Planning on moving house or relocating your business? Maybe you’re planning on putting items into storage? Then, it’s likely you’ll need some decent cardboard boxes to transport your belongings securely.
Moving and transportation costs can mount up so using free packing boxes for moving can help you to save money. Where can you find cardboard boxes for free? Here, we’ll reveal the very best places on where to get cardboard boxes for free in the UK.
1. Ask friends and family
One of the first and easiest places to find free moving boxes for moving is to ask friends, family and co-workers. Many people shop online so they may have some packing boxes which you can recycle. Even if you only get one or two decent sized boxes, it’s a good start to make.
2. Ask local Facebook groups
Social media is an excellent place to connect with others, especially those in your local area. Many areas have local Facebook groups where you can find people who live close to you. Some people may have spare boxes which you can use for your move. Just make a post asking for free packing boxes and see if anyone responds to your request. It really is that easy.
3. Ask local recycling centres
Local recycling centres usually have plenty of cardboard boxes, particularly as it’s often where people get rid of them. A word of warning though – it’s best to inspect them carefully for signs of damage or infestation.
4. Ask a local fast food restaurant
One of the best places to get boxes for moving is via local fast-food restaurants. Fast food places, such as McDonald’s and KFC, get regular deliveries housed in large cardboard boxes so it’s well worth asking if they can spare you a few.
5. Look on Gumtree
Gumtree is a hotspot for free stuff, including cardboard boxes. You can navigate the website to find free boxes in your local area. If you’re lucky, you may find someone with a couple of cardboard boxes you can have. Remember to check for damage or wet spots as these can make the boxes too weak to transport your belongings securely.
6. Check on Freecycle
Freecycle is a website where people get rid of their unwanted items for free. If you find someone with cardboard boxes, it’s best to ask how much these have been used, especially if this person has used them for transporting their items during a move. You need strong, sturdy boxes to place your belongings in otherwise you could end up with broken or damaged goods.
7. Ask your supermarket
Supermarkets receive many large deliveries on a daily basis, meaning they obtain many cardboard boxes. They will likely have a few packing boxes to spare. Additionally, these boxes have only been used to store groceries or other household items, so they’ll probably be in very good condition. Make a point of heading to the supermarket either early in the morning between 7 am and 8 am or late at night after 10 pm, as these are key times when shelves are restocked and you’re going to be able to ask a member of staff who replenishes stock.
8. Check your local discount stores
Local discount stores, such as B&M, Poundland and Home Bargains stock an extensive collection of goods and receive them in large cardboard boxes. Other local discount stores also sell items in bulk so they’ll probably have packing boxes that you can make use of. They’ll be happy for you to take them. After all, it means there are fewer boxes for them to dispose of.
9. Ask your nearest schools
Schools receive lots of stationery, paper, books and food, all being shipped in packing boxes. If you have children in school, you can easily ask one of the teachers or assistant staff members if they have any spare boxes you can use. Alternatively, phone your local school first to see if they can assist you.
10. Ask your local print shop
Print shops take delivery of reams of paper and card, all being packed in strong cardboard boxes. Try ringing your local store to ask if they have any you can use. The bonus is that they’ll only have been used for paper and stationery type of items so you can expect to gain strong packing boxes in great condition.
11. Use the power of social media
Alongside Facebook groups, you can also make use of shoutouts on social media. Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are great places to put a shoutout on. Your followers may know someone in your local area who has cardboard boxes for your move. Even if you are only able to get one or two boxes, you can always try other places on this list too.
12. Ask around local businesses
Greengrocers, bookshops, electrical stores, pharmacies, department stores, the list goes on. There is an abundance of local businesses that you can ask for free boxes from. Most of these stores will be able to offer good quality, clean packing boxes for your move. Bookshops, in particular, will have extra sturdy boxes to house your valuable or breakable items in.
13. Ask your local off-license
Off-license shops have alcohol delivered. As these are housed in glass bottles, they are packed in extremely sturdy cardboard boxes. These shops also tend to be smaller in size so they’re happy to give out their unneeded packing materials. After all, they’ll only be required to dispose of them elsewhere.
14. Check restaurants and bars in your area
Restaurants and bars may get deliveries of alcohol and food each week. While these may only be limited amounts, it’s still worth asking if they have any free packing boxes for moving house. Try heading to local areas where there are many bars and restaurants on one street. Going to popular areas means you can ask several places in one go, helping to save you time.
15. Ask coffee shops
Coffee, coffee cups and food are just a few items that are being delivered to your local coffee shops. Large, branded stores like Costa and Starbucks are more likely to receive regular deliveries as these are popular chains with many customers. While these boxes may be smaller than other stores, both of these brands are committed to recycling and being environmentally friendly so there’s a good chance that they will be willing to give you their free cardboard boxes for moving. Additionally, Costa also accepts non-branded things for recycling so you can take your boxes back when you have used them.
16. Find local colleges or universities
If your removal or storage move is scheduled during autumn or spring, you may be able to get boxes from students who have moved into or out of local halls of residence. While this only really works for people who have colleges or universities close to them, if you’re willing to travel you may be able to find someone in your nearest city. Email or phone the college or hall of residence directly to see if they can help you.
17. Check DIY stores
A DIY store is filled with heavy, often large objects like paint, decorating supplies and tools, meaning strong boxes are used to deliver them. Ask an employee at your nearest DIY store. You’ve possibly got more chance of success at a smaller store rather than at a large brand, such as B&Q. Big chains tend to sell cardboard boxes for moving so they’ll be unwilling to give you them for free.
18. Look on Freegle
Freegle is similar to Freecycle in that people give away their unwanted items for free. Cardboard boxes regularly appear on this website so if you’re lucky you’ll find someone in your local area who is giving them away. Alternatively, you may have to travel.
19. Ask on Nextdoor
Nextdoor is where local communities come together. If a local Facebook group doesn’t bring you any joy on the free cardboard box hunt, then you may have better luck on here. It’s a local community group and it’s free to sign up to this site, plus all neighbours are verified which ensures you’re only collecting boxes from trusted people.
20. Check charity shops
Charity shops receive a lot of donations and some of these may be given in cardboard boxes. While these shops are probably happy to give you their boxes, they may not be in the best condition as they may have been used several times. However, you may also come across packing boxes in excellent condition too. Just assess them for any damage and infestations. If they only have a few tears, you could use them for transporting items that are lighter in weight. Just make sure you tape them up securely.
21. Check behind shops in your town centre
Your local town centre shops may flatten their boxes and keep them at the back of their business property for collection. You’ll need to add tape to these to put them back into their correct shape. Furthermore, you’ll need to check them for damage. If it’s been raining, they’re probably going to be in very poor condition and unusable. However, it’s worth looking here as you may be able to source several free boxes at a time.
22. Local warehouses
Local warehouses and distribution centres are a goldmine for packing boxes. As they are only going to be thrown away or recycled, you’ve got a great chance of acquiring them for free. Either phone them to ask or plan a quick visit to see if you get lucky.
Obtain free cardboard boxes with our insider tips
Now you know where to get cardboard boxes for free in the UK, you can make a start on collecting them for your move or storage trip. Knowing where to get moving boxes in the UK will help you save money and time, especially if you have a lot of items to transport. Whether you’re moving house or planning a business relocation, follow our top tips to get your packing boxes for free.
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