Bob Vila Radio: The 1 Thing You Shouldn’t Pay for When Moving

Moving is stressful, and expensive—not least because cardboard boxes cost rather a lot when you buy them new. Here are some tips on how to get all the boxes you need, free of charge.

Moving to new digs? Make sure your belongings are well packed, so they make the trip safely. Of course to do that, you’ll need cardboard boxes. Probably a bunch. Rather than paying top dollar to buy the boxes new, why not try scoring some that have seen some miles but are still serviceable?

Free Moving Boxes



Listen to BOB VILA ON FREE MOVING BOXES or read below:

Start at your grocery store. Most stores compact their boxes. Call ahead to see if you can drop by before they commence the crushing.

Office supply stores, liquor stores, bookstores and your neighborhood home renovation center are all great sources for free, used heavy-duty boxes. Big box stores like Costco, Sam’s Club or Walmart are also likely to have a ready supply.

If you don’t need the strongest boxes, check out local retailers that receive frequent deliveries. Discount dollar stores are often a good bet.

Another good bet: Craigslist and online neighborhood forums sometimes get postings from generous folks who have recently moved and are looking to pass along their boxes. Also check the U-Haul Box Exchange and, two other popular potential sources.

Finally, make the rounds of local yard sales. We suggest visiting toward the end, or else you might be tempted to bring home more than cardboard!

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!