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Top Ways to Find Free Moving Boxes in San Francisco

While they’re all in the same vicinity, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose each offer very different living environments. Fortunately, there are enough neighborhoods between them that finding the perfect place to settle down shouldn’t be a problem. One thing all these places have in common, though, is that you’ll need moving boxes to get all your stuff there. Instead of adding another item to your budget consider the following ways to find free moving boxes in San Francisco.


We’re not talking about the company’s headquarters located in San Francisco. Instead, just jump on their website and look for people trying to get rid of old moving boxes they no longer need. Many people in this area like the idea of recycling cardboard, and everyone loves the idea of clearing out unnecessary items without having to do a lot of work. While the moving boxes you want will most likely be found under “for sale”, rest assured they’ll be absolutely free.


Check out the Costco parking lot for a treasure-trove of cardboard boxes, just ensure that they’re not soiled with dirt, liquids or food. A downside is many of the boxes from Costco have no lids or have the front cut out to display a product.

Liquor Stores

Without cardboard boxes, liquor stores would have a pretty difficult time stocking their shelves with bottles of wine and liquor. These boxes generally don’t get used by the customers, which means they end up lying around the back of the store. Call around and ask your local liquor stores if they have any boxes with lids on them. Without lids, you may find some use for moving various items, but you can’t really pack them in without risking it all spilling out later.


Another great place to check, for much the same reason, is bookstores. Customers never need cardboard boxes for their purchases, so, like with liquor stores, they just end up collecting in the back. Books can actually be quite heavy when there are enough of them. This is good news, though, as it means getting moving boxes from bookstores ensures they’ll hold up.


You read that right. Each restaurant sells countless fries every day. Doing so requires box after box of them. While the fries you get at the counter aren’t too heavy, when they show up frozen, only the most capable cardboard boxes can hold them. The great thing about this solution is that practically every city has at least a few McDonald’s, making it easy to get all the boxes you need.


Another call you should make is to your local Starbucks. As with McDonald’s, you most likely have a few in the area you can speak to. Each Starbucks gets one or two shipments every week. Given how popular this coffee chain is, you can rest assured those shipments involve a fair amount of boxes. Ask them to hold large ones for you and you’ll have a number of free moving boxes to choose from.


Just because you may not be using them to help you with your move doesn’t mean you can’t utilize U-Haul for the sake of scoring some free boxes. Their message board features a box exchange you can use to easily locate those who are happy to be rid of them. Best of all, you already know most of them held up during a move.

Home Improvement Stores

You’ll have no problem finding boxes of every size at home improvement stores. When you consider all the different products they sell, it makes sense that they’d have large and small boxes capable of holding lots of weight.

Rent Plastic Moving Boxes

If you’re looking for a better alternative to cardboard boxes that will save you time, hassle and money, never mind being better for the environment, check out Boxbee. We rent reusable plastic moving boxes that require no assembly, and they deliver and pickup to 75 cities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sources: