Free Cardboard Boxes for Dry Storage

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Here’s the best way to find and package free cardboard boxes for moving or storage.

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