Where to get free boxes for moving in San Francisco

Moving to a new residence marks the beginning of a thrilling adventure, but the logistics of packing can be a formidable challenge. Fear not, fellow San Franciscans, for we’ve meticulously compiled a comprehensive guide to unveil the prime locations where you can secure free moving boxes in the vibrant City by the Bay. Allow us to walk you through these strategic locations to ensure that your move is not only cost-effective but also environmentally conscious.

Where to get free boxes for moving in San Francisco

CareMore Moving & Storage

At CareMore Moving & Storage, we understand that some of our customers would like a more cost effective and sustainable option when it comes to getting moving boxes.  With this in mind we are happy to announce that we can offer our customers free gently used moving boxes for their upcoming move. (Subject to availability) Our used boxes are gently used and have typically only been used for one move only.  We are also able to offer our customers brand new moving materials if needed and when you book a move with us and are located in San Francisco we can even drop packing materials off to your front door free of charge.


Every U-Haul store has a “Take a Box, Leave a Box” bin on the premises with gently used boxes and other moving supplies left behind by earlier customers. They leave their boxes behind so that future movers, like you, can take them and use them free of charge. Not only does this help movers get the supplies they need at the lowest cost, but it also helps keep boxes out of landfills and strengthens everyones commitment to reusing moving boxes as many times as possible.

The best part is that with over 2,000 U-Haul stores, chances are there’s a U-Haul store and Take a Box, Leave a Box bin near you.

Visit the U-Haul Box Exchange Page

Another way to get free U-Haul moving boxes is by visiting our Exchange page. This helpful program was created to connect supply-needy customers with customers that have moving boxes and other supplies to spare. How it works is simple: After moving, U-Haul customers make a post about their leftover supplies. Other users can contact that customer and come and pick up the items. So, start searching the Exchange page today and see what your fellow DIY movers have to offer. Don’t forget to make your own post after your move is completed and help someone else who may need boxes!


Join the San Francisco Freecycle group, an great online platform committed to reducing waste and fostering a sense of community. Here, generous individuals share items they no longer need, and moving boxes often make the list. Freecycle not only aids you in acquiring free boxes but also contributes to a sustainable and eco-friendly approach to moving.


Craigslist is a great resource when it come to getting free boxes for moving in San Francisco.  Make your way to the  classifieds section on Craigslist, where locals often list items they’re looking to give away for free. Navigate to the “Free” section or search for moving boxes in the “For Sale” category, and you may stumble upon generous individuals eager to part with their used boxes. Engaging with the Craigslist community not only expands your options but also provides an opportunity to connect with fellow residents in need of a seamless and budget-friendly moving experience. Be sure to exercise caution and arrange for safe and convenient pick-up locations when utilizing this online resource.

Recycling Centers

Champion an eco-conscious move by heading to your local recycling center. Here, people drop off used boxes after unpacking, providing you with an opportunity to snag sturdy, reusable containers. This sustainable option not only aids your budget but also aligns with responsible waste management practices.


Tap into local generosity using the Nextdoor app, a virtual community where neighbors share resources. Post a request for free moving boxes in the community feed or explore the classifieds section. This digital platform transforms your move into a collaborative effort, as neighbors often rally to provide assistance. Nextdoor offers a swift and modern solution to secure free moving boxes, connecting you with nearby residents who are ready to contribute to a smoother relocation experience.

Local Retailers and Grocery Stores

Dive into the ethos of “reduce, reuse, recycle” by exploring your neighborhood supermarkets, liquor stores, and departmental outlets. These establishments often dispose of sturdy boxes that once housed an array of products, from canned goods to fresh produce. Approach the friendly staff and inquire about available boxes – you might just find a treasure trove of packing materials.

FaceBook Market Place

Need free moving boxes? Facebook Marketplace is a great option where locals share and exchange goods. Browse the “Free” section or search for moving boxes in the “For Sale” category to find nearby residents ready to offer their used boxes. Facebook Marketplace provides a swift and social solution to secure free moving boxes, making your relocation both budget-friendly and community-driven.

Office Supply Stores

Unlock a treasure trove of packing possibilities by visiting local office supply stores. These establishments receive frequent shipments of paper, ink, and other supplies, all delivered in durable and well-constructed boxes. A simple call to inquire about box availability might lead you to a plethora of options for your packing needs.

Liquor Stores:

Raise your moving spirits by visiting nearby liquor stores, where frequent deliveries result in a surplus of sturdy boxes. These boxes, varied in size, prove invaluable for securely transporting glassware and fragile items. Don’t hesitate to check in and potentially secure the perfect packing solution for your cherished possessions.

Bookstores and Libraries

If the allure of books and literary charm resonates with you, bookstores and libraries could hold the key to your moving box needs. Boxes that once cradled books boast sturdiness and varied sizes, making them ideal for safeguarding your belongings during the move.

Also check out

How to check if your California moving company is licensed and insured.

Where to donate food in SF when moving.

Where to donate furniture when moving

December 6, 2023


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