Of all the stresses that come with moving, buying boxes shouldn't be one of them! Here's what you do - call a couple of furniture stores in your area, and ask if you can drop by at the end of the day after they get their weekly shipment to pick up boxes. Call furniture stores because they have great, heavy-duty boxes made to securely package heavy or fragile items. Pick stores that have a variety of items (which means different sized boxes) like West Elm, Restoration Hardware, Pier 1, or Crate & Barrel. Don't call Sleepy's. On whatever day they tell you, show up 1-2 hours before closing. They will have unpacked that day's shipment, and neatly stacked broken-down boxes to be put out for recycling. Be respectful and don't throw the boxes everywhere - pick out what you need and put the rest back neatly. I picked up a bunch of boxes around the corner from my apartment & carried them home - ask one of the employees to wrap a couple bands of tape around your stack so it's easier to carry.
What if you call, and everyone turns you down? Find out what day the recycling trucks pick up in the morning. If you walk to work, keep an eye on the dumpsters at the end of the day (or early in the morning) to see when the stores put out their trash. There should be designated recycling dumpsters, so you don't have to worry about sifting through actual trash. Once you figure out what day the trucks come, just go back the day before (preferably after the store closes) and take what you want.
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