Moving For Cheap: How to Score Cardboard Boxes
As Shep’s article last week brought to our attention, moving season is upon us. However, as I discovered while packing last year, moving can be annoyingly expensive–particularly when it comes to finding enough cardboard boxes to pack up your things.
This Passionate Homemaking piece on moving, along with its Lifehacker writeup (the comments of which are worth a look), suggest searching for cardboard boxes on Craigslist or at liquor/grocery stores. However, if you live on a rural campus, Craigslist may be unhelpful and liquor stores unavailable. With that in mind, here are some more campus-specific resources for cardboard boxes.
Mail Services - My campus’s mail services department has a huge pile of boxes by the trashcan from students receiving packages. The employees are glad to let you have them for free either to repurpose for shipping or–for larger care packages–to pack. These won’t take care of your largest items, but they’re useful for books or small collections of things. At my school, mail services is also helpful in providing tape and bubble wrap (and larger boxes) for a fee–not ideal, but useful in a pinch.
Student Center/Administrative Building – Our student center is always full of broken-down cardboard boxes left on top of trash cans by the school staff. Any building on campus which houses multiple administrative offices is a good bet, because it raises the likelihood that the boxes will be stacked in some central location for the whole building. If you know any secretaries in the building, you can even offer to gather up the boxes so they don’t have to–win win.
Book Store – Your luck may vary on this one (since the book store needs to ship back its unsold merchandise at the end of the year), but if you know a student worker at the book store, ask them if their boss will let you grab any unused boxes. Chances are high that they’ll have a few large boxes available for you.
It’s likely that even if you live in an isolated area, you can find free boxes on campus just waiting to be hauled away (with permission, of course). If you have a favorite technique for grabbing packing supplies not shared here, let us know in the comments!