When it comes to moving, a lot of people will go out and buy cardboard boxes, a massive set of fancy moving crates, or nice-looking plastic boxes specifically for the job.  And while this tactic can be convenient, there are other ways to ascertain boxes.  With a little planning, you can save a few dollars on boxes and spend the money on your new home!

By going out and finding free boxes you’ll not only help your wallet, but Mother Nature will appreciate it too!  But not any box will do.  Be sure to check every box that you acquire and make sure that it is sturdy.  After all, your worldly possessions are at stake!

When looking for free cardboard boxes, start off by visiting your local grocery store. I like to target mid-size stores (i.e.  Start with your local Associated rather than Stop & Shop).  If a worker delivers the boxes to you, it’s always a nice gesture to tip them a few dollars.  In most cases, these boxes are being tossed out, but they still did not have to take the time out of their busy schedule to help you.  I also have had good luck with liquor stores.  These establishments are receiving heavy shipments, therefore requiring high-quality cardboard boxes.

Try to target boxes that were used to deliver heavier goods as these will be the sturdiest. Also, find out which is the best day to turn up after deliveries. By simply asking the store manager at a big-box retailer like Wal-Mart or Target, you can be sure to show up on a day when you are likely to be helped.  Be sure to the employee know that you are willing to pick the boxes up at any time, even if it means stopping by after midnight.  Many stores unpack during the wee hours of the morning, and that is a good time to get more boxes with less competition.

If you’re really organized for moving and storage, you’ll be saving these boxes a long way in advance of your move.  Most people don’t hold on to those nice corrugated shipping boxes when they get them from delivery companies or superstores. All of us move at some point or another so it’s well worth keeping a load of such boxes tucked away in the attic, both for ease of access and to save money.  Be sure the area is dry; water and mold are cardboard boxes #1 nemesis.  Preserve your boxes by laying them flat and wrapping them in plastic wrap. (Spiders love cardboards, and the plastic keeps them out.)

Reminder: Don’t skimp on boxes. If you need to purchase a new set, do so.  However, with enough planning, a little luck, and a nice shopkeeper, you could save yourself some money by simply asking.

Categories: Moving Tips, Storage