From transporting your belongings to paying apartment application fees and deposits, the expense of moving to a new place adds up. When planning a moving budget, one cost that many people don’t consider is the expense of packing supplies. From boxes to tape to bubble wrap, it takes a lot of material to ensure the safety of your possessions during a move. Packing an apartment or condo could take over 40 boxes to complete, while you could need as many as 100 boxes to pack a sizeable 3-4-bedroom home. When purchased new, cardboard boxes range from just over $1 per box to over $20 for specialty boxes used for transporting TVs or fine art. As you might surmise, when you purchase brand new boxes for your move it adds up quickly. To reduce your moving costs, try scouting out free moving boxes around Austin:
Under the “For Sale” section, navigate to the “Free” link, then look for moving boxes using the search box. When we performed this search, we found dozens of listings in Austin for free boxes of all shapes and sizes – from Amazon boxes to piles of recently used moving boxes. If you find what you’re looking for, you’ll need to contact the “seller” and arrange a pick-up time. Remember to practice Craigslist’s safety recommendations and take a buddy along with you for the ride.
2. U-Haul Box Exchange
U-Haul created its box exchange forum to reduce waste by allowing U-Haul customers to list their previously used moving supplies online for other customers to pick-up. Go to the exchange landing page, then navigate to “view posts by location,” at the top of the page. You can scroll to your city and see if anyone has listed free boxes or supplies in your area.
3. Liquor Stores
Liquor stores are a favorite place to scoop up free boxes. These stores receive large shipments of beverages every week, delivered in heavy-duty boxes designed to support a lot of weight. Around Austin, try looking for sturdy boxes at your neighborhood Total Wine, Spec’s or Twin Liquors.
4. Grocery Stores
Grocery stores also receive weekly loads of products, so they are constantly breaking down, and recycling used shipping boxes. While you’ll want to stay away from boxes used to deliver meat, ask your local grocery manager if they have any extra boxes that were used to ship things like apples or canned goods. These durable boxes are perfect for packing your household wares. In Austin, ask for free boxes at your nearest H-E-B, Randall’s, Whole Foods, or Central Market.
5. Your Office
If you work in an office building, your company likely receives regular orders of office supplies. Ask your office manager if there are any boxes leftover from recent shipments that you can take home with you. The boxes used for shipping reams of printing paper are the ideal size for packing dense household items, like books.
If you’re one of the thousands of Austinites using the NextDoor app, reach out to your neighbors and ask if anyone has unused moving boxes sitting in their garage or storage shed. You can also scour listings for free moving boxes under the “For Sale and Free” section; toggle the filter for “free” and use the search bar.
Bookstores are another excellent place to search for free boxes, especially if you have an extensive library of books to pack. Call a few of the bookstores around town to see when they receive deliveries and ask if you can drop by to pick up their discarded boxes. In Austin, your best bets are BookPeople, the University Co-Op, Barnes & Noble, and Half Price Books.
8. Sam’s & Costco
These warehouse membership clubs are a great place to stock up on more than just gallon-sized bottles of maple syrup and 10-lb bags of pancake mix. They’re also a great place to find boxes of various shapes and sizes. Long before Austin banned plastic bags, these retailers packed customers’ items in boxes recycled from shipments. If you walk into any Sam’s or Costco location, you can see heaps of boxes lining the front of the store, available for the taking. Make sure you’re ready to show your membership card!
These are just some of the places you can score free boxes and save on your move! For affordable Austin movers, contact Apple Moving today. Our team is happy to provide you with a free over-the-phone moving quote for a local Austin move or to schedule an in-home consultation if you’re moving long distance. We look forward to serving you with cheap, reliable moving services!