Moving can be an expensive endeavor. And while you probably can't get away without certain expenses, like that of renting a moving truck, there is one area where you can skimp without it hurting too much: packing supplies. If you're in a real rush or really want all of your boxes to match, then you may want to buy new boxes. However, there are plenty of free boxes and packing supplies ready to be yours for the taking -- as long as you know where to look. Here are five tips to help guide you.
Post on Social Media
The easiest way to find boxes and packing supplies is probably from among your friends. Make posts on social media asking friends if they have any free boxes they do not need. You may have a friend who just moved and can give you all of their boxes, or maybe you know someone with an online shopping habits and all of the boxes to back that come with it. In addition to boxes, ask your friends to save any extra packing peanuts, tissue paper, and packing paper for you.
To make things easier on your friends, offer to come pick the boxes up from them. Try to do this all in one day so you can just drive around town and collect your boxes.
Browse Online Ads
Look at your city's online classified ad pages. You might see that someone has listed moving boxes or other free boxes in hopes that someone shows up and takes them out of their way. Do be careful when contacting people who are giving away free things online. Take someone with you when you go to pick up the boxes, and if you do not feel safe for any reason, back out of the deal. If at all possible, try to arrange to have the person selling the boxes meet you in a public place, such as a grocery store parking lot or in front of a police station, instead of at their home.
Drive Around to Stores
You can employ this technique if you only need a few moving boxes, or if you have gotten a lot of free boxes already and just need a few more to top off your supply. While you could probably find enough free boxes by driving around to stores if you spent a few days in a row doing so, it's a more time-consuming process than getting a lot of boxes from a friend or someone who has listed boxes in the classifieds.
Good stores to visit for boxes include hardware stores, pet stores, and pharmacies. These stores get a lot of dry goods that won't ruin the boxes they are shipped in. They might even have some tissue paper and packing peanuts that came in the boxes.
Post on a Bulletin Board
If you are able to plan ahead a few weeks before your move, post notes on some bulletin boards throughout your town. Write that you are looking for free moving supplies, and ask anyone who has them to call or text you. This way, you will reach people with boxes who may not use the internet or think of posting ads online. People are often desperate to get rid of boxes since recycling programs will only pick up so many at a time, so you'll be surprised how many people contact you.
With some or all of the strategies above, you should have plenty of free packing supplies on your hands. This will go a long way towards making your move more affordable in the long run. For more information and tips, check out sites like http://www.wheatonworldwide.com.