Where to find free moving boxes

by | Mar 21, 2024 | Moving, Moving Guides

Finding a good source of free moving boxes is a great way to save money on your move. A typical home needs more than seventy boxes to pack everything – and that number is even higher for those of us who love clutter.

The cost of all those new boxes can be a hefty addition to the already expensive prospect of moving house. Getting your hands on a haul of useful boxes is a great way to start your move.

First though – what makes a useful moving box?


What makes a good moving box?

You’ll need several different kinds of boxes for your move (we’ve got more details below), but when looking for free moving boxes there are a few criteria to keep in mind.

Good moving boxes are:

  • Clean and dry
  • Structurally Strong
  • Not ripped or folded incorrectly
  • Lightweight
  • Large enough for multiple items
  • Small enough for one person to carry

With these in mind, think beyond the classic cardboard-cube moving box. Some good examples to look for are plastic tubs (especially with lids), reinforced book boxes, large electronics boxes and even reinforced plastic carrier bags.


Where can I find free moving boxes near me?

Many businesses and organisations dispose of hundreds of useful plastic boxes every day. Usually, staff are happy to let you take some of the boxes home if you ask politely.



Supermarkets receive hundreds of boxes of deliveries every week, so they’re constantly getting rid of cardboard. These are a great source of large, sturdy boxes for general packing and electronics.



Books are typically delivered in reinforced boxes because they’re so heavy. Your local bookshop might have some spare for you to pack up your home library.



Fruit and vegetables are usually delivered in lightweight stacking crates. Though they usually don’t have a top, they’re useful for internal organisation or moving delicate items like houseplants.



If you work in or live near an office, you might be able to grab some free paper boxes. While many offices now use little paper, some large companies still get through reams every day. Like book boxes, boxes for copier paper are reinforced and great for heavy items.


Friends and Family

Do you know anyone who moved recently? They may well have their boxes and be looking for a responsible way to get rid of them. Why not swap some help unpacking with taking the boxes away with you?


Online groups

There are multiple online groups dedicated to sharing and reselling items between locals. Some are exclusively for free items, such as Freecycle, which has groups all over the UK. Others like Gumtree and Facebook marketplace are more focused on selling items but do have some users looking to give things away.


What kind of moving boxes do I need?

When sourcing your boxes, look for a mixture of sizes and shapes. Most should be at least 12″x12″x18″. Too many small boxes will mean you spend more time packing and unpacking, and more time loading and unloading, costing you more money.

Some smaller boxes are useful for heavier items like books, appliances paper work. If you can’t find any, combine heavy items with light and bulky pillows, blankets, coats or soft toys in a large box. The padding will protect items and stop the boxes from being too heavy.


When should I get moving boxes?

In our complete moving home checklist, we recommend getting your boxes at least two weeks before your move date. Finding free boxes can take longer than just ordering them directly, so start looking in the month leading up to your move.


Other ways to save when you move

Looking for other ways to cut the cost of moving? Read our top tips here, as well as our guide to unexpected costs to watch out for.

There’s also an even easier way to save while you move. Sign up for Please Connect Me’s free utility service and save up to £397 on your annual bills as well as an average 7 hours of admin, all completely free.



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