Let’s face it, we’ve all done it. We’ve all gone to the grocery store or liquor store in search of boxes for moving. There’s something about paying for boxes that seems unnecessary. There are so many businesses that ship so many goods that it just makes sense that one could find free boxes for moving. And it’s true, you can. But should you? Or should you buy boxes for your next move?

new vs. free moving boxes

Moving can be expensive meaning that this decision all boils down to a matter of cost. If the new boxes are cheaper than getting boxes for free, then it would be worth it to buy new boxes. But how in the world could boxes you have to pay for be cheaper than boxes you can get for free? As you’ll see, it’s possible.

Size Up Your Move

The first thing to do is to size up your move. How far away are you moving and how much stuff do you need to move?

For small moves, like cleaning out a closet and moving it to a storage unit, you can likely transport your items in your car or truck yourself. In this case, you can probably get by with the free boxes.

If you are moving a kitchen, an apartment, or a home, you are better off buying boxes. Here’s why.

Different Boxes For Different Purposes

Boxes serve different purposes depending on how you use them.

When you’re moving a small amount of goods from one place to another, especially if you plan to unpack them once you arrive at your destination, the primary purpose of the box is to make it easy to carry your stuff from the house to the car and the car to the house. It doesn’t really need to provide structure to hold other boxes in place. It’s a DIY solution to a DIY problem. In this case, free boxes work just fine.

When you are moving enough things that you need to rent a trailer, a truck, get a PODS unit, or call a moving company, this is when you’re going to want to invest in new moving boxes.

New boxes cost anywhere from $0.96 to $3.75 a box, depending on the size, if you order from Uline. Moving a home will run several hundred dollars in boxes, packing tape, and other packing supplies. But, the benefits are well worth it.

When boxes are loaded into a truck, they serve an additional function besides holding your stuff. They are also responsible for compensating for shifting weight during driving and transportation.

When boxes are packed correctly and stacked uniformly into rows and columns, there is a very low likelihood of breakage or damage of your goods. Properly packed boxes don’t move or shift during transportation. All of the boxes fit together easily and support each other equally.

In the unlikely event of breakage or damage, the insurance company will not be able to deny the claim due to insufficient packing.

This is the real reason paying for boxes is cheaper than free boxes. Those free boxes run the real risk of minimizing any insurance claims. They can’t be counted on for structural integrity as it applies to loading a truck and increase the chance of damaging your goods. They can end up costing you thousands of dollars in unrecoverable damages.

Remember: for a small DIY move, free boxes can work but for a proper move, you’ll want proper boxes. It’s a proactive insurance policy against breakage and will keep your insurance claim intact if you should need to use it.