You have made the decision to move and you are now faced with the arduous task of packing. Yikes!! How will you pack up everything? Where can you find boxes without paying the prices that moving companies charge for them? With a little bit of research and a few phone calls, you can find good sturdy boxes for FREE!

Retail stores. Typically home improvement stores and supercenters stock just about everything late at night, 3-4 times per week. Your best bet for getting free boxes is to call ahead and ask what their schedule is. Once you know when boxes are discarded, you can either stop by or call and request that boxes are held somewhere for you to pick up.

Liquor stores. Whether or not you partake of the beverages sold, local liquor stores usually always have a stockpile of boxes for free. These are my favorite boxes because many of them have the dividers inside where you can place breakables like glassware.

Some stores pile empty cartons outside next to the dumpster each night and they’re yours for the taking. Other stores keep boxes in the back or next to the front door; you just have to go in and ask.

Fast food restaurants like McDonalds. I’ll let you in on a secret….fry boxes are perfect for moving. They’re very sturdy, and since the fries arrive frozen in plastic bags, there won’t be any greasy odor lingering. The best time to call is in the early afternoon (between breakfast and lunch), since sometimes boxes will be filled up with other things or thrown out before closing.

U-Haul. Although it costs money to get brand new boxes from U-Haul, they have a “Leave a Box/Take a Box” bin at several locations where you can pick up used boxes for free. They also run a box exchange board on their website that connects you with people in your area that just moved and have boxes to spare. Plus, you can use the site to earn some good karma by posting your boxes after you’ve unpacked.

Happy Packing!