12 Places Where to Get Moving Boxes

Moving prices in New York City and United States, understanding a moving contract and defining key terms, and how moving companies estimate moving costs generally

All of us have, at one or another stage in our lives, had the experience of ‘packing’ and ‘moving’. Either from our parent’s home into our own pod. Or from a one-bedroom into a family home, to make space for the ‘surprise’ on the way. Or perhaps, downsizing to a granny flat, when all the ‘birds’ have flown from the nest.

It usually is one of the most stressful experiences one can endure. Deciding on what to keep and what to throw out. Packing everything that ‘made the list’, in such a way that it remains intact whilst being moved. Then unpacking…. Holding your breath, as every cardboard box is opened and scanned for any breakages.

And that’s where the dilemma, of keeping all the treasures safe and sound, comes in. Where to find, from small cardboard boxes, to medium, to something larger in the cardboard variety. Ever try finding extra-large moving boxes to accommodate unyielding and bulky valuables. Or the specialty boxes such as mattress moving boxes or wardrobe moving boxes? Or what about mirror moving boxes, picture moving boxes and tv moving boxes? And doing all of this, without it costing you an arm and a leg?

Professional removal companies, usually add in the cost of the packing supplies, in their quotations. Some, such as Trident Moving, out of New York City have the perfect packing solution. They have custom crates that will allow you to move delicate and large items without worry. They create large equipment, artwork, glass, or marble topped and fragile items.

If you are doing a DIY move, you know it comes with a tight budget. Cardboard moving boxes have to be free and sturdy. Here is a list of places in Brooklyn and New York City, you can find free moving boxes.

1. Internet

Do a search on Google or Yahoo for ‘movers’ or ‘free cardboard moving boxes NYC’.

2. Social Media

Place a post on Facebook Marketplace asking for free moving boxes. Also do a search on Marketplace, asking for packing supplies or moving boxes in NYC.

Let your WhatsApp status do the work for you. Do a status update. Put out your request, especially for the ‘specialty’ boxes – wardrobe or mattress moving boxes. Everyone in your contact list can see your update, and easily forward it. 

3. Freegle and Freecycle

Ask if anyone has any free but sturdy boxes they are offering. Often people who have recently moved, just want to get rid of the packaging in the most effortless way.

4. U-Haul Box Exchange

They have a message board, with a ‘search by location’ function. You can use it to find free cardboard boxes in Brooklyn or NYC.

5. Craiglist

Under the ‘For Sale’ heading, there is a ‘Free’ section. A recent search showed of New York’s Craiglist, showed nearly 20 sources for free boxes.

6. Community Groups

These platforms, such as Nextdoor.com, are treasure troves for finding anything free. Just a ‘heads up’, browse the “Classifieds” section. There are also closed neighborhood/city Facebook groups, where you can join and ask for free moving boxes. Once you have moved, you can use the same platform to get rid of all your packaging.

7. Retailers

Start out with the larger retailers – Walmart, Target, Costco. They get shipments on a daily basis. They ought to have boxes in virtually every size and shape. Their boxes are usually in a good condition and constructed more sturdily.

8. Schools, colleges and universities

They receive regular deliveries, in all shapes and sizes. Make an offer to the janitorial staff to take the boxes off their hands.

9. Bookstores

Just the place to pick up free small to medium cardboard moving boxes. Ideal for all your own books, knick-knacks and last minute packing.

10. Offices

There isn’t an office that doesn’t have a few paper ream boxes and lids, stacked away somewhere. In larger office buildings or complexes, ask around if they don’t utilize a Recycle Room.

11. Recycling drop-off points

Most cities make use of multiple locations where they accept flattened cardboard boxes, in every shape and size.

12. Grocery and liquor stores

The more ‘close to home’ option. Receiving shipments on a weekly basis, with their boxes usually being sturdier. When we moved, I asked the manager to put aside a few of the boxes in good condition. When I went to do my shopping, I would simply go round to the loading bay and pick up the cardboard boxes. No mess, no fuss.


Along with the moving boxes, there are a few extra packing supplies you will need. Decent packing tape, bubble wrap, shrink wrap, and packing peanuts should be added to your list. When you are moving with Trident Moving, they are taking care of extra packing supplies for free.

Don’t forget when your move is done, offer your moving boxes free to anyone moving.

Happy packing.

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