2 November 2012

Moving home without descending into chaos: Where to get boxes


(Ha, I have already descended into chaos - it's 4 days before we move and I have a child with an infected foot, an 80th-birthday cake order to complete today, a newborn session tomorrow, I do after-school care for a friend who has 3 boys, and yesterday Grant was mowing the lawn and a stone flew up and smashed the glass of the sliding door so that needs to be replaced - $580. Please pray for me.)

But on to today's tip!

Every area is different, stores might deal with their packaging in different ways, so I'm just going to share where I have found boxes in the past and where I'm getting them now.

Grocery store

Our local Pack & Save grocery store piles their boxes up at the front of the store as you come through the tills (cash registers). Anyone is welcome to help themselves. This is a great place to grab boxes big and small. Most grocery stores don't do this, but it's still worth asking when they receive deliveries and what they do with their boxes. You might be given some, directed to the dumpster where they are thrown, or they might keep some back for you.

Shoe store

When I worked at Hannahs shoe store I learned that they received big boxes filled with shoes in shoeboxes at least every couple of weeks. The shoeboxes would be unpacked into the stock room and then the big boxes would be flattened and recycled. I sent my former boss a text asking if she had any big boxes and she let me know that they'd recently received a bunch of new stock and she was quite happy to let me collect all of the big cartons.Ask at your local shoe store if they'd keep back some big cartons for you, or let you know when they are available.


Freecycle is a great place to ask for boxes and also to get rid of yours when you are done with them!

Friends and family

Do you have friends or family who work at a place that receives stock in boxes? When Grant used to work in the university IT department he used to bring home typing-paper boxes. They were great for packing little bits (spreading the work of packing over a few months), easy to move when the time came, and made unpacking bite-sized and less overwhelming.


He was also able to bring home a lot of Dell computer boxes, which were very sturdy and a nice size.


All posts in this series:

Packing necklaces

The "do not pack" boxes

Where to get boxes

Declutter as you go



Word documents

Last few tips

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