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Tips for Finding Free Packing Materials
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|It's no secret that moving is expensive, but one way to help trim your budget and cut corners without sacrificing the success of your move is by finding free packing materials to pack and ship your belongings in.
With a little ingenuity, saving money and still getting all your belongings packed in a safe and secure manner is definitely possible.
Check local recycling centers
Have a nearby recycling center in your community or apartment complex? Before they take recycling away (but not before it's too full of refuse) take a gander to see if you find any boxes, air packs, packing paper or packing peanuts.
Centers like this are often prime places to locate boxes that haven't yet been broken down and if you are lucky they will still be full of their packing materials too.
Broken down boxes are okay also, you will just need to put them back together for moving day.
TIP: Reinforce the bottoms of all boxes you find with packing tape just to be on the safe side. Ripped boxes are a definite problem.
Ask nearby businesses
Local businesses are often rife with extra packing materials, especially if they are a retail store and/or get most of their products shipped to them. Liquor, grocery and bookstores are also resplendent with extra packing materials.
Is there a business you regularly frequent? While in there for your other errands ask them if they wouldn't mind parting with the packing supplies they were going to recycle anyway.
They will probably be glad to hand the items off, saving them a trip to the dumpster.
Keep an eye open throughout the day
When you're moving, it seems like your whole life is devoted to the move ahead of you, so take the time while moving is on your brain to scour the places in your life for packing supplies.
- Save any and all packages you receive through the mail and the corresponding packing materials that arrive inside them
- Pay attention at work to see if anything useful arrives for your move
- Before doing this, first confirm that taking packing supplies home is okay with your boss
- Ask for any materials you see in friends, family or neighbour's homes
Talk to loved ones
Friends and family are also a great source of packing materials. Loved ones who work in retail should especially keep an eye out for you and put any worthy boxes aside.
As you've been doing, have them pay attention to:
- Any boxes and packing materials they receive from things that are mailed to them
- Materials that arrive at their work (again, make sure they ask if it's okay with their boss first)
- Any pertinent packing supplies that they find at their local recycling center
- Things found in the homes of others
TIP: If a member of your family or a friend is moving before you, ask them to save all their packing materials for you to reuse later. Not only is it helpful to them, but it's a greener option for the both of you.
Search the community
Around your neighbourhood and your neighbours are also free and convenient sources for finding packing materials.
- Check to see if there are ads for free supplies on Craigslist or in the local newspaper
- Visit garage or rummage sales on the off chance that they have packing odds and ends laying around
Think outside the box
Not all packing materials that you find have to be disposable. Alternative packing options are often easier to find and are more environmentally conscious.
Of course if price is not an object you can buy professional packing supplies or hire movers who will pack your belongings for you.
- Be creative and pack your belongings in things you were going to use already
- Laundry baskets, suitcases, storage bins, etc.
- Wrap especially fragile items in clothes, towels, blankets and pillows
- Shred junk mail and circulars to use as stuffing in boxes
- Use grocery bags that are full of air and tied securely to stand in for air packs
For the rest of us, scoring free packing materials is the way to go.