A lot of people try to save money when they’re moving by getting free boxes from friends or from local stores. Free cardboard boxes can be a good option, especially if you’re only moving a short distance. There are pros and cons to used boxes when compared to buying new boxes.
Where to Find Free Boxes
Most liquor stores will supply you with boxes if you ask for their discards. Boxes that are designed to carry wine and liquor bottles are useful for packing delicate items such as glassware, stemware, and vases. They typically have internal compartments that prevent breakable things from clanking against one another.
Grocery store boxes can also be useful. For example, many produce boxes consist of two halves that fit together with built-in handle openings on the size. They’re easy to carry and usually quite sturdy.
Pros and Cons of Free Cardboard Boxes
Obviously, people want free boxes because they are free. However, there are some potential issues you should be aware of:
- Used boxes may not be in the best condition. For example, a leak in a grocery or liquor box could weaken the cardboard and make it unsuitable for moving anything heavy or breakable.
- Used boxes may accidentally transport pests into your home and then to your next home.
- Used boxes may be dirty from food or drink spills, inviting unpleasant smells, mold, or mildew.
- Size choices are limited when you rely on free cardboard boxes.
- Many grocery boxes are too large to pack full of heavy items such as books.
- Many free boxes are too thin to carry a heavy load or to protect it from being crushed.
- If you are shipping items during your move, you will not be able to use branded boxes to ship. To use a box to mail via the US Postal Service, all marking and previous labels must be removed or completely blacked out. However, regular packing boxes with “This Side Up” markings are allowed.
Pros and Cons of Buying Boxes vs Finding Free Boxes
Buying new boxes may seem expensive if you are on a strict budget. Finding free boxes may seem easier. However, new boxes have many advantages. At a minimum, it’s smart to get specialized boxes to handle the trickiest packing challenges. If you are buying new boxes, here’s what to expect.:
- Choose from a wide variety of sizes.
- Get stronger, heavy-duty cardboard.
- Find divided compartments and other special features for more secure packaging.
- Never worry about cleanliness, water damage, and other used box problems.
Final Thoughts About Free Boxes
The takeaway here is that you should be cautious with used boxes, especially when packing heavy or fragile items. If you can’t afford all new boxes, try buying good boxes for your most valuable possessions. Specialized boxes are available now that provide perfect fits for hard-to-pack items and easily broken items.
When you decide to buy boxes, don’t limit yourself to what you can buy in retail stores. They don’t carry a full line of box products. You can’t even find everything you need at a hardware store.
For better boxes, head to a Storage West facility where we have all the supplies a person could need PLUS expert help. Bring your packing concerns to our on-site manager and get help deciding how to spend your box budget.
Moving boxes and other moving supplies are better if you have an expert to assist you. Our boxes are superior to the type you’ll find in the back alley by the liquor store or grocery store. They are clean, tough, and, in some cases, heavy-duty. We offer premium packing materials and high-strength boxes that resist crushing. Protective coverings are available for your large items that won’t fit in a box.
With our Here for You Guarantee, your storage unit rental can net you 50% off on moving boxes and supplies. This is in addition to three special boxes that are our free gift with the guarantee. Click here to review our available spaces and make a reservation!