishware box – This box is perfect for your ceramic plates and dinnerware. All plates are stored in separate sections so they don’t get damaged during the move.
- Box for pictures and mirrors – Pictures and mirrors have a large flat surface that can be easily broken or damaged during the move. The box for pictures and mirrors can keep them secure.
- Large boxes – These boxes are usually around 45 x 45 x 60 cm in size and can be used to pack large items like kitchen appliances, blankets, cushions, lamps, etc.
- Medium sized boxes – These are 45 x 45 x 40 cm in size and are ideal for books, bags, shoes, and other such items.
- Small boxes – They are ideal for smaller items like kitchen utensils, cables and chargers of various appliances, headphones, decorative ornaments, etc.
Other options available to you are extra large boxes, wardrobe boxes, and mattress cartons. The moving boxes should hold your possessions securely and be able to withstand the bumps and movements that can happen on the road during transportation.