Little girl in a box

Did somebody say free? We love free things and moving is costly enough as it is. Here’s an early housewarming gift from the team at nextstore. We’re giving you the ultimate guide on where to find free moving boxes prior to your big move. All we ask is that you share this with another mover in need when the time comes and that you recycle your boxes when your move is over. 

1.) Local Recycling Center- Save Free Boxes

Let’s try to get one more life out of these boxes and reuse them once more before recycling them. Stop by your local recycling center to find dozens of free moving boxes in all shapes and sizes being recycled by your neighbors. They may even have other moving supplies that were just dropped off by somebody finishing the moving process.  

2.) Coffee Shops and Restaurants 

Why not grab a cup of coffee or some salty fries to reward yourself for a hard day of moving? Stop by local restaurants to get your hands on some great smaller boxes that would be perfect for clothing and kitchen wares.  

  • McDonalds: Every day in the morning. Those delicious greasy fries have to come in something. If you call early in the morning the employees will set aside boxes for you. 
  • Starbucks: Tuesdays. They generally start getting boxes for the week on Tuesdays and then every other day. If you call ahead, they will be happy to give you a few. You can also use this moment to grab some caffeine for your stressful move. 

3.) Grocery Stores 

This is a perfect opportunity to knock something off your list of errands while also scoring free moving boxes. Most local grocery stores will be willing to give you boxes as soon as they’re finished unloading the items in them. Make sure you call ahead to see what time they generally unload the items.  

  • Kroger: Any day around 5 PM. These produce boxes may even have lids with them! For a long-distance move, that’s huge. To get them just walk up to an employee in the produce department and ask for them. 
  • Trader Joes: Morning and near closing. Trader Joe’s is a great grocery store- they’ll have boxes of varying sizes and a lot of boxes with strong walls. Simply ask a manager if you can take some. 
  • Safeway: Around 8 AM. Find an employee in a green apron (produce clerks) who should be finishing unloading produce around this time. Simply ask them for the boxes and they’ll be happy to give you them instead of throwing them away.  


4.) Large Retailers 

Wow, this one is really making us want to take a trip to Costco to load up on too much of something and grab a hot dog. Most large retailers get hundreds if not thousands of boxes a week. They’re happy to give you a few before recycling the rest. 

  • Walmart: After 10 PM or around 6 AM. Generally, Walmart associates unload new merchandise at night which frees up a ton of boxes for movers. They also unload the produce early in the morning which leaves additional moving boxes up for grabs. 
  • Target: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday before noon. If you call ahead Target employees will actually set aside boxes for you to pick up. 
  • Barnes and Noble: Any day. We love books and strong book boxes, call your local Barnes and Noble to pick up some free boxes. 
  • Office Depot: Tuesday 12-3 PM. This is when they have most of their large boxes. Definitely call ahead first. 
  • Walgreens: Tuesday at noon. This is generally when they get large shipments. Call ahead of stop by the store to ask. 
  • Rite Aid: Saturday Morning. They generally get most of their shipments on this day and will have extra boxes. 
  • PetSmart: Tuesdays and Thursdays. These days they get their shipments and will have some available. Call ahead to make sure those are the best days to pick up the boxes. 
  • Petco: Monday at 9 AM. It’s an early day to get boxes from Petco but it’s worth it for the large boxes. 
  • Dollar Tree: Tuesdays and Wednesdays. What’s better than everything being a dollar? Everything being free. Call your local Dollar Tree these mornings to score free boxes. 
  • Costco: Any time. Being a member of a wholesale club like Costco is awesome. Generally, they package groceries in leftover boxes which is a huge win for customers that are moving. If you aren’t a member, try giving them a call, they may set aside some boxes for you. Their boxes come in all sizes which makes it a perfect place to grab some oversized boxes. 

5.) Craigslist Free Section 

People in our communities hate seeing things go to waste and will often post them in the Craigslist free section to rehome them. Often those that have just completed a move will post their used moving boxes here to find someone that could use them. Just make sure you pass along the good fortune and list your boxes here when you’re done with them. 

6.) Ask Local Community Facebook and Nextdoor Groups for Free Moving Boxes

Similar to Craigslist, local community groups hosted on Facebook and the Nextdoor app are often great places to find boxes. These boxes pop up occasionally, so it is important to continually check these groups leading up to your move. These neighbors may also have other moving supplies that they’d be happy to give you for free.  

7.) Your Office

Boxes for moving may be a secret perk of your office. If your company gets paper and office supplies delivered, there will probably be boxes left empty for you to use. Make sure you coordinate with the office manager before they are thrown away or recycled. 

8.) Local Wine Stores 

Maybe a bottle of wine is necessary to celebrate moving. You may want to stop by your local wine store to see if they have a great bottle of pinot and some extra boxes laying around. Generally, these boxes will be great for smaller items and kitchen wares, just make sure you take out the dividers. Call ahead and see what day they get their deliveries so you can go there when they have the most on-hand.  

9.) U-Haul Customer Connect 

We can’t recommend storing your stuff with them, that’s our job at nextstore, but we can suggest checking out the U-Haul Customer Connect page for a place to find free boxes. This service connects U-Haul customers to “sell, give away, or find boxes and moving supplies.” Here you can post requests for things and get in touch with those that might have items you need. 

10.) Electronics Stores 

Good things may come in small boxes, but great things come in big boxes. Appliances and electronics are generally large and come in large boxes. Calling your local electronics store (like Best Buy) may be a great way to find larger boxes to fit some of your bulkier items. By adding a wood dowel to larger boxes you can easily create your own wardrobe boxes. 

Moving can be a challenge, but using nextstore to store your stuff during and after the process can make everything cheaper and easier. The nextstore app allows renters to find the right space in the right place for the right price. Whether it’s just a small space for your winter clothes or a large space for a home improvement project, nextstore is perfect for storing your items no matter what the need. We offer rentals based on the dates you actually need the space, unlike our competitors who want to charge you for months at a time, that means finding a short-term space on nextstore is cheaper and easier than anywhere else. nextstore is here for you with short term storage in Denver and short term storage in Columbus.

Moving is a stressful time. Make sure you’re lifting things carefully and wearing a mask this year. For questions, comments, or help with anything, please reach out to, it’s really me (Brandon) in disguise.