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How to Find and Pack Boxes For Moving

Martha Lott
Written by Martha Lott
15th August 2018 (Last updated on Friday 10th May 2019)

The thought of spending money on packing boxes and packaging materials for your house removals can be stressful. Most removal companies will offer a packing service where they provide you with the cardboard boxes, but there’s many easy alternative ways you can get your cardboard boxes free for your move.

Taking a trip down to your local supermarket at the right time, visiting the small coffee shops and restaurants in town and searching sites like Gumtree and Facebook community pages are all simple but effective ways to find free cardboard boxes in your area. 

At Compare My Move, we’ve compiled a list of the 6 best places you can get free cardboard boxes and packing materials, along with how to correctly tape your moving boxes so they don’t break during the move. 

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This article will cover the following points

Where to Find Moving Boxes How to Pack Your Boxes Save Money on Your Home Removal

Where to Find Moving Boxes

Getting your hands on cardboard boxes doesn't have to be a difficult task, and you don't have to look far either. We've put together 6 of the best places you can get free cardboard boxes for your move. 

1. Friends and Family

It’s a good idea to start with your friends and family as it’s more than likely they’ll have some spare boxes left over from when they moved house, or they’ve just got a pile of boxes from deliveries that they haven’t got around to recycling yet. You’ll be doing them a favour as well. Alternatively, they could point you in the right direction if they know someone who has boxes 

2. Supermarkets

Most big supermarkets give away cardboard boxes that are usually varied in size, which will come in handy when you’re packing specific items. Often, they will give them to you for free as they are glad to be rid of them knowing they will be recycled. It’s also worth asking if they have any wooden crates as these will be good for shifting heavier items. You’ll have a better guarantee of the cardboard boxes being available if you go to the supermarket in the morning, just after they've had a delivery. 

3. Local Shops and Restaurants

Cafes and restaurants will receive a few deliveries a week with a variety of different sized boxes ranging from small boxes of fruit to big bulk orders of food, that will only be going to the recycling tip anyway. You’ll be helping independent and small local businesses by taking the cardboard off their hands as well. There's often a variety of different sized boxes stacked up outside bars ready for recycling day.  

4. Gumtree

The online selling platform, Gumtree, has listings for free cardboard boxes daily. The benefit of using a site like Gumtree is that you can filter it to be set to only listings local to you.  Similarly, sites like Facebook will come in handy when you’re on the hunt for something in particular. You can let everyone know you’re on the lookout for boxes and anyone that’s needing to get rid of theirs will jump at the chance to offload them. Use community pages for your local neighbourhood or even groups specifically set up for swapping items or people looking to pass moving boxes on. You can also use these sites to declutter your home before moving, meaning you'll be packing less items. 

5. Plan Ahead

Now that you’ve planned your home removal, you’ll want to start thinking ahead. Every time you have an item delivered to your house, save the box and bubble wrap and make a collection for when it comes to packing. Ask your friends, family and work colleagues to start doing the same when they have big deliveries. Your workplace may be able to offer you free cardboard boxes too. Your collection of packing materials and boxes will soon build up before you know it.

6. Get Creative

Using your imagination when it comes to alternatives for cardboard boxes is a great way to get creative if you're moving house with children. It'll encourage them to get involved in the packing and give you a helping hand as well. Using items such as laundry baskets or suitcases that can double up as packing boxes on moving day is an innovative way of making the most of the space you have.

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How to Pack Your Boxes

If you have to assemble your cardboard boxes, you’ll want to start at the bottom of the box to maximise safety. Use plenty of tape to form the 'H' method on the box.

Make sure that you are confident that your box has been sealed correctly. If you're unsure, add some more tape along any other lengths of tape for added security. You should use thick parcel tape as it is the strongest type and will stop the box from breaking.

how to tape boxes
Tom Wilson, 10th September 2018
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You will need:

  • Your free cardboard boxes
  • Brown tape 
  • Tape dispenser
  • Fragile labels or tape
  • Detailed labels

Step 1 - Start by folding the two smaller flaps of the box in.

Step 2 – Follow this by folding the two larger flaps to complete the shape of the box.

Step 3 - Place secure brown tape along the centre of the box where the two large flaps meet.

Step 4 - Seal the edges along the left and right-hand side of the larger flaps to form a ‘H’. 

Save Money on Your Home Removal

Now that you’ve got all your packaging materials together and a rough idea of what you’ll be packing, you’ll want to book a removal company. Get connected with Compare My Move to save up to 70% off the cost of your home removal.