Originally published on KSL.
Moving is not easy. Even after you’ve found somewhere to live, you still have to pack up all that stuff, call up your closest friends and family to cash in a favor, and contemplate why you own so many seemingly useless things.
One thing that shouldn’t be hard: acquiring the moving boxes to pack all those aforementioned belongings. Here’s a list of where to get moving boxes—and for free! You can not only cross “get boxes” off your to-do list, but you can also meet that resolution to be more frugal.
Local big box retailers
Typically home improvement stores and supercenters stock just about everything late at night, 3-4 times per week. Your best bet for getting free boxes is to call ahead and ask what their schedule is. Once you know when boxes are discarded, you can either stop by or call and request that boxes are held somewhere for you to pick up.
Local liquor stores
Whether or not you partake of the beverages sold, local liquor stores usually always have a stockpile of boxes for free.
Some places pile them outside next to the dumpster each night and they’re yours for the taking. Other stores keep boxes in the back or next to the front door; you just have to go in and ask.
They offer small boxes that are good for carrying books and heavier loads. Sometimes you can also pick up wine boxes with cardboard inserts that are perfect for individually packing fragile glasses.
Fast food restaurants
We’ll let you in on a secret that the McDonald’s Fry Box Appreciation Society already knows; fry boxes are perfect for moving. They’re very sturdy, and since the fries arrive frozen in plastic bags, there won’t be any greasy odor lingering.
According to message boards, the best time to call is in the early afternoon (between breakfast and lunch), since sometimes boxes will be filled up with other things or thrown out before closing.
U-Haul box exchange
Although it costs money to get brand new boxes from U-Haul, they have a “Leave a Box/Take a Box” bin at several locations where you can pick up used boxes for free.
They also run a box exchange board on their website that connects you with people in your area that just moved and have boxes to spare. Plus, you can use the site to earn some good karma by posting your boxes after you’ve unpacked.
Have you found any hidden treasure troves for boxes? Let us know below!