Finding the Right Boxes for Storage

Published on 8/27/2020
Ah, the dreaded time has come. You knew it was inevitable. You have been waiting with great anticipation for the move, but not for the moving process. After looking around and assessing your piles of clothes, DVDs, books, and magazines, you realize that getting your hands on some moving boxes is only the beginning. Here’s a quick look on where you can find boxes for free, almost free, and fast.

The Post Office

A little known fact is that the post office will send you, free of charge, shipping boxes which can help you with organizing large amounts of smaller items. Their boxes aren't massive, but going to this link will show you the options they have!

The Grocery Store

While they may be harder to come by these days, you can still snag some boxes from your local grocery store.
  1. Usually free boxes from the grocery store are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. It s always a good idea to call the store in advance to find out what days the truck is going to arrive with new shipments.
  2. You can also ask the store clerks if they will save some boxes for you. Tell them the number you’ll be needing and ask that they put your name on the boxes.
  3. Act quickly. Grocery stores usually destroy cardboard boxes as soon as they empty its contents unless someone has called ahead.
  4. Don’t just go to the store and walk through the aisles grabbing every cardboard box you see. Gain permission from the store manager first.

The Department Store (and Other Retail Locations)

Another great place to get cardboard boxes is from the department store. Often department stores have corporate policies regarding the breaking down and disposing of boxes, but usually you can get boxes from them. Again, you can call and ask to see when the shipment days are for that particular store. And while they wouldn’t encourage you to walk through their store with empty boxes (loss prevention, image, etc), if you come in around opening and closing hours, they’ll be most agreeable.

The Convenience Store

Your local convenience store can often be a great resource for acquiring cardboard boxes. Convenience stores often have smaller boxes that are used to ship cigarettes and alcohol. These fit silverware, toiletries like shampoo, CDs and DVDs.

Thrift Shops

Secondhand stores, like Goodwill, have free boxes. Because many items are delivered to them in large boxes designed to hold clothes, lamps, etc, you should call ahead and check to see if they have any to spare.

Buying Boxes

If you don’t have the time to run around and hunt down cardboard boxes, you can always buy them. Many moving companies and self storage facilities sell boxes and packing supplies; Target and Wal-Mart too. You can also purchase boxes online via stores like The Container Store and ULine and they will deliver them right to your door… If you don’t mind the irony. Moving is a stressful experience, but if you organize ahead of time, and map out your needs, you’ll save time, energy, and money.