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Where to Get Free Moving Boxes

Where to Get Free Moving Boxes

Boxes can help make things easier when you are moving. It can help you organize your things for easier packing and unpacking, as well as moving the items quicker, explains Nex Level Moving, movers in Cedar Rapids, IA.

However, they can be pricy if you buy plastic tubs or multiple packages of cardboard boxes. This article will cover how you can get free moving boxes to help with your move and your wallet.

So, where can you get free moving boxes? You can visit various places to get boxes free of charge, such as:

  • Craigslist
  • Freecycle
  • Liquor Stores
  • Bookstores
  • Grocery Stores
  • Starbucks
  • McDonalds fry boxes
  • U-Haul Box Exchange
  • Schools
  • Your Workplace

The compiled list of places to go will help you save money and help you move. Check out the places below to find out how you can get them for free!


How Do You Get Free Boxes Online?

Let’s start by finding free boxes online, where you can schedule meetups or find out which stores have boxes to offer. Many places are happy to give their boxes since they’d end up in the trash or take up extra time needing to be broken down to be recycled. Most people would love to help others out rather than just wasting their boxes for nothing in return.


Let’s start with Craigslist. You can find potentially anything on Craigslist, and free boxes are one of them. From there you can find people or places that have free boxes to give. You can set up a meetup or pickup online and head over to pick them up. Then, enjoy your free boxes!


This website can be used similarly to Craigslist, in that items are listed for sale or for free. You can contact people or places to find out if there are free boxes available.

There are various groups, and you can join your local group to pick up from somewhere nearby. When you do find them, you can go pick up your free boxes and get to packing!

McDonald’s Fry Boxes

McDonald’s fry boxes are large since that’s the box they use to ship their frozen goods in. So, not only are they big, but they are strong too. Which is good for any of your heavier items that you need to pack up.

Also, because the fries are frozen the boxes won’t be full of grease or smelly. McDonald’s will post on their Facebook page when there are free boxes.

U-Haul Box Exchange

This is a message board that U-Haul set up for workers and customers to get free boxes when they need it, saving time for the workers who don’t need to break down the boxes for recycling. You simply search by your location to find the closest pickup place to get free boxes for your move.


Where Can You Get Free Boxes For Fragile Items?

You probably have fragile items that are expensive or have sentimental value that you want to pack with care, such as ornaments, figurines, porcelain, glasses, etc. You can find free boxes for those as well! Check out the places you can get smaller boxes for more fragile or smaller items.

Grocery Stores

You can ask to take their empty apple boxes off their hands when you look for free boxes. These boxes are great for keeping smaller items or fragile items in their spot and have a better chance of making the move in one piece. Usually, most grocery stores are happy to get rid of those empty boxes since they won’t use them again.

Liquor stores

Given that most boxes that go to liquor stores are small and meant to keep the glass bottles from breaking, these can be perfect for your fragile items.

Similar to grocery stores, liquor stores don’t need the boxes back after they unpack them. So, most stores are happy with you taking those boxes off their hands.


The boxes you can get from bookstores are great for smaller items like books, CDs, and DVDs. They can work for fragile items too. Their smaller boxes are sturdier though since they get shipments of multiple books at one time. So, these are perfect to use when packing and moving your book or movie collection.  


Where Can You Get Free Boxes for Larger Items?

You can’t forget about your bulkier items as well – and there are places that will give out larger boxes if you ask. That’s one of the biggest ways to get free boxes is to simply ask since most people won’t know that they can. Here are some places you can go for larger boxes.


You may only think Starbucks provides your caffeine fix, but they have large boxes that their shipments of coffee products come in.

If you ask, most places will happily give you their larger boxes for free. Since it frees their workers up from having to go back and break down the boxes to be recycled.


Schools are one of the best places to find large, sturdy boxes. With shipments constantly coming in for teachers and administrators, they have loads of boxes available for the taking if you ask the janitor.

They’ll be happy to give you the boxes since it’ll free them up to do other jobs around the school instead of breaking down boxes.

Your Workplace

You can talk to your office manager or workers on the loading dock about getting free boxes. Similar to the previous places, most are happy to give you free boxes just to get them off their hands.

You have a way in since you work there as well, so you’ll know when shipments come in to get first dibs on some free boxes.


In Summary

These are just a few examples of places you can go to get your hands on some free boxes. Be sure to try these places before buying boxes or plastic tubs to save some money.

This guide is mainly for those who are moving, but these boxes could even be used as organizers for those who need to donate items or just want to have a place for things.