Where to Get Moving Boxes: Everything You Need To Know

You can find moving boxes from friends, retailers, online platforms, and more for a hassle-free relocation experience.
Where to Get Moving Boxes - Pricing Van Lines

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Moving, with all its excitement, brings a great deal of preparations. From sorting through belongings to finding the right supplies, it’s quite the task. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

This guide dives into the world of moving boxes, offering insights on where to buy moving boxes, the various sizes of moving boxes, and the types of moving boxes best suited for your needs.

Whether you’re relocating cross-country or just around the block, understanding these essentials will make your move smoother. Say goodbye to the confusion of box hunting and read on!

The Average Cost of Moving Boxes

Understanding the average cost of moving boxes is a fundamental step when it comes to ensuring a smooth move. The price range varies depending on factors such as size and type, tailoring your expenses to your needs.

For standard boxes for move, the cost is quite reasonable, ranging from approximately $1 for smaller boxes to around $4 for extra-large ones. It’s intuitive – the bigger the box, the higher the cost.

However, specialty boxes designed for specific items, such as mirrors or wardrobe boxes for hanging clothes, command a higher price due to their unique features.

Packing materials like packing paper also come into play, costing around $10 per pack. If you’re looking to pack delicate items like dishes and glasses, investing in kitchen kits (around $120) and glass-packing kits (ranging from $8 to $20 per box) is advisable. There’s also a variety of specialized boxes, each with its own price range, including banker boxes and more.

Moving kits, tailored to different home sizes, offer convenience along with savings.

A one-bedroom apartment kit typically costs between $65 and $100, providing you with 15 to 30 of the best moving boxes for your belongings. Stepping up to a two-bedroom house, expect to pay around $150 to $200 for approximately 65 boxes.

For larger spaces, such as a four-bedroom house, the kit, ranging from $300 to $420, includes 80 to 125 boxes, along with essential supplies like bubble wrap, packing tape, and markers.

Where to Get Moving Boxes: Our 10 Picks

Not sure where to get moving boxes near you? We’ve got you covered with our top 10 picks to help you secure the boxes you need for your move.

From leveraging your social network to tapping into online resources, these options offer a range of solutions to suit your requirements.

1. Ask Friends and Family

Did you know that nearly 80% of products sold in the US are packaged in boxes? With the surge in online shopping, your friends and family are sure to have a stash of shipping boxes. Give them a heads-up weeks before your move and consider messaging or calling them to see if they have any boxes to spare.

2. U-Haul Box Exchange

Utilize U-Haul’s Customer Connect Box Exchange feature. It’s a nationwide platform that lets you find supplies and connect with people nearby who have moving boxes to spare.

Just enter your location or a keyword like free moving boxes to locate those willing to part with their boxes. Many of them are likely to give them away for free after their own recent moves.

3. Craigslist

Browse the “For Sale” section on Craigslist for moving boxes. You might find individuals selling or giving away their boxes after completing their moves. Be cautious and ensure you’re dealing with trustworthy sellers.

4. Recycle Centers

Recycling centers are a goldmine for boxes. As around 70% of commercially used cardboard boxes are recycled, local recycling centers often have an abundance of boxes available. Call ahead to inquire about their policies and whether they offer boxes for pickup.

5. Facebook Marketplace

Navigate to Facebook Marketplace to find moving boxes for sale or even available for free. You can filter listings by location and negotiate directly with sellers to secure your boxes.

6. The Freecycle Network

The Freecycle Network is an online platform where people give away items they no longer need. Check the listings in your area for moving boxes that others are offering for free.

7. Retailers

Grocery and liquor stores can be great sources for moving boxes. Speak to a manager and inquire if they have spare boxes that you could take off their hands. These boxes are sturdy and come in various sizes.

8. Bookstores

Both small and large-chain bookstores should have plenty of sturdy boxes due to the nature of their merchandise. Don’t forget to check with local college and university bookstores as well.

9. Nextdoor

Nextdoor.com is a neighborhood hub where you can find information about your area, including free items being given away, like moving boxes. It’s a convenient way to find boxes in your immediate vicinity.

10. Buy Them

If all else fails, you can always buy moving boxes from various sources. Home improvement stores, office supply retailers, and online marketplaces offer a wide range of boxes in different sizes and quantities to suit your needs.

These 10 options provide a diverse range of choices for obtaining moving boxes. Whether you’re looking to save money by getting boxes for free or you prefer the convenience of purchasing them, there’s a solution that aligns with your move’s requirements.

Size Guide For Moving Boxes

Understanding the right size of moving boxes is crucial for a well-organized and efficient relocation.

Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the ideal box sizes for different items in your home:

  • Small Boxes (~16″ x 12″ x 12″): Perfect for books, small kitchen utensils, and other compact items that require secure packing. These boxes are also great for items that need to be tightly packed to prevent shifting during the move.
  • Medium Boxes (~18″ x 16″ x 18″): Suited for small home decor items, throws, towels, and clothing. These boxes strike a balance between accommodating bulkier items while remaining manageable to lift and carry.
  • Large Boxes (~18″ x 18″ x 24″): Designed for curtains, bedding, larger kitchen tools, and small pillows. Their ample size allows for efficiently packing larger, yet lightweight items.
  • Extra-large Boxes (~24″ x 20″ x 24″): Ideal for sheets, comforters, regular and large pillows, rugs, and sports equipment. These spacious boxes are perfect for items that demand more space while maintaining protection during transit.

Moving Box Hunting: The Do’s and Don’ts

When it comes to hunting for moving boxes, there’s a fine balance between navigating the do’s and steering clear of the don’ts. The process requires careful consideration to ensure you obtain the right boxes for your move while maintaining proper etiquette and safety.

Here are some essential guidelines to keep in mind as you go box hunting.


1. DO Ask Permission

Resist the urge to simply show up at an office or retailer and start hauling away their boxes. Similarly, rifling through anyone’s trash without permission is not only dishonest but can also be illegal in some cases.

To avoid any mishaps, always call ahead and ask for permission to take boxes. This courteous approach will prevent any misunderstandings and ensure a smooth acquisition process.

2. DO Use a Moving Calculator

Before you begin your box hunt, it’s wise to employ a free moving calculator. This tool estimates how many boxes you’ll need based on factors like the number of bedrooms, your lifestyle, and the number of people residing in your current space. Accurately gauging your box requirements will save you both time and frustration when you start packing.

3. DO Be Careful When Dealing With Strangers

While obtaining boxes from strangers is a common practice, exercise caution. When meeting someone to collect boxes, opt for a well-lit public area and consider bringing a friend along for safety. Trust your instincts and prioritize your well-being while engaging in transactions with unfamiliar individuals.


1. DON’T Take Damaged Boxes

While the allure of free moving boxes is undeniable, it’s crucial to avoid taking damaged ones. Boxes that are warped, wet, broken, or torn won’t hold up during the rigors of a move. Given the already demanding nature of the relocation process, investing in sturdy, intact boxes is essential to protect your belongings.

2. DON’T Use Smelly or Dirty Boxes

Boxes that have previously held items with strong odors can transfer those scents to your belongings, leading to an unpleasant unpacking experience. Additionally, using dirty boxes can soil your possessions during transit. Prioritize clean and odor-free boxes to ensure the integrity of your items.

3. DON’T Throw the Boxes After Your Move

Once your move is complete and you’ve unpacked, resist the urge to discard your moving boxes. Instead, pass them along to someone else in need. Consider donating or giving away your boxes to individuals who are planning their own moves. This eco-friendly approach benefits others while reducing waste.

Packing Up

Finding moving boxes can be just as challenging as seeking out of state movers, but with these valuable insights, you’re well-equipped to tackle the task with finesse. As you prepare for the journey ahead, remember that the hunt for affordable moving boxes is an integral part of a successful move.

By exploring various avenues such as leveraging your social network, tapping into online platforms, and reaching out to retailers, you can find reusable moving boxes that suit your needs.

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