Free Cardboard Boxes for Dry Storage

Learn where to find free cardboard boxes for moving or storage.

| December 2014/January 2015

If you need free cardboard boxes for moving or dry storage, head to your local copy center. Where there’s a copy center, there are large, empty paper boxes, which are strong, have a uniform shape for convenient stacking, and are free. Simply ask the employee behind the counter if you can take any empty paper boxes that would otherwise be thrown out.

For long-term storage, use extra care packing the boxes. Line each box with an open garbage bag before you put anything in. After the box is full, tightly tie the garbage bag closed to keep everything clean and dry. You can toss a dryer sheet in to help keep mice out. Because these boxes are made of cardboard, labeling them with a permanent marker is easy. If you need extra protection, or if storage conditions are a little damp, then you can slip a second garbage bag over the outside of the box.

Unlike plastic tubs, which are expensive and made of nonrenewable materials, you can pack paper boxes tightly — with their short ends facing out — so critters can’t get in between the boxes to nest.

John Hirtle
Greenland, New Hampshire

9/24/2015 11:47:28 PM

Two other ideas. Try your local ABC package store. If you go in the late afternoon, especially on Friday and Saturday (their busiest days), they have lots of great boxes. Our local store gladly lets you take all you want. These are very strong and glued with very strong glue, as they are made to hold heavy liquor bottles. Also try your local Walmart. Timing is important here. Most stocking is done on third shift and the employees take the boxes to the compactor just before their lunch and again towards the end of the shift. Our store does this at around 2AM and 5AM. If you go in and find them stocking they will happily give you all you want. I have gone in at 1:30AM and walked out with shopping carts full of boxes of all sizes. I have gotten enough boxes to move four houses full of stuff at these places and still go to get boxes when I need them. Thanks for the copy center idea, I had not thought of that one but will certainly add it to my list.

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