Whether you’re moving out of Columbus or to a nearby neighborhood, consider finding free or cheap moving boxes to help save money on your move. We’ve compiled a list of the best places to find free and cheap moving boxes in Columbus for a more affordable transition!

Should You Buy or Get Free Moving Boxes?

Once you start planning your move, you’ll need to decide whether to find used moving boxes for free or buy new ones. Both of these options come with their own advantages.

Why you should buy new moving boxes:

  • Uniformity: Loading a moving truck is easier if boxes are uniform in size and shape, and many professional movers prefer the ease of uniform boxes.
  • Specific Sizes: You can get the exact sizes you need for specific belongings when you purchase moving boxes.
  • Quality Assurance: Purchasing new boxes means they’ll be clean and likely stronger.
  • Convenience: Finding used boxes for free takes time, so purchasing new boxes saves your time for something else.

Why you should get used, free moving boxes:

  • Cost-Effective: Finding free moving boxes saves you money for other moving expenses.
  • Sustainability: Reusing moving boxes is more eco-friendly than purchasing new materials.

Where to Get Free Moving Boxes in Columbus

Some of the best places to find free moving boxes in Columbus include liquor stores, grocery stores, and any other businesses that receive bulk deliveries in sturdy boxes. Recycling centers can also be a good source for free moving boxes. Whichever route you take, make sure to call ahead to confirm the business can give away extra boxes and has some on hand for you.

Online Exchanges in Columbus

Online marketplaces and apps are great places to find moving boxes for free, often used. Social media and local forums can connect you with plenty of other people who are finished with their moving boxes and looking for an easy way to get rid of them.

Liquor Stores in Columbus

Liquor store boxes are often heavy-duty to protect glass bottles during the shipping process, and they often come with dividers, making them great for glass and other fragile items. Many liquor stores in Columbus are open every day of the week, making it easier to find a good time to stop by.

  • Chateau Wine & Spirits: Local liquor store on Polaris Pkwy in Columbus has been known to give away boxes to residents, especially after supply delivery days. Call ahead to check which days they receive deliveries.
  • Perfect Pour Beverage Company: Another local Columbus liquor store that may offer free moving boxes on Festival Lane, but be sure to call ahead to confirm and check for the date and time of their supply deliveries.
  • Giant Eagle Liquor: With locations on N High St and Sawmill Rd, Giant Eagle Liquor in Columbus has given boxes away to residents who call ahead or check at the customer service desk in the store.

Grocery Stores in Columbus

Moving boxes from grocery stores are great options since they need to be sturdy to resist impacts that could bruise or damage food. However, you will need to carefully check these boxes for food stains and any pests or bugs that might have made their way into the boxes during transport. You also may want to avoid certain types of boxes, such as banana boxes, which typically have large holes in the bottom that items could fall through. Call ahead to your local grocery store to check on their delivery schedule and ask them to hold boxes for you.

  • Meijer: If you call ahead around delivery days, Meijer stores in Columbus have been known to keep delivery boxes to give to customers. There are two locations in Columbus, with one on Hilliard Rd and one on N Hamilton Rd.
  • Weilands Market: Independent, family-owned market will save plenty of boxes if you request them before delivery days. The store is located on Indianola Ave.
  • Kroger: Known to give away boxes across the nation, and Columbus Krogers are no different. There are 16 Kroger locations in Columbus to choose from, including locations on E Main St, Chambers Rd, and Crown Plaza Dr.

Recycling Centers & Dumpsters in Columbus

Some recycling centers are willing to give away moving boxes they receive as long as you call ahead and ask. These boxes are usually broken down, so you may need to tape them up for reinforcement. You’ll also need to check for stains, structural damage, and insects or pests.

  • SA Recycling: Specializes in metal recycling, but also accepts cardboard and paper, so you can call ahead and check if they’d keep any moving boxes behind for you. There are two SA Recycling locations in Columbus on Parsons Ave and Joyce Ave.
  • Green Earth Recycling: Accepts cardboard moving boxes in addition to buying scrap metal. Call ahead to their Brice Rd recycling center to check if they have some boxes they can set aside for you.
  • SWACO Recycling Drop Boxes: Program serves all of Franklin County and accepts clean cardboard products as long as they’re flattened, so you’ll need to tape up any boxes you get from these. There are over 20 SWACO Recycling Drop-Off locations throughout Columbus.

Other Stores & Retailers in Columbus

Pet stores, bookstores, and clothing stores are additional businesses that have good options for moving boxes. Deliveries to all of these businesses are usually made on certain days, and the products they’re receiving normally require robust packaging to ensure the merchandise doesn’t get damaged. According to residents, the following businesses are known to give away moving boxes.

  • Petco: If you call ahead, this pet store can typically keep boxes after delivery days that are great to use as moving boxes, as they’re usually heavy-duty to keep pet supplies secure. There are three Petco locations in Columbus.
  • TJ Maxx: This retail store has been known to save boxes for customers who call in advance. There are three TJ Maxx locations in Columbus.
  • Old Navy: Columbus residents have praised Old Navy for accommodating their moving box needs by saving boxes on clothing delivery days. You can call ahead to one of the four Old Navy locations around Columbus to check for their next delivery day.

Where to Buy Cheap Moving Boxes in Columbus

Hardware stores, mailing and shipping stores, and specialty box stores are great places to buy cheap moving boxes in Columbus. You can find small boxes for $2 or less, medium and large boxes for around $2 to $7, and extra large or specialty boxes for up to $20 or $30. In Columbus, find the cheapest boxes at Lowe’s.

ACE Hardware

ACE Hardware sells durable and cheap moving boxes in Columbus. In addition to boxes, they sell packing supplies like bubble wrap, packing paper, mattress bags, lifting straps, and plastic wrap.

  • Sizes range from 10.5x12x12 to 18x24x24
  • Prices range from $1.99 to $5.59 per box
  • Four locations in Columbus

Blue Box Corrugated, Inc.

Blue Box Corrugated, Inc. is a local Columbus business that sells moving boxes in bundles ranging anywhere from 25 boxes to over 500, making it a great place to buy moving supplies in Columbus in bulk. The price per box is typically cheaper in larger bundles. You can get a variety of moving supplies through Blue Box Corrugated, including moving blankets, packing tape, packing paper, and labels.

  • Sizes range from 12x12x12 to 24x24x24
  • Prices range from $2.57 apiece to $11.66 apiece for 25-packs
  • One location in Columbus

Life Storage

Life Storage in Columbus is a great source of both cheap moving boxes and affordable self storage for your belongings during a move. You can also find additional moving and packing supplies at Life Storage, like bubble wrap, packing paper, packing tape, and labels.

  • Sizes range from 18.75×11.75×9.75 to 24x18x18
  • Prices range from $1.83 to $5.39
  • Five locations in Columbus

Lowe’s

Lowe’s hardware stores in Columbus are great options for cheap moving boxes. They also have a collection of other moving supplies like moving kits, moving blankets, packing tape, packing paper, and plastic wrap available for purchase.

  • Sizes range from 6x6x6 to 24x44x24
  • Prices range from $1.48 to $23.48
  • Seven locations in Columbus

The UPS Store

The UPS Store has a great supply of sturdy and cheap boxes that can be used for moving as well as shipping. They also sell additional supplies to keep items safe during the shipping and moving process, including bubble wrap, packing paper, packing tape, and labels.

  • Sizes range from 6x6x6 to 30x24x6
  • Prices vary by location
  • Ten locations in Columbus

Where to Recycle Moving Boxes in Columbus

When you’re settled into your new home and finished moving, dispose of your moving boxes in an eco-friendly way by recycling them. Columbus has recycling facilities like SA Recycling and Green Earth Recycling. Or, donate your boxes to Uhaul or local organizations like Charity Newsies. You can also resell or give away your moving boxes online on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or NextDoor.

Recycle Right

Recycle Right is a convenient option for Columbus residents because there are plenty of accessible locations throughout the city. Just remember that any cardboard must be flattened, and some items like plastic wrap and bubble wrap are not accepted.

  • Accepts: Cardboard boxes, packing paper, plastic bottles and containers, cartons, metal cans, and glass bottles and jars
  • 31 locations in Columbus

Columbus Fire Station #33

Columbus Fire Station #33 has five dumpsters available to dump recycling. They require that cardboard and paper are flattened and containers are rinsed.

  • Accepts: Cardboard boxes, packing paper, metal containers, plastic containers, glass containers, paper carton containers
  • One location in Columbus (440 Lazelle Rd)

Rumpke Recycling

Rumpke Recycling offers single stream recycling, so you don’t have to sort out your recycling as they’ll do it for you at the facility.

  • Accepts: Cardboard boxes, packing paper, plastic bottles, tubs, and jugs, glass bottles and jars, paper cartons, and metal cans
  • One location (1191 Fields Ave) or recycling pickup

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Need cheap moving boxes? Life Storage offers a variety of affordable moving supplies in Columbus to help with your transition. Check out our moving supplies guide to see what you can pick up in-store or contact a storage facility in Columbus to learn more!

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Life Storage

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