Insider Tips For Scoring Free Moving Boxes

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Packing your things for an upcoming move? Depending on how much stuff you have, you’re probably going to need a whole lotta boxes. Sure, you have options when it comes to containers you can pack into your moving truck, but the classic cardboard box is a mainstay for a reason… it gets the job done.

Buying boxes is easy, but if you’re hoping to save on moving expenses, here are some suggestions for where you might be able to score free boxes. Some seem like no-brainers but some genuinely surprised us when we started researching these tips.

Happy hunting!

Friends, Family, Frequent Associates: A good place to start is within your network. Asking around is easier than ever these days. A few timely Facebook updates can find their way to helpful friends with boxes to spare.

Craigslist: Craigslist and other popular web-boards contain a ‘Free’ section, and cardboard boxes are a common sight among the unwanted wares. Search in your city or neighborhood and chances are you’ll find some posts from folks who just wrapped up their move and looking to unload some moving goodies.

Bookstores: Businesses of all shapes and sizes take shipments, so in general most will probably have used boxes they’d be willing to part with. But we’ve heard bookstores have some of the sturdiest boxes that have weathered the weight of freshly minted and vintage novels. With all businesses, call ahead or ask when the staff isn’t swamped.

Convenience store: Another business that’s constantly receiving shipments, your local store on the corner could have more clean boxes for you to use.

Fast food restaurants: Surprised to see this on the list? Many burgers and fries joints receive their shipments as frozen packages, which are less likely to leave behind residual funk.

Bars and liquor stores: Just like other businesses on this list, bars and liquor stores also receive shipments nearly every week. Bonus: these are usually uniform in size so you’ll have an easier time stacking these in your car or moving truck. Heads up: if you’re looking to re-use these boxes for shipping, be sure to cover up all the alcohol brands, logos and labels, which are restricted by the USPS.

Post Office: The US Postal Service often has free boxes you can pick up without any hassle.

These are only a few options, but it’s a solid start to your box hunt. When you’re all unpacked, remember to pass on your used boxes to help another happy move! If you think we missed any box gold mines, let us know in the comments!

Think this is too much of a hassle? You can purchase boxes online and get free 1-2 day shipping. Much, much easier. Aahhhh.

5 Things to NOT Pack In Your Moving Truck

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It’s important to keep safety in mind when moving. With all those moving parts, dressers and appliances travelling up and down stairs, kids bouncing around and heavy boxes being lifted, it’s a lot to keep track of to make sure nobody gets hurt. But before you get to your house, don’t forget that what you put in the back of the moving truck can also be risky in certain conditions.

The cargo container can get hot very quickly, especially so during the summer moving season. This can cause many types of chemicals and other products to react in dangerous ways, potentially endangering the moving crew and putting your stuff at risk. Keep these safety tips in mind when it comes to loading up the truck and avoid packing these items.

Don’t try and bend the rules to fit the following items on board:

1. Cleaning products – Bleach and all sorts of other household cleaners should never be placed in the moving truck. These kitchen cleaners may seem harmless, but they can present a serious risk when shaken around together in a box.

2. Car batteries – For those of you fortunate enough to never have dealt with a leaky car battery, the fluid can disintegrate fabrics and damage anything it comes in contact with. Not exactly the type of thing you want next to your children’s clothes, no?

3. Ignition fluids – Again, the moving container can get very hot, very fast. Anything that’s used to light fires like light fluids, flammable gel, etc. should be kept away from your moving truck.

4. Fertilizers/Weed Sprays – An often overlooked fire hazard, many fertilizers and other gardening chemicals are highly flammable. These are a risk the same way your cleaning supplies can be.

5. Ammunition – It should be obvious that the hot moving truck is a terrible place to put bullets. If you must bring them, bring them with you in the car with air conditioning. Follow all firearms safety guidelines when transporting your weapons.

Bottom line: don’t sweat the small stuff, all these items are replaceable. A happy move starts with safety.

10 Stress Busting Tips For A Happy Move Day With The Kiddos

To put it lightly, moving day is going to be insanely busy. Add kids to the mix and you have a lot to worry about. Here are some ideas to keep the whole family happy and calm on an otherwise chaotic day.

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Make Move Day happy for the whole family.

1. Have the kids decorate their boxes

Give your kids some stickers and markers and let them make the boxes their own. Just be sure their name/room is readable for you and your movers. Make sure there is no question which room gets their sheets or their favorite toys.

2. Pack a first night box

Remember that aside from basic essentials, your child probably has special items that would go a long way to making them comfortable in their new space. If little Bobby can’t sleep without his five favorite stuffed toys and blanket, make sure these are easily accessible along with these other common favorites:

  • Pajamas
  • Favorite toys
  • Favorite books for bedtime
  • Favorite snacks
  • Nightlight
  • A sheet or temporary window covering if their new room has different conditions than what they’re used to
  • Clothes for the next day

3. Give them a job

Making them part of the team lets them feel like they have an important role and keeps them busy and focused. Jobs like watching the family pet, giving the movers water bottles or wiping off surfaces in the new place will keep their minds off of the confusion of arriving in a new place.

4. Leave a surprise for them in their room

If possible, have their favorite stuffed animal or toy unpacked and waiting for them in their room when they arrive. Print a sign with their name to post on the door – anything to help the new place feel special and more like home.

5. Put them in charge of the checklist

If they can read, give them a checklist of things to be completed before leaving the old place. Ask them to check rooms to make sure everything’s been packed. If they can’t read, try giving them pictures of stuff to look for.

6. Pack a Move Day Survival Kit

You’ll need one too (and yours may involve cocktail fixin’s) but for the kiddos, make sure you have snacks on hand and anything they can’t live without. Keep first-aid supplies available. Make sure you’re prepared for whatever climate you’re moving in, have sunscreen or extra hats and mittens.

For older kids, let them play DJ while unpacking. Anything’s more fun with some happy tunes. With babies or toddlers, take a cooler or insulated box/bag in the car with the food essentials like fruit, milk and formula.

And don’t forget the toilet paper and cleaning supplies (save yourself a run to the store by having these handy items ready)!

7. Hire a sitter or invite a family member to help

You’ll be busy directing the movers to rooms, keeping track of the keys and supervising all critical aspects of the move. If you have a friend, family member or sitter available, ask them to be buddies with your kids for the day. You’ll be more relaxed knowing someone else is keeping them busy and fed.

8. Be ready for a change in schedule

With your family leaving town at once, things might not go exactly as planned. Little ones will probably miss their naps. If the schedule goes off-track, try to make up for lost time and be ready to deal with frustrated kids. Remember, it’s only temporary and you’ll all be enjoying your new home together soon enough.

9.  Don’t forget about the day after

You remembered the First Night Kit, but don’t forget you’ll still be acclimating to the new place in the morning. Hungry kids are grumpy kids. Plan on heading out for a nearby breakfast joint or clearly mark a kitchen box with stuff you’ll need first thing in the morning like bowls and cereal.

10. Have fun!

Create a scavenger hunt or map of the new place for them to check out. Try the neighborhood park or ice cream place. If that last pile of boxes can wait, give yourself a chance to drop the move from your mind and spend time with the family around town. Because it’s not really about the move, but moving forward with new memories.

Happy moving!

Bonus – We know moving is hard and we think you deserve a treat. How does a free coffee sound? Review your mover now through June 30 and we’ll thank you with a $5 Starbuck eGift Card once we verify your review.