Packing Materials on a Budget
When you don't have enough money to buy all new packing boxes, there are other places where you can get what you need for cheap or even free.
Where to Find Cheap Packing Materials
With the amount of money that you will be shelling out for your new apartment, furniture and groceries, the last thing you are looking forward to doing is spending more money on packing supplies. However, without them it will make the whole packing process difficult. That is not to say that you must spend a small fortune on these materials, as resources for doing it on the cheap are everywhere.
Besides coffee and Red Bull, the most needed item in the packing process is boxes. The best source of obtaining cheap packing materials, such as boxes and tape, is to ask family, friends, and neighbors, and collecting them from local stores and offices.
You can collect boxes from places like Sam’s Club and gather discarded boxes at grocery stores, bookstores, and business buildings dumpsters. Office buildings throw out boxes daily. Printer paper boxes are a good size for moving boxes and often come with lids. It may not be the most glamorous way to get boxes but it sure is cost effective. The big warehouse building supply stores and furniture stores have an unlimited stream of larger boxes and supplies. If there is a particular store that you like, try talking to the manager and have them set aside boxes. This is a win/win situation for the both of you. They save money by getting rid of their excess and you get the boxes you need.
You can also purchase boxes at storage companies, department stores (i.e. Target, Walmart, or Kmart), UPS, the Post Office and U-Haul Storage facilities, and even online. These won't always be the most affordable if buying in bulk but are handy and cost effective if you only end up needing to purchase a handful.
Packing Materials For Fragile Items
You will want to gather plenty of newspaper to wrap and protect your breakables. If you recycle, you may already have a good supply of newspaper to get you started wrapping your dishes and fragile items. If you need newspaper, ask friends and neighbors if they have newspaper on hand, or hit up those free newspaper bins in front of grocery and liquor stores. Choose papers with larger sheets that are easy to dissemble. The larger sheets can be torn in half to accommodate smaller breakables or kept in tact for larger pieces.
Be good to the environment, recycle your cardboard moving boxes!
- GMO TEAM
Any of the free apartment guides may also work well for small items and stuffing between spaces, but the sheets won’t be large enough for wrapping such items as dinner plates. Tear out the pages and ball them up to stuff vases or commemorative glasses with, anything that is hollow and needs to be protected.
Plastic grocery bags are good to use for box stuffing material in-between such items as your newspaper wrapped glassware, framed pictures, and figurines. Hit up your family and friends for those as well. The chances are good that they have an abundance of them stuffed under the kitchen sink.
Large lawn size trash bags work well for protecting clothes and making them extremely easy to transport to your new place. You can purchase these at any department (i.e. Target, Walmart, or Kmart), grocery, or hardware store. Our advice is not to buy bags that are too big because of the tendency to over-fill them. Over-filling can tear bags, spilling all your clothes onto the floor or make them too heavy to lift which then injures your back.