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Places to get FREE cardboard Moving Boxes

If you're on a tight budget it's normal to look for ways to minimise costs when it comes to moving home, and one of the first thoughts people have is where to find some free moving boxes.

Although we wouldn't recommend packing anything heavy in a box that was just meant to hold a few crisp packets, if you look around it is possible to find some reasonably sturdy cardboard boxes that will certainly help with the lighter stuff, or if you're in a rush just buy some affordable moving boxes from our regular supplier and have them delivered straight to you.

Pile of Cardboard Boxes

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Quick Pro Tip before you start looking for those freebie boxes, remember you don't just want any old free cardboard boxes you can find, what you're looking for are sturdy boxes that are capable of safely holding your belongings.

It's fine if they've been flat packed as you can easily put them back into shape and reinforce them if necessary with packaging tape, but avoid any cardboard boxes that have been left outside and feel a bit damp as they'll no longer be strong enough.

So.. without further delay, here's a list of some of the most likely places to find free cardboard boxes you can use for moving home:

Ask around your friends

Most young professional flat sharers in London move home on average about once every 18 months or so (not backed up by any particular research but that's what we think). So the chances are if you do a shout out on Facebook or your favourite social media platform, you'll likely find a few people who have recently moved house and quite possibly will have a few cardboard boxes left over they would be only too pleased to pass on.

Freebie websites

Next up, you can try looking on some of the 'free stuff' websites, like Gumtree, Freecycle or Freegle (there's probably others but these are three of the main ones). You'll need to keep the search as local as possible as you don't want to be incurring delivery costs, which could work out more expensive than buying a pack of new cardboard boxes.

Recycling centres

Usually a treasure trove of unwanted goods, your local recycling centre could be the perfect place to get hold of some free moving boxes. To save time and avoid a potentially wasted journey, just give them a quick call beforehand to see if they have any suitable boxes available. Chances are if they do they're going to be flat packed which can make it more difficult to select suitable ones, but see what they say.


This is one of the best places to look, supermarkets always have boxes available from their regular deliveries and there's usually a set day of the week when they're collected for recycling. All you need to do is explain what you're looking for and ask them which is the best day to turn up to get them. It's likely the boxes will have only been used once and will be in good condition, just make sure to pick the strongest ones.

Local retailers and restaurants

Pretty much every shop that sells goods are going to have some cardboard boxes left over from their deliveries. You often see them neatly flattened and piled up on the street by the door on the day the bin men are coming for the cardboard and paper recycling. Rather than wait and have to sort through looking for good ones, try and select a couple of shops that are likely to have a good supply and speak to the staff about the best time to come and get them.

Bars and coffee shops

Premises that stock clean heavy goods, often have the kind of boxes that would be perfect for moving home, even if they need a bit of strengthening underneath with some brown packaging tape. Many retail outlets stack all the cardboard boxes for recycling at the rear of their buildings, often in an area or skip marked 'cardboard only'. If you see one of those you may have hit the jackpot in your quest for free boxes.

Last word on free cardboard boxes

Getting your hands on cardboard boxes for free can be great if you're willing to put in the leg work, but if you're running out of time and patience, maybe it's best to bite the bullet and buy some.

You can purchase a suitable pack of cardboard boxes for your move through our regular supplier, who can normally deliver them to you the next working day.

See our cardboard boxes page to buy some.

Yes it will add a bit of expense on, but will save you hunting around and make preparing for your move much easier. Happy Moving!

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