Moving into a new home or apartment is exciting, but moving day can also be stressful.
If you’re worried about packing and unpacking, don’t worry – there are ways to make the move easier.
Moving from one place to another can be challenging, especially if you’ve never done it before. Packing and unpacking takes time, energy and patience. There’s no way around it.
Where to Quickly Get Free Moving Boxes
On my last move, I got over twenty free moving boxes by going to a handful of U-Haul dealers near me and sorting through their moving box “leave one, take one” bin. This convenient service allows people to return their slightly used moving boxes so that the next person can use them for a move. Highly recommended.
The Best Plan is to Prepare Ahead of Time
You can minimize stress during the move by preparing ahead of time. The key is to plan out each step of the move.
This means having a checklist of things to pack and unpack, and knowing where they go.
It also means making sure that everything has its own box or bag so that you know what goes with what.
If you’re moving yourself, you may not have much help. But if you hire movers, you can get them to do all the heavy lifting for you.
Hiring professional movers will save you time and money, and give your belongings the best possible care.
If you’re moving locally, consider hiring a mover who offers local services. You can find movers near you online, or ask friends and family for recommendations.
If you‘re moving long distance, you might need to rent a truck or trailer. Renting a vehicle will allow you to transport more items at once.
Make sure you choose a reputable company that provides quality service.
After planning then comes the packing
Take Inventory of What You Have
When you’re ready to start packing, take inventory of what you already have. Look through drawers and your closets to see what you still have.
Don’t forget to include clothing, linens, dishes, silverware, books, coins, toys and other household goods.
Once you’ve packed up as many items as you can, you should now begin organizing.
Start with the room you’ll be using first. Take everything out of the room and put it on the floor.
Then sort through the items and decide which ones you want to keep — and which ones you want to donate or throw away.
Once you’ve finished sorting through your possessions, you can begin packing. Use boxes and bags to store your items. Label each box or bag clearly so you won’t mix up any of your belongings.
You can also give each box or bag a consecutive number, which can help with making a map of where each it is if you place it into storage.
After the Move
Now that you’ve moved, you’ll probably want to clean up after yourself. Cleaning up after a big move can be exhausting, so try to schedule some downtime between cleaning and packing.
Remember to keep your vacuum saved for last so you can use it to clean the room and then pack it up when finished.
Places to Get Boxes in 2023
While moving day may be fast approaching, there might not be enough free boxes to pack everything up. To be ready, you need to know where to buy them, as well as which price and buying options are most suitable for your budget and timeline.
If you’re looking for places to get moving boxes delivered to your doorstep, consider buying them from retailers who offer delivery services online.
There are lots of different types of boxes available, and we’ll take a look at some of the best ones here.
For our last move, most of our paid for boxes came from Home Depot as they are sturdy and reliable and just around a few dollars each. They have at least four sizes — which worked well for us.
We were also able to pick up a lot of free boxes that previous customers had left at the local UHaul center. They called it the “give and return pile” of boxes. It was very helpful too.
The Top 15 Places to Get Moving Boxes and Boxes for Packing
Amazon: If you want to get moving boxes delivered to your doorstep right away, then this is the easiest option. Just select “Ship to Home” when ordering, and you’ll receive your boxes within 24 hours.
Amazon’s selection of moving supplies includes boxes, tape, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, labels, packing materials, and even storage containers. They also sell moving pads, moving blankets, and moving rugs.
Amazon uses recycled cardboard boxes for shipping. This means that their boxes are made from 100% recyclable material. While you’re helping the environment by purchasing these boxes, you’re also doing your part to reduce waste.
It does raise an interesting question… when Amazon ships moving boxes to your home — what kind of box do they put the moving boxes in? I’m sure that Amazon will keep you guessing until the boxes quickly arrive at your home.
Walmart sells a variety of moving supplies including boxes, tape, bubble wraps, moving pads, and moving blankets. They also sell moving mats, moving rugs, and storage bins.
While Walmart doesn’t provide same-day shipping, their prices are competitive and they offer free standard ground shipping on orders over $45.
Costco sells boxes, tape, bubble wrapping, moving pads, moving blankets and moving mats – if you happen to see those items there. They also sell storage bins and storage totes.
You try to get some of their empty used boxes for free — although often they are cut in half for customers to use when taking groceries to their cars.
Target sells boxes, tape, moving pads, moving blanket, moving mats, moving rags, and storage bins.
5. Office Depot
Office Depot sells moving boxes, tape, packing paper, moving pads, moving rags, moving blankets, and shipping crates. They also sell moving trolleys, moving totes, and storage totes.
This office supply retailer offers free boxes for customers who purchase certain supplies.
If you’re packing for a move, you may want to consider different types of boxes depending on what you’re packing. You can also buy these items from Office Depot. If you need some heavy duty boxes, Office Depot also sells them.
Lowe’s sells moving boxes, tape, packaging paper, moving pads, and packing paper. They also sell moving rugs, moving blankets, and a variety of storage bins.
Lowes has a wide variety of boxes and has items for home repair while you’re in the store any way.
7. Home Depot
Home Depot sells moving boxes, tape and packing paper. They do not sell moving blankets or moving mats.
This is actually one of my favorite places to get boxes. There’s several Home Depot stores near me and each of them had a good supply of moving boxes when I need.
At HomeDepot.com, there’s a mover’s guide to help you with packing materials and boxes. You can also find boxes of different sizes and kits.
They have a choice between shipping items for free or having them shipped to their local warehouse. Those who want detailed information about products should pick up moving boxes at Home Depot.
These moving boxes are rigidly made for moving and storage of moderately heavy and bulky objects. They are great for books, clothing, small appliances, kitchen utensils, toys and more. This box is made of 100% recycled material for an eco-friendly solution.
8. Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond sells boxes, tape, and packing paper. Their site offers a list of tips for packing your belongings.
9. The Container Store
As their name says, the Container Store has rigid boxes, tape, plastic wrap, packing paper, and moving blankets. Everything you’d need for a move and sits among the favorite places to get moving boxes.
U-Haul offers moving supplies like sturdy moving boxes, tape, packing material, moving blankets, and more. At many locations, people return their used boxes (in good condition) to U-Haul so that future customers can use those boxes at no cost.
Check your neighborhood UHaul to see if they have a “take a box, leave a box” in their store. They don’t charge for this and you can often find several used boxes in good condition. This can help with your move. Once you are all moved, it’s good to then bring some moving boxes back to your UHaul so the next person can benefit.
11. Rent A Center
Rent A Center offers moving supplies like boxes and tape.
If you can find one that is still open, Sears sells boxes, tape, wrapping paper, moving blankets, moving pads, and storage bins. They do not sell moving mats or moving rugs. If a nearby Sears is having a close out sale, this could be a good time to pick up discounted items there.
Staples sells boxes, tape, Bubble Wrap, moving blankets, moving rags, packing paper, and storage bins. This is one place that you won’t have to worry about running out of boxes.
14. Party City
When it comes to moving supplies, Party City is not a place that comes to mind immediately. However, Party City does sell boxes, tape, bubbles, moving blankets, moving sheets, and storage bins. These are all things that you can use when you move.
15. The UPS Store
The UPS Store® is a one-stop shop for all about storage and moving. Supplies include sturdy boxes, bubble cushioning and tape. You can also get packing advice from their team of Certified Packing Experts.
Each neighborhood The UPS Store® has strong boxes in a variety of sizes, making it easy to find the right size box to hold your belongings.
Finding Free Moving Boxes
The answer is a definite “yes.”
My favorite places to get moving boxes is at U-Haul. I got several free moving boxes by going to a handful of UHaul dealers near me and sorting through their “leave one, take one” bin.
A storage or moving company may be willing to sell you some boxes. You might also be able to locate some free moving boxes, but it can be hit and miss — and there might not be any available where you live.
For the best price moving boxes, the more places you check, the better your chances of finding a stache of free boxes.
Places to check for boxes include Craigslist, Barnes & Noble, U-Haul Customer Connect, Starbucks, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Walgreens, PetCo, PetSmart, Walmart, Target, WinCo, Costco, LetGo, Facebook, Freecycle, Dollar Stores, and Rite Aid.
If you’re at a store that sells larger products (such as a grocery store), just ask one of the employees if they have some extra boxes lying around.
Once you get done with the boxes, you could return the favor by taking your boxes to a local U-Haul for their “take one leave one” — and the next person with a move can get some free moving boxes that way.
Ask at online sites — like Craigslist — where they might have free moving boxes in the items for sale category.
Craigslist probably has the largest free section of any website out there. They may have free boxes available for anyone who wants them, whether they’re moving from one location to another.
So go directly to the free section and look for your boxes. There are too many choices for you to pick just one!
If you’re lucky enough to find some empty moving containers, they tend to be available early in the week, just after most people have finished packing up their stuff from the weekend.
Like Craigslist, local classified ads websites often have many listings for free moving boxes near you. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get your boxes.
All you need to do is look online and you may find someone who has boxes they’re willing to give away — or even sell you some for just a few bucks. Finding free boxes can be easy when you know where to look.
In addition, you should check the classified ads on other websites such as eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace.
Petco and PetSmart
Petco and PetSmart may offer free boxes for customers buying pet food, treats, and accessories. With some of the feed bags weighing up to 50 pounds, large boxes are needed to hold those — and they just might have some for you.
Where to Get Specialty Moving Boxes
We first preparing for a move, specialty boxes don’t readily come to mind. After all… a box is a box, isn’t it?
It’s turns out not all boxes are created equal — and that’s a good thing when it comes to large and heavy items.
How do you move a bed or safely pack a big screen TV? That’s when a specially designed box is very useful.
The specialty boxes can be harder to track down. For instance, uhaul has a mattress bag with handles that also keeps the mattress from getting dirty.
Here’s a list of the Specialty boxes you might need:
- Mattress Box and/or Bag
- Golf Box
- Rifle Box
- Tennis Racquet Box
- Bike Box
- Large Screen Television Box
We found that Uhaul had most of those types of specialty boxes at a reasonable price. We just walked in to our local Uhaul and picked up what we needed. They were very helpful. (They are also a great place for propane.)
You can also call the local U-Haul customer service number before heading over to their place. The customer service representative should be able to tell you which boxes you’ll need and how much they cost. They’ll also let you know if they have any specialty boxes you can use.
The UPS Store also offers specialty boxes designed for different types of shipments. These include boxes made specifically for mattresses, TVs, computers, and more.
Carrying boxes is best when done together.
How Many Boxes Will You Need?
That’s a great question when figuring out how many moving boxes to order.
The answer is… it depends on your move size and weight. Look through your things, especially your closet and storage areas. More things means more boxes.
The general rule is to plan on using up to 100 boxes of various sizes to completely pack up belongings from a 1,600 square-foot home.
If you’re moving across town, then you may only need a few boxes. However, if you’re moving cross country, you’ll often need more than that.
For example, if you’re moving from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and you have three rooms then you’ll need approximately 10 boxes. That’s because it takes three boxes to cover an average sized room.
When you’re planning your move, make sure to factor in the weight of each box. This can help you determine how many boxes you’ll need.
For example, if you plan on using a dolly to transport your boxes, you’ll need more boxes than if you were going to carry them yourself.
Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to buy boxes for every single item you’re taking with you. You might not be able to reuse old boxes.
So if you’re moving across town and you have a lot of items, you’ll need a lot of boxes. On the other hand, if you’re moving to a new apartment and you have very little stuff, you’ll probably only need 2 boxes.
In conclusion, the cost for moving boxes adds up quickly and fortunately there are several ways to save money on getting moving boxes. If you want to save the most money, you’ll want to consider finding free boxes first and then purchase the rest.
However if you’re looking to save time, you’ll just want to purchase boxes.
Either way, you’ll want to find the best deal possible. So shop around online and ask friends who’ve moved recently.
After the move, you can then unpack, clean and relax.
After the move, be sure to take a moment to relax.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find moving boxes near me?
Fortunately there are many places to places to get boxes.
You can find moving boxes near you by checking the following sources:
- Home improvement stores: Stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Menards often sell moving boxes in various sizes.
- Office supply stores: Stores like Office Depot and Staples usually carry moving and packing supplies, including boxes.
- Shipping stores: UPS, FedEx, and USPS stores offer shipping boxes that can also be used for moving purposes.
- Online retailers: Amazon, U-Haul, and other online retailers sell moving boxes and can deliver them to your doorstep.
- Grocery stores: Many grocery stores receive shipments in sturdy boxes that can be reused for moving. Call your local grocery store and ask if they have any spare boxes available for pickup.
- Liquor stores: Liquor stores often have strong, durable boxes that can be ideal for packing fragile items. Check with your local liquor store for box availability.
- Bookstores: Bookstores typically have sturdy boxes due to the weight of the books they receive. Contact your local bookstore to see if they have any spare boxes.
- Friends and family: Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they have any extra moving boxes from a recent move or if they can save boxes for you from their online orders.
- Social media and online classifieds: Check local Facebook groups, Freecycle, or Craigslist for people giving away moving boxes for free or at a low cost.
Remember to ask for a variety of box sizes to accommodate different types of items during your move.
How many boxes do I need to move?
Many people ask us this question of how many moving boxes do I need.
The number of boxes you need for your move depends on various factors, including the size of your home, the amount of belongings you have, and how efficiently you pack.
Here’s a general guideline to help estimate the number of boxes you may need:
- Studio or 1-bedroom apartment: 20-40 boxes
- 2-bedroom apartment or small house: 40-60 boxes
- 3-bedroom house: 60-80 boxes
- 4-bedroom house: 80-100 boxes
- Larger homes: 100+ boxes
These estimates can change a lot based on your specific circumstances.
To get have a better guess, consider the following:
- Take inventory of your items, including clothing, kitchenware, books and other belongings.
- Think about the packing materials you’ll need for fragile items, such as bubble wrap or packing paper, which may require additional boxes.
- Consider the size of your furniture and whether it can be disassembled. Some items may require specialized boxes or crates.
- Keep in mind that heavier items should be packed in smaller boxes, while lighter items can be packed in larger boxes.
It’s always better to have a few extra boxes on hand, as it’s common to underestimate the number of boxes needed. You can always give away or recycle unused boxes after your move — many people do exactly that (so that others can receive their free boxes).