How to Buy Boxes for Packing

Packing for a move can be a time-consuming, cumbersome process. In addition to the time and effort required, it isn't always easy to find cardboard boxes in the size and quantity you need. Planning ahead of time will allow you to explore the options for obtaining these boxes, which can be purchased at reasonable prices in addition to being borrowed and donated. There are several different places to buy boxes for packing.


  1. Image titled Buy Boxes for Packing Step 1
    Estimate how many boxes you will need. When looking through your things, keep in mind the density of each type of item. Books are very dense, for example, and should be packed into small boxes to avoid weighing down the boxes. Bulky, less dense items like linens and pillows will need to be placed in larger boxes. After deciding on the appropriate box size for each item, you can get a rough idea of how many boxes you'll need.
  2. Image titled Buy Boxes for Packing Step 2
    Shop online for packing boxes. If you plan far enough ahead, this is one of the best options for buying cardboard boxes. Specialty packing and shipping retailers, such as Uline, sell boxes in innumerable shapes, sizes, and thicknesses. While there are usually minimum quantities specified by retailers like this, they are very low for an average move.
    • One benefit of shopping online is that these retailers often offer moving kits. These kits consist of a large assortment of boxes specifically chosen to accommodate a move of a given size.
    • Another benefit of buying boxes online is the ability to buy specially shaped boxes. Irregularly shaped or fragile items like floor lamps, guitars, and televisions can be packed into boxes specially designed to fit them well.
  3. Image titled Buy Boxes for Packing Step 3
    Buy boxes at an office supply store. If you are buying boxes on shorter notice or need smaller quantities, you can purchase them at an office supply store. Most stores will have a sufficient variety of sizes to accommodate general packing needs, but you may not be able to purchase in large quantities. You can also easily purchase packing supplies like tape and padding at the same time.
  4. Image titled Buy Boxes for Packing Step 4
    See if packing boxes are available at a local self-storage facility. Many self-storage companies will sell packing and moving supplies, including a variety of cardboard boxes. You can visit the facilities themselves or check the company's website for details.
  5. Image titled Buy Boxes for Packing Step 5
    Buy boxes at another large retailer. If going to an office supply store or storage facility is not convenient, you can look for boxes at large, general merchandise retailers. Stores like Target and Wal-Mart will have a limited selection of boxes that may meet your packing needs.
  6. Image titled Buy Boxes for Packing Step 6
    Look for boxes on online classifieds sites. Websites like Craigslist and Freecycle are another good place to look for packing boxes. These sites will allow you to post your own "wanted" ad in addition to browsing for listings of cardboard boxes. While using these services will offer you the least amount of control over the size and quantity of boxes, they will generally be cheaper than other options.


  • You may be able to get cardboard boxes for free from your workplace. If you work in a retail environment, for example, you may be able to take home the boxes in which the inventory is delivered. In an office environment, you can use the printer paper boxes.

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Categories: Moving House and Packing