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Cheap Moving Boxes San Francisco

Published on 2021-02-25

moving boxes san francisco
moving boxes san francisco

Whether you hire professional San Francisco movers or handle your move DIY style, it’s going to cost and you need to budget for it.  In many cases, hiring a full-service moving company offering professional movers and packers to do all the work is just as cost-effective as a DIY move and more affordable than what you think about professional moving services. So your budget doesn’t have a lot of breathing room, every place you can save a buck is crucial.  One of the first cost-cutting measures that come to mind is finding some free moving supplies. One of the moving supplies that are easier to find for free are moving boxes. There are few places in SF where you can find moving boxes san francisco, cardboard boxes, wardrobe boxes as well as green boxes for free.

What Size Moving Boxes Should You Look For In SF?

Moving Boxes Sizes

If you go to home improvement stores and moving truck rental companies, they sell San Francisco moving boxes in standardized sizes. We have put together the following information to help you determine the different box sizes to look for:

  • Small (approx. 16”x12”x12”) – these can be used for books and magazines, CD’s and DVD’s, and kitchen gadgets.
  • Medium (approx. 18”x16”x18”) – these are ideal for bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths
  • Large (approx. 18”x18”x24”) – you pack a variety of items in these such as bedding, small appliances (can openers, toasters, etc.), and throw pillows
  • Extra-large (approx. 24”x20”x24”) – use these for your bulkier, lightweight items like blankets, comforters, and pillows

Remember, the larger the moving box is, the more lightweight the items should be that you’re packing in them.

Types of Moving Boxes SF You Need

You will need different types of San Francisco moving boxes for different types of moves. A box that will work for a local move may not work for an international move. Here are the different types of boxes that you will need during a move:

  1. Normal Cardboard Boxes – These types of boxes are used to carry items that are small or do not have weird shapes. You cannot put anything that can be easily broken in these boxes.
  2. Plastic Bins – Plastic bins are the best options to carry electrical items. You can also put your clothes in plastic bins. Although you can put your clothes in other types of boxes as well, you will be able to easily locate your clothes inside plastic bins as they are quite transparent.
  3. Bankers Box – You only need this box for commercial moves. This box allows you to move your paperwork and other office items like pens, folders, e.t.c. in an organized manner. This box will save you time when moving an office.
  4. Wardrobe Boxes – This type of box has a rod present on the top of the box to hang your clothes. This type of box is needed when you don’t want to fold certain clothes. 
  5. Dish And Glassware Boxes – For plates, glasses, and other types of kitchen wares, you will need this box. Space inside this box is well partitioned to make sure each kitchen wares have its separate space.
  6. Custom Boxes – When you are transporting valuable antique items, you’ll need custom boxes specially designed for them.
  7. Mirror Boxes – If you do not want your mirrors or pictures to break, you will need mirror boxes. These boxes are thin and long. Plus, it also has some extra protection.

Other Moving Supplies You Need

To complement your moving boxes, you’ll need some other packing supplies as well:

  • Tapes – Most boxes do not come with their own glue. So, you’ll need tape to properly close the boxes.
  • Bubble Wrap / Packing Peanuts – These products are made to protect your belongings inside a box.

How Many Moving Boxes Do You Need?

How Many Boxes Do You Need

Now that you have an idea of the different box sizes to look for, it’s important to know how many you’re going to need.  After all, you don’t want to be wasting time making multiple trips when considering where to find rent moving boxes in San Francisco CA.  It makes more sense to set aside several hours or an entire day and get all the boxes you need rather than constantly running in and out looking for more.

We use the following information to determine the number and size of boxes needed for moving based on the size of the home that is getting packed up and loaded on our moving trucks:

  • 1 to 2-room studio apartment – 8 small, 6 medium, 4 large, and 2 XL boxes
  • 2 to 3-room apartment or small home – 10 small, 8 medium, 6 large, and 3 XL boxes
  • 4 to 5 room home – 18 small, 15 medium, 15 large, and 4 XL boxes
  • 6 to 7 room home – 30 small, 25 medium, 20 large, and 10 XL boxes
  • 8 to 9 room home – 40 small, 30 medium, 30 large, and 12 XL boxes

Having a variety of boxes ensures that you’ll always have the right ones you need for every item you plan on packing up.

Where Are The Best Places To Find FREE Moving Boxes In San Francisco?

If you have a decent idea of where to find FREE moving boxes San Francisco, movers, and packers in San Francisco, you’re already a step ahead of the game. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled the following list of places that can help you out when looking for FREE moving boxes:

  • Bars and restaurants – there are hundreds of these in the city and all of them have empty boxes they’ll gladly let you haul off. This is especially true with bars that receive their shipments in boxes with dividers in them, which is perfect for packing glasses and stemware that break easily.
  • Bookstores – another great place to score FREE moving boxes is places like Barnes and Noble or Borders bookstores. They have enough cardboard boxes available in their stores. Their customers rarely need any cardboard boxes so they wind up accumulating in the back room of these stores.
  • Grocery and liquor stores – whether it’s canned goods, cheeses, or liquor bottles, they’re all packed in boxes that these places dispose of (unless they’re recycling). These are always a good choice for finding cheap moving boxes in San Francisco.
  • Pharmacies – when you’re thinking about where to find FREE moving boxes in San Francisco, stores such as CVS and Walgreens typically have a lot of empty boxes to spare. Plus, they probably won’t get mad at you for saving them the time and trouble of disposing of them.
  • Craigslist – this may not be a good option to get free boxes in most places. But, in San Francisco, people are really concerned about the environment. Many people in SF believe in recycling and reusing. So, you can find a few people on Craigslist asking you to take moving boxes that they do not need.
  • U Haul – you can take help from U Haul to get moving boxes, SF, even when you are not hiring them as your movers. Just like Craigslist, U Haul will help you find people looking to get rid of their moving boxes through their message boards.

Where to Buy Moving Boxes in San Francisco?

You may not always get the boxes that fit your needs. In some cases, you may need to buy San Francisco moving boxes. Here are some of the good places to buy moving boxes in San Francisco:

Bellam Storage & Boxes

A company that specializes in providing moving boxes and other packing supplies. In addition to a large variety of boxes, they also provide portable storage units that can be delivered to your place for loading before being stored in their secure warehouse facility. 

Check Amazon or United Parcel Service

They also sell moving boxes and supplies that you can order online and have delivered to your door.

ZippGo Moving Boxes

Reusable and sustainable moving boxes called ZippGo Moving Boxes are available for rent and can be used during a move. They may be quickly put together and taken apart for convenience, and they are made to be durable and portable.


BoxBee is a storage and moving company that provides its clients with different storage services. Reusable plastic containers are shipped by the company to clients’ households or locations of business, where they can be used to pack and store stuff.

U Haul Box Store

They provide a wide range of packing materials, moving boxes, storage, and moving services.

Home Depot

The Home Depot carries a range of packing materials and boxes in San Francisco for relocating from one location to another.

Postal Annex Packing Area

They are experienced in moving boxes as well as other packaging and shipping supplies.


People who have recently relocated to San Francisco may be able to provide you with used boxes for free or at a discounted price.

Planning a move alone can be difficult. If you are already stressed at the idea of packing your home all by yourself, don’t wait any longer. Just give us a call and we’ll arrange the packing supplies like packing tapes and a team to help you pack your home safely.  If you need any specific services, do let us know. We’ll help you every step of the way.

To learn more about the commercial and residential moving services we offer and the packing and moving supplies we offer, contact us today. We are here to alleviate your stress and help you move safely.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Where can I get free moving boxes in San Francisco?

Boxes are available for free at a variety of locations, including pharmacies. Pharmacies, Grocery Stores, Bars & Restaurants, Liquor Stores, Home Improvement Stores, Freecycle, Craigslist, Starbucks, and so on.

What is the cheapest way to ship large boxes?

USPS is frequently the lowest option for single boxes. USPS Priority Mail will be the lowest option for large lightboxes. Consolidated freight is one of the most cost-effective shipping alternatives for big large boxes or numerous box shipments.

How Many Boxes Do You Need?

It all depends on how many rooms need to be moved, but you can plan about 10 small, 8 medium, and 5 large packing boxes per room.

Where can I get rid of moving boxes in San Francisco?

San Francisco moving boxes can be recycled by placing them next to your recycling container. The only stipulation is that the crates be cut into 2×3 foot chunks. You can recycle five bundles of San Francisco moving boxes per week until your moving boxes are gone.

What Size Boxes Should You Look For?

You might look for small, medium, large, and extra-large boxes, as you will need them for packaging various products.

Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at [email protected]

Customer Reviews

I want to take a moment to say thank you to the extremely hard working crew that handled my move. I admit I was skeptical of hiring a company to move my household stuff but I was so pleased with the services. These guys packed everything up and had it loaded and delivered in no time at all. Everything was taken care of from start to finish and my wife and I were able to take some much needed time to check out the new town without having to worry about getting things unpacked. Three Movers took care of everything and we really appreciate it!

Jeff T.

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