Your big move is coming up, but the first thing you must do is pack everything. Well, everything you plan to bring — the rest should be sold, donated or discarded, or otherwise brought down to a manageable size. The biggest challenge right now is acquiring boxes, something you can do for free in a bid to save yourself hundreds of dollars. Here’s where to find moving boxes at no cost to you.

1. Ask your friends. Chances are the people you know have the boxes you need or at least a few they can contribute. Indeed, if someone just moved into your area, they may be looking for a way of discarding their now empty cartons. Ask around, post a note to your neighborhood list serve, and acquire what you can. Take whatever boxes are offered as those not suitable for moving can hold other items and be placed in larger boxes to expedite your move.

2. Head to the local grocery stores. Supermarkets are great places to find boxes. Everything they receive comes in large boxes or containers. Those containers not reused are often discarded, then carted away for a fee. In some cases the store makes money on the recycling — at the same time a manager may be happy to part with a small number of boxes especially if you are a dedicated shopper. Aim for medium-sized boxes where possible, but take what you can get as free boxes may be hard to come by. Visit other supermarkets and repeat the process.

Moving Boxes: Where To Find Them For Free

3. Visit your hardware store. Hardware stores receive much of their inventory in plastic containers. Those containers are always sent back and recirculated. You won’t gain access to them, but you can ask for whatever boxes are on hand for the soft goods items the retailer sells. Acquire what you can here and then move on to the next retailer advises Allied Moving Company.

4. Stop in at your big box retailer. Other stores with boxes that can be procured include Target, WalMart, warehouse clubs, and most any other large retailer. Even if you’re only able to secure a few at each store, the numbers will soon add up. You’ll stuff the back seat of your car, or find yourself increasing the storage area in your utility vehicle to accommodate your collection. Spend a morning going from store to store and you may have more boxes available than you thought possible. And for free too.

5. Other stores to consider. Any retail establishment with boxes to spare should be visited. A liquor store will have compartmentalized boxes, ideal for separating wines and liquors, but also useful to help you keep your fragile items safe when you move. Convenience stores should not be overlooked either as these stores stock an assortment of items, large and small. Here, you may come away with many smaller boxes, but take them anyway. Small boxes are great for holding tools, trinkets and other items that can get lost or broken in transit. Simply fill the boxes and place them in a larger box to expedite your move.

Get Packing

You may not have all the boxes you need as you begin your packing, but don’t let that stop you. Getting started means you’re better able to gauge what you will need going forward and acquire those kinds of boxes too. For instance, if you have a lot of breakable items, you might keep an eye out for more liquor boxes or boxes used to separate apples at your grocery store.

Once you acquire your boxes, make sure you have enough newspaper and other filler material on hand to accomplish your packing. Create a system for marking the boxes too, by using stickers to color coordinate the rooms where these items will be taken.