Moving Boxes – 10 Places to Get them (for free) in York

Nowadays, more persons are looking for cost-effective ways to spend their money. We are therefore revisiting one cost-saving area in particular: moving boxes. True, we have already provided a few tips on where to source free boxes, but we think you could benefit from an expanded list. Why, you ask? Well in the UK, the cost of moving boxes is increasing notably as a result of several factors. According to one article, in 2021 alone, the price of cardboard rose by some 30%. While, initially, this may seem insignificant, the price adds up when you compare a small, one-bedroom flat to a three-bedroom home. On average, moving a one-bedroom flat requires 20-30 medium to large-sized boxes, which range from £60-£90. A three-bedroom home then could mean a budget of £180-£270 just for moving boxes. Get the point? Looking around for sources of free moving boxes could be worth your while.

Relatives and friends

First on our list is your inner circle. That’s right, your family and friends should be your first resort when it comes to sourcing free moving boxes. There’s an old adage that says, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. You might be surprised at the number of responses a simple WhatsApp status update or social media post may generate. One update may be the difference between purchasing boxes and receiving those boxes your aunt Lily had stored away in her attic.

Recycling centres

Second on our list are recycling centres. In our opinion they are a prime source of boxes of varying sizes. Not only are these centres responsible for recycling materials like cardboard but they also receive boxes from customers bringing in items to be recycled. So, when sourcing boxes for your house removal, be sure to contact your local recycling centre. Visit the City of York Council’s website for a list of the local recycling centres.

Retail businesses

Large retailers like Costco are another excellent source of free moving boxes of varying sizes. These retailers receive boxed deliveries on a daily basis and are often eager to off-load their unwanted boxes. In fact, if you visit the store while the shelves are being stocked, you may well be able to leave with a trolley full of boxes! Jackpot!

Furniture stores

If you are looking for larger boxes, a furniture store might be a great source. Some household items like recliners, wooden desks, etc., are shipped in large boxes. These larger-sized boxes could be useful when packing light but bulky items like blankets, comforters, towels, and winter coats. Like other retailers, furniture stores are likely going to dump unwanted boxes, so they are often willing to give them away when asked.


Perhaps often overlooked are pharmacies. Like any retail business, they too are another potential source of free moving boxes, which are sometimes dumped in storage bins to the back of the store. Why not contact the local Boots and express your interest in sourcing some boxes from their next shipment?


A little-known fact about bookstores is that their books are often shipped in high-quality boxes. So, what better place to source free moving boxes, especially when purchasing similar boxes could cost you a pretty penny? These high-quality boxes will definitely be up to the task of transporting your heavy books. So, stop by your local bookshop and ask about any boxes they may be disposing of. While you’re there, you may be convinced to purchase a book, which nowadays seems to be a somewhat outdated activity.


Office buildings are another potential source of small to medium-sized boxes. Companies frequently receive boxes of copy paper. These lid-covered boxes may be ideal when packing up papers, important documents, stationery and the like. As a company employee, we are certain your supervisor would not have a problem with allowing you to take a few boxes to help with your move.

Garage Sales

If you hadn’t thought about it yet, garage or yard sales are also a great place to get free moving boxes. Chances are these boxes will be clean and dry; and may range from small to medium in size. So, as you go about your daily routines, be mindful to keep an eye out for any garage sales in your neighbourhood. We are certain that the organizers will be happy to give you a few of their unwanted boxes.

Facebook Marketplace

Undoubtedly, social media does not have the best reputation these days. However, social media communities can be used positively and productively. We think that the Facebook Marketplace is also a good source of free, moving boxes. Simply post a comment with size and condition requirements. Maybe include a handover date and see if anyone in the community has boxes that they are willing to pass on. As the adage goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”


While this is not a free option, we understand that some of our readers do not have the time to search for and collect boxes. For those whose time is limited, Amazon is certainly another option for sourcing moving boxes. As we mentioned at the onset, the pricing varies but once your budget allows, ordering boxes is certainly a good way to shop around for various-sized boxes.

Who would have thought that there were so many places to source moving boxes? We hope that this more detailed list is useful to you. Of course, if you are looking for reliable, van removal and/or packing services in the York area, feel free to contact us. With years of experience in removal services, a sterling reputation in York and hundreds of satisfied customers, we would be only too keen to help you with your move and ensure that your experience is as stress-free as possible. Contact us today for your free quote. We’ll be pleased to chat with you.

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