Austin Guide to Free & Cheap Moving Boxes (2024)


Whether you’re relocating out of state or to a different area within Austin, moving costs can add up quickly. One great way to save money while moving is to search for free or cheap moving boxes in Austin. Use this guide to find the best places to buy moving boxes near you without breaking the bank!

  • Should You Buy or Get Free Moving Boxes?
  • Where to Get Free Moving Boxes in Austin
  • Where to Buy Cheap Moving Boxes in Austin
  • Where to Recycle Moving Boxes in Austin

Should You Buy or Get Free Moving Boxes?

While you should consider finding free cardboard boxes if you prioritize sustainability and saving money, you should buy new moving boxes if you’re seeking reliability or moving on short notice. Check out the pros and cons of each option in more detail below.

Why you should buy new moving boxes:

  • Uniformity: Professional movers prefer moving boxes that are consistent in quality as they’re easier to organize and stack.
  • Specific Sizes: You can choose from a range of moving box sizes to suit your specific packing needs.
  • Quality Assurance: New boxes are typically stronger and cleaner than used, free ones.
  • Convenience: Buying moving boxes is quicker and more straightforward than searching for used cardboard boxes.

Why you should get used, free moving boxes:

  • Cost-Effective: Free moving boxes save you money that can be used elsewhere during your moving process.
  • Sustainability: Reusing moving boxes reduces waste.

Where to Get Free Moving Boxes in Austin

There are many places in Austin to consider in your search for free boxes. Be sure to check local stores, visit online community boards, and stop by local recycling centers to find used moving boxes for free.

Online Exchanges in Austin

One of the best ways to find second-hand moving boxes is to look online! In Austin, you have options like Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, and Craigslist to search for used boxes for moving.

  • Austin Facebook Marketplace: The Austin Facebook Marketplace features listings of gently-used boxes for free or a low cost.
  • Austin Facebook Groups: Groups like Austin buy sell trade and Buy Nothing No Rules Austin can help you connect with local community members about taking used moving boxes off their hands.
  • Austin Craigslist: The Austin Craigslist “free stuff” page makes it easy to search for free packing boxes for your move.
  • Austin Nextdoor: A great way to see if your neighbors have free moving boxes they’re trying to give away is by using Nextdoor.
  • Austin U-Haul Box Exchange: Avoid the clutter of other online exchanges by using the U-Haul Box Exchange, where Austin residents list only free or cheap cardboard boxes.

Liquor Stores in Austin

Austin liquor stores are some of the best places to get free moving boxes. Liquor store boxes are typically sturdy and can be ideal for heavy belongings or fragile items like glasses, particularly if the boxes come with built-in dividers. Call these stores in advance to ask if they can save you some boxes and when you should stop by to pick them up.

Grocery Stores in Austin

Grocery stores are ideal for finding free, heavy-duty boxes in a variety of sizes. Give your nearest Austin grocery store a call to ask if they have boxes that can be set aside for you. Try to avoid boxes with large openings and holes so your items don’t fall out. Additionally, check for evidence of pests, stains, or particles of food before packing your belongings.

  • Central Market: This local grocery store is known to give away extra boxes to customers. Call either of the Austin Central Market locations in advance to check if they can reserve boxes for you.
  • H-E-B: After stocking shelves, H-E-B often has boxes left over that you might be able to use for your move. Check out any of the 26 H-E-B locations in Austin to get free boxes.
  • Wheatsville Food Co-op: With Austin locations on Guadalupe St and S Lamar Blvd, you can swing by this co-op to pick up extra boxes they may have from shipments. Call ahead to confirm they have sturdy moving boxes available.

Recycling Centers & Dumpsters in Austin

Some recycling centers in Austin may give away boxes. These free boxes should be inspected for stains, pests, and structural integrity before you use them. Since many recycling centers require customers to break down boxes, you may also need to tape any boxes you find to reinforce them. Contact these centers ahead of time to ensure they have boxes available and verify whether they are free or if there is a cost to obtain them.

  • Balcones Recycling: There may be corrugated moving boxes that have not yet been processed at Balcones Recycling. This local recycling center can be found at 9301 Johnny Morris Rd.
  • Break it Down: Located at 7400 FM 969, Bldg. B, this Austin recycling center has bins for cardboard where you may be able to find boxes to reuse.

Other Stores & Retailers in Austin

You may be able to find second-hand boxes at other local shops in Austin, including bookstores and electronics stores. Remember to call ahead so you can find out if they’re willing to give away free boxes and to determine the best time to stop by!

  • BookPeople: Bookstores are a great place to find high-quality, free moving boxes in varying sizes. This local Austin bookstore is located at 603 N Lamar Blvd.
  • Discount Electronics: Electronics stores are one of the best places to get free moving boxes, especially because many people don’t consider looking here. Find Discount Electronics at 4005 W Parmer Ln, Suite D.

Where to Buy Cheap Moving Boxes in Austin

You can find new but affordable moving boxes in Austin at local moving supply stores, big chains, and self storage facilities. Moving box prices in the city of Austin can range in price from $1.28 for small boxes up to $5.39 for large boxes.

1/2 Price Boxes

Moving supplies at 1/2 Price Boxes in Austin, TX include everything from bubble wrap, moving blankets, tape, and dollies to heavy-duty packing boxes in a variety of sizes.

  • Sizes range from 12x12x12 to 24x18x24
  • Prices range from $1.29 to $3.14 per box
  • One location in Austin

Home Depot

Home Depot has a variety of cardboard box options, as well as other moving supplies like mattress bags, packing paper, stretch wrap, bubble cushion, and more!

  • Sizes range from 15x10x12 to 24x20x21
  • Prices range from $1.28 to $3.48 per box
  • Seven locations in Austin

Life Storage

Life Storage in Austin sells reliable moving boxes in a variety of sizes. Plus, you can pick up other packing supplies such as moving kits, stretch film, protective covers, bubble wrap, and tape.

  • Sizes range from 18.75×11.75×9.75 to 24x18x18
  • Prices range from $3.09 to $5.39 per box
  • 12 locations in Austin


In addition to sturdy moving boxes, you can find moving supplies at Lowe’s like furniture sliders, moving straps, and packing tape dispensers.

  • Sizes range from 16x12x12 to 22×21.5×22
  • Prices range from $1.38 to $3.48 per box
  • Five locations in Austin

TexanBox Wholesale Packaging & Moving Supplies

Browse the packing supplies from TexanBox Wholesale Packaging & Moving Supplies—from various types of boxes to moving straps, bubble rolls, and labels—to find exactly what you need for your Austin move.

  • Sizes range from 16.5×12.625×12.625 to 24x18x24
  • Prices range from $1.35 to $3.47 per box
  • One location in Austin

Where to Recycle Moving Boxes in Austin

Once you’re finished moving into your new home in the Capital of Texas, you can recycle your moving boxes to reduce your waste, using recycling facilities like Balcones Recycling and Recycle & Reuse Drop-Off Center. You can also give away or resell your moving boxes online at Craigslist Austin, Austin Facebook Marketplace, and more.

Balcones Recycling

Balcones Recycling offers drop-off containers in Austin where you can recycle used cardboard boxes and other materials from your move for free.

  • Accepts: Cardboard, paper, plastic containers, and more
  • One location in Austin (9301 Johnny Morris Rd)

Recycle & Reuse Drop-Off Center

Recycling at the Recycle & Reuse Drop-Off Center is free for Austin residents. This center is open by appointment only, so be sure to schedule an appointment to recycle moving boxes and other moving materials here.

  • Accepts: Cardboard, paper, plastic bags, styrofoam (no peanuts allowed)
  • One location in Austin (2514 Business Center Dr)

Break it Down

Stop by Break it Down in Austin from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekends to recycle cardboard and other packing materials. This drop-off center is free to use with no appointment necessary!

  • Accepts: Cardboard, paper, plastic, and more
  • One location in Austin (7400 FM 969, Bldg. B)


Check out our moving supplies guide to see what you can pick up in store at facilities in Austin.

Austin Guide to Free & Cheap Moving Boxes (2024)


Where is the best place to get free cardboard boxes? ›

Start with the People You Know Best
  • Liquor Stores. ...
  • Auto Supply Stores. ...
  • Retail Giants. ...
  • Recycling Centers. ...
  • Apartment Complexes. ...
  • Libraries. ...
  • Walmart Moving Boxes. ...
  • Home Depot Moving Boxes. Home Depot also has a wide selection of moving boxes, from small to extra-large, ideal for all your packing needs.

How many boxes does the average person need to move? ›

Number of recommended moving boxes based on home area
Square feetSmallLarge
900-1,200 sq. feet2210
1,200-1,600 sq. feet3215
1,600-2,000 sq. feet4020
2,000-2,500 sq. feet4525
2 more rows
May 18, 2023

How do you save on moving boxes? ›

To save on packaging supplies, start by using containers you need to move anyway. Instead of putting laundry baskets or other items in a box, use those items as boxes. Aside from laundry baskets, garbage cans, storage totes, stock pans, and even your dryer can work as makeshift boxes.

Do movers expect everything in boxes? ›

Furniture like chairs, dressers, and night tables don't need to be boxed. Instead, they're wrapped in quilted moving pads before being loaded onto the truck. On the other hand, small odds-and-ends or “loose items” should be wrapped in paper and carefully packed into boxes.

Which carrier gives free boxes? ›

USPS Offers Free Shipping Boxes and Supplies. The US Postal Service (USPS) offers the greatest variety of free shipping boxes and free shipping supplies. Everything from Priority Mail Express Boxes to padded Flat Rate Envelopes is available – all free.

What is the most common moving box size? ›

Medium boxes (18 x 18 x 15 inches, 22 x 16 x 15 inches or 3 cubic feet): The most common moving box, this size is good for office supplies, records, toys, small appliances, decor, photo albums and most household items.

How to estimate boxes for move? ›

The most common and straightforward way to determine how many packing boxes you need is to look at the square footage of your home. A larger home will usually have more items, making square footage an important factor in determining how many packing boxes you'll need.

How heavy is too heavy for a moving box? ›

The maximum weights range from around 20 pounds for standard cardboard boxes to 60–150 pounds for corrugated and double-walled boxes, with some corrugated triple-walled boxes carrying up to 300 pounds.

How can I reduce the cost of moving? ›

For example, acquiring free or cheap packing supplies and asking family members or local grocery stores for boxes can help reduce your overall expenses. Moving during the offseason, selling items you no longer need, and negotiating costs with movers can also help you save money.

Is it worth buying boxes for moving? ›

Moving is a costly process, and the thought of having to buy boxes can be unappealing to anyone. Yet, in all reality, new boxes are worth it as they are easy to stack and sturdy enough to prevent any damage to your items throughout the move.

How to make moving cheaper? ›

9 ways to move for cheap
  1. Find free packing supplies. ...
  2. Declutter your home before moving. ...
  3. Move during the week or off-season. ...
  4. See if friends and family are willing to help. ...
  5. Hire day laborers. ...
  6. Use your own vehicle for most of the move. ...
  7. Rent a truck and compare quotes from several truck rental companies.
Mar 6, 2024

What do movers move first? ›

Load your heaviest items first. Whether you're a DIY or professional mover, this usually means furniture goes in before boxes, unless you have large, heavy boxed items such as a TV or a floor mirror. Place dressers, chairs, appliances, couches and other large items against the back wall. Make sure they remain upright.

Do movers prefer boxes or bags? ›

To get a better idea of what kind of container is best for the job, we asked some professional movers what they prefer when packing their customers' items. The consensus is that boxes are usually the best choice.

Will movers move dressers with clothes in them? ›

Yes, you can leave clothes in the dresser when moving, but you will need to remove the drawers from the dresser, as we are unable to move dressers with clothes in them. If you decide to go this route, you will then want to wrap your drawers in plastic to help keep items from falling out.

Are post office cardboard boxes free? ›

Most USPS boxes are free, including Regional Rate boxes and Flat Rate boxes. This is also true of all packaging for all USPS Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express services. To clarify, Flat Rate and Regional Rate fall under the umbrella of Priority Mail services, so that's why they come with free USPS boxes.

Do supermarkets still give out cardboard boxes? ›

Save some cash and get packing boxes from your local supermarket. Most supermarkets will happily give used cardboard boxes and packaging to you for free. Choose boxes used for transporting fruit or alcohol, as long as there haven't been any spillages, as these tend to be the strongest.

Where can I collect cardboard boxes? ›

Top Places to Find Free Carton Boxes in Singapore
  • Supermarkets and Grocery Stores. Supermarkets and grocery stores are excellent places to find sturdy, free carton boxes. ...
  • Local Bookstores. ...
  • Online Marketplaces and Social Media. ...
  • Office Supply Stores. ...
  • Friends and Family.
Jun 3, 2024

What's cheaper than cardboard? ›

Yes, chipboard is generally cheaper than cardboard, especially when compared to corrugated cardboard.

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