Here's where to get cardboard boxes for moving so you can get your sh*t together

Get packing

Cardboard boxes on rainbow background
(Image credit: Future)

Having cardboard boxes or storage containers on hand is always a good idea as they're strong and sturdy, yet lightweight and easy to handle. They can be used for just about anything and are essential while moving apartments

You want something that's gonna get the job done so they don't break and spill your undies all over the sidewalk (I would die tbh). Plus, you can reuse them to pack and store seasonal items or just recycle them (be sure to break them down first, don't be that neighbor!). 

With this in mind, I've scouted a variety of places where one could snag complimentary cardboard boxes… or buy some fresh ones for pretty reasonable prices.

Where to get Cardboard Boxes for Free 

Before you break out the Apply Pay for some new boxes, try a few methods for securing some free boxes. You may be surprised what you can scrounge up without breaking the bank!

Local businesses

Inquire at your local grocery store, liquor store, library, or other businesses to see if they have any boxes they're willing to give away. Many businesses are happy to give away their used boxes, as it saves them the cost of disposing of them. Businesses such as Costco, Walmart, Walgreens, and dollar stores are great places to check. 


Trying knocking on a few doors to ask for any boxes your neighbors might have on hand. They may appreciate not having to recycle them! If you're a little anxious about it, try leaving a note posted in your apartment hallway or in the lobby. 

Social media

Check online classifieds or social media groups for people who are giving away boxes. There are often people who are giving away boxes for free, as they are moving or decluttering their homes.

Local donation centers

Visit a local recycling center or donation center. Recycling centers and donation centers often have a large supply of boxes that they are willing to give away. People may have left boxes behind from dropping off their donations.

Around the house

It may seem like an obvious one, but you may unknowingly have some boxes on hand already! Look for leftover Amazon boxes, large clothes bags, or those food boxes you forgot to recycle (looking at my stash of Hello Fresh boxes).

Where to Buy Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes can be bought from a variety of places, all the way from your local hardware stores, moving companies, and Amazon. Below, you’ll find affordable places to purchase cardboard boxes and other supplies. Locating good cardboard boxes doesn’t have to be a drag! 

Hardware stores & office supply stores

Hardware stores such as Home Depot and Lowes are ideal for snagging cardboard prices at a bargain. At these stores, you could find a variety of cardboard and heavy-duty moving boxes that could make your packing process seamless.

Moving companies

Moving companies will save you the extra trips to the store for boxes as they’ll let you know how many boxes you need. As packing supply costs are typically determined in the final moving quote, incurring extra charges is a thing you won’t have to fret about. 


We all know that Amazon is the spot where we could find anything we need! You can order any box size from any brand you prefer. You could even order other packing materials you need such as bubble wrap, tissue paper, and heavy-duty tape. Double-check your moving checklist so you don't forget anything!

Tips for moving boxes

When buying cardboard boxes, it is important to consider the size and weight of the items that will be stored in them. It is also important to choose boxes that are sturdy and well-made to ensure that your belongings are safe during transport. Here are five extra points to remember:

1) Buy the correct box size  — oversized boxes will be more difficult to pack and move, while undersized boxes may not provide enough protection for your belongings.

2) Choose boxes made from sturdy materials — corrugated cardboard is the best type of material for boxes, as it provides good protection against damage.

3) Make sure boxes have sturdy handles  — this will make it easier to carry the boxes when you are moving.

4) Purchase tape to seal boxes — this will help to prevent your belongings from falling out of the boxes during transport.

5) Label each box — this will help you to keep track of your belongings and ensure that they are delivered to the correct location.

By following these tips, you can be sure that you’ll buy the ideal cardboard boxes for your needs.

Aida M. Toro
Freelance Writer

About Me:

Hello! My name is Aida M. Toro and I am a freelance writer that loves cultivating stories about amazing people, fashion, interiors, art, and food. I currently write for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, The House Magazine, Hobnob Magazine, The C-Word, and Real Homes. I live in West New York, New Jersey, which is literally a 10-minute ferry ride or 20-minute bus ride away from New York City. Although I was born and raised in West New York, I consider NYC my home, as I believe it to be the place where all dreams come to fruition, and of course, spend most of my time in. When I’m not writing, I love perusing the city streets and taking snaps with my iPhone of street art along with random things, scoping out new restaurants as well as their spaces, shopping at some of my favorite stores, spending time with family and friends, walking my cockapoodle Benji, and working out at Lifetime or DOGPOUND, which are some of the top fitness spaces in Manhattan and overall the U.S.