Making the decision not to purchase your moving cartons is an effective way to cut costs when moving to a new location. However, the process of locating them isn’t always convenient. Here are a few tips on how to quickly and easily obtain moving boxes, free of cost.

1: Ask around

Do you know someone who has recently moved? Has a new family just moved into your neighbourhood? Chances are, they still have a number of empty boxes taking up space in their home that they would gladly give away

You can also send out a mass email (or Facebook status) to your family and friends in case someone has boxes they’re about to throw away. Just ask!

2: Seek out stores

Chains like Costco and Walmart, which order produce in bulk, often discard the cardboard boxes that contain shipments. Liquor stores, book stores and coffees shops also receive shipments in sturdy cardboard boxes, so check those out, too! Ask employees for unneeded cartons, especially solid ones best suited toheavy jobs.

3: Visit large offices

These are bound to have excess cartons from ordering paper, supplies, computers, and other electronics. These boxes will be ideal for packing blankets, linens, and smaller items, but leave the heavier lifting to the more standard moving cartons. Sturdy boxes can also be found in office mailrooms, so look out for those. Ask a friend to search their workplace (before recycling day!) or scour your own office building.

4: Search online

Don’t underestimate the promise of a personal ad. Check out sites like Craigslist, Kijiji, or Freecycle for people nearby looking to get rid of their moving boxes for free, or post your own “wanted” notice.

5: Try U-Haul Customer Connect

U-Haul has set up a moving supply exchange program for its customers. Just enter your location or a keyword and see what’s available in your area.

6: Hunt for recycling bins

Those found in apartment complexes are often full of collapsed moving boxes after new tenants have moved in. You can also ask moving companies such as U-Haul for empty boxes that customers have left on rental trucks, which the company usually discards anyway.

7: Dumpster dive

If you’re in need of a last resort, consider this! Dig through Dumpsters found behind retailers and businesses. If you’re lucky, you just may come across a gold mine of large, good quality moving boxes with a little patience and willpower!

After your move, don’t forget to return the favour. Offer your used boxes to friends, family, and coworkers, or post an ad online, because who knows who might need them next?