Moving isn’t cheap, which is why you may be looking to cut costs where you can.
An easy way to make moving more affordable is to get free packing supplies.
Items like boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and tissue paper can be expensive, and it’s even more expensive if you have a large household and a lot of belongings.
Thankfully, you have plenty of options when it comes to getting free packing supplies.
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Where to Get Free Packing Supplies Near Me & Online
Here are the best places where you can find packing supplies for free.
For free stuff, Craigslist is the place to go.
You can find pretty much anything for free on Craigslist, including packing materials. People give away supplies like boxes and bubble wrap all the time on Craigslist
To find free packing supplies on Craigslist, go to the “Free” section. This can be found under the “For Sale” section of your city’s Craigslist. You’ll then be taken to the “Free” section where you’ll find people giving away lots of different items.
You can filter the results by searching for the item you want, like “boxes,” “bubble wrap,” “tissue paper,” “packing paper,” or “packing supplies.” This will show you if anyone is giving away any packing supplies near you.
- Browse Craigslist for free packing supplies here.
2. Check the “Take a Box, Leave a Box” area at your local U-Haul store.
Most people may not be aware of this, but every U-Haul store has a “Take a Box, Leave a Box” container full of gently used boxes and other moving supplies. These are items that earlier customers have left behind specifically to help other customers save some cash.
And when you are done with your moving supplies and don’t need them anymore, be sure to leave yours there for other people to enjoy the same benefit.
3. U-Haul Box Exchange Page
U-Haul has an Exchange page where customers can exchange boxes and other moving supplies with each other.
Here’s how it works: After moving, U-Haul customers post a list of their leftover supplies. And if you live nearby, you can go pick up these materials for free.
- Search the U-Haul Box Exchange Page here.
You may be able to get some free packing supplies, like boxes, at your local Walmart.
Contact your local store to ask if they have any boxes that you could take.
OfferUp is a site and app where people can buy and sell stuff locally.
There’s a section on the site just for free stuff where you may be able to find people giving away packing supplies like boxes.
The free items on OfferUp are just lumped together, which can make it tough to find specific items. You can find packing supplies by searching the site for the item you’re looking for, like “boxes,” “packing paper,” and “tissue paper.” Type in the item you’re looking for and hit search and you’ll get a list of results.
This list will include items that you have to pay for.
To make sure you get listing for free packing supplies, if there are any available, filter the results by “Price: Low to High.”
- Search for free packing supplies on OfferUp here.
6. Your office
If you work in an office, this can be a good place to get free packing supplies.
Offices receive lots of packages, so it’s likely you’ll find lots of packing supplies like boxes, packing paper, and bubble wrap at your office.
Of course, you will need to ask your boss for permission before you take anything.
7. Barnes & Noble
Since books are heavy, they require strong boxes for transport.
That’s why Barnes & Noble can be a good place to get boxes. You can get sturdy boxes for your move.
Just contact your local store to see if they have any boxes that they’d be willing to give you.
8. Garage sales or yard sales
People haul items to garage sales and yard sales in boxes, and they sell that stuff and are then left with a bunch of empty boxes.
Ask sellers for these empty boxes. It’s likely that they’ll be happy for you to take them off your hands. Just ask at local yard sales.
9. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is a site where you can buy and sell stuff locally. It actually has a section just for free stuff.
You can use the search bar on there to find free packing supplies. Enter what it is you’re looking for, like “boxes,” “bubble wrap,” or “packing paper,” into the search bar.
You may be able to find people giving away free packing supplies on there.
- Browse Facebook Marketplace here.
On Freecycle, people can give stuff away and get stuff for free.
You may be able to get some free packing supplies on there, such as boxes, bubble wrap, and tissue paper.
- Browse Freecycle here.
11. Home supply stores
Home supply stores, such as Bed, Bath and Beyond, Bath and Body Works, and Ikea have lots of boxes and they may be willing to give them away.
You can contact those big-name stores like Ikea and lesser-known local home supply stores to ask if they have any boxes and other packing supplies that they’d be willing to give you for free.
12. Reuse old boxes
You can repurpose any old packages you get and use them as packing supplies.
You likely get packages in the mail, so use any boxes and packing paper as packing supplies when you move.
Lots of us get Amazon packages, for example, so these old boxes and paper can be used as packing supplies.
13. Local recycling centers
Local recycling centers can be a good place to find boxes. Some people take their unwanted cardboard boxes to a recycling center.
So, visit your local recycling center or give them a call to ask if they have any cardboard boxes available.
Some centers have a designated area where people can drop off their gently used boxes for other people to reuse.
14. Bars and restaurants
Local bars and restaurants are another good option for anyone wanting to know where to get free packing supplies.
Bars and restaurants stock large quantities of liquor, glass bottles, canned goods, and plenty of other goods. That’s why they’re the perfect place to find sturdy boxes in a variety of sizes.
Call local bars and restaurants to ask if they have any boxes that they’d be willing to give to you for free.
15. Friends and Neighbors
Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they have any leftover packing supplies from their recent moves.
Other Places to Score Packing Supplies Free
Just to give you more ideas and options, here are a few other ways you can find free supplies for packing.
- Furniture Stores
- Grocery Stores
- Liquor Stores
- Office Supply Stores
- Appliance Stores
- Retail Stores
Scoring Free Packing Supplies: Summary
There are plenty of places to get free packing supplies. You just need to know where to look!
So next time you are moving or just need to pack and ship more than one or two items, you know exactly where to find free packing supplies!