The packing process can be a long and arduous one. It is full of moving and changing parts, but the reality is always the same: the earlier you get started, the less stressful it will be.

One of the very first tasks, and maybe the most important, is figuring out where to find moving boxes. Regardless of where you’re going and what you’re moving, you are going to need all sorts of moving boxes for your relocation— from the smallest one to the tallest. 

At FlatRate, we not only include moving boxes in our packing services, but we also deliver them to your doorstep whenever you need it. We also only work with high-quality packing materials so our moving boxes are some of the best in the moving industry.

If money is tight and you’re living on a budget as you wait for your big move day, FlatRate also got a few extra solutions for your box problem. Here’s a list of ways to find moving boxes for your next move: 

Community Websites

Websites like Craigslist or Freecycle are excellent sources of free stuff, especially boxes.

Freecycle may not be as well known as Craigslist, but it may be a better source for quality boxes — the good thing about these sites is that you can hop right back on them after you move and return the favor by gifting those cardboard boxes to someone else. 

Social Networks

You might not want to share your address on social media sites but it never hurts to reach out to your online friends and see if anyone has any extra boxes to spare.

Take advantage of your social network: chances are there is someone you know who has just completed a big move.

Make a post asking for boxes and you will likely find a willing friend or two.

 Liquor Stores and Bars

These establishments get deliveries every day and those boxes need to be strong enough to handle big bottles of vodka and gin, as well as cases of beer.

That means that liquor stores should have plenty of boxes, strong enough to carry your books, kitchen items and dishes from one destination to the next. 

Plus, these establishments might be small enough that they break down cardboard by hand, rather than in a large compactor, which would give you a bigger window of time to get all the boxes you need.

Call Your Friends & Family

Ask family, friends and acquaintances for box hook-ups. Remember your cousin that has 4 kids? They probably do a lot of shopping at Costco and other bulk stores. What about your friend who works at the bodega down the street? You won’t know until you call them.

Office Supply Stores

The boxes that computer paper comes in are extremely strong – with all the paper that Staples or any copy place goes through, they are likely to have some extra paper boxes at some point during the day.

Even though some of these stores are looking to sell you moving boxes, it never hurts to ask the managers what they are trying to get rid of.

Ask Around at Work

With all of the office supplies and other paraphernalia that is needed to run an office building, chances are that your own job has a lot of boxes to spare. 

Your company may also have its own mailroom, which would translate to a whole stock of boxes. Even if they don’t, check with your office manager to see if there are any upcoming deliveries scheduled. They may be happy to get rid of all that unusable cardboard that would otherwise need to be broken down.

Check out Local Schools

If you have a high school or small college in your neighborhood, there may be a gold mine of boxes left over from daily food shipments or textbook deliveries.

Call the main office of the school and offer to take extra cardboard boxes off their hands. They may be receptive to the idea of getting rid of the extra packaging without doing the breaking down and recycling that is normally required.

Going Green

If you’re trying to help the planet, you can always rent plastic boxes instead of getting cardboard ones.

Some companies will deliver clean plastic bins to you and then pick them up from your new house or apartment when you are done. If you are committed to the environment and have the room in your budget, this might be the solution for you.