Storage, clutter, organization… There isn’t a room in my house that doesn’t have some kind of issue that involves stuff. Loads and loads of stuff. Some of it is junk, but most of it needs to find a home. And while small storage containers are cheap at the dollar store, bigger storage tubs can be pricey unless you happen upon a really good sale. But ever since I discovered a source of free, large, sturdy storage containers I haven’t bought a single one. Did you know that every day, the grocery store throws away lots of great boxes?
It’s true. A couple of departments in particular have the best boxes: produce and dairy. These are departments that receive large, heavy boxes, which they are constantly emptying out and, if nobody claims them in time, compacting for recycling. The tomato box you see above had to be pretty tough to ship 25 lbs of something as delicate as tomatoes. I filled it with scarves years ago and have hauled it to and from dozens of craft shows, and it’s still in nearly as good of shape as the day I brought it home. It’s even outlasted a couple of plastic bins that were dropped on a cold day and cracked! In the produce department, banana boxes are also a prime score.
Meanwhile in the dairy department, egg boxes are what you’re looking for. Did you know that a full case of eggs weighs between 40 and 50 lbs? An empty egg box will have no problem handling even your heavy-duty storage tasks! The only drawback I’ve found to egg boxes versus produce boxes is that the egg boxes don’t have nice lids, but instead have fold-in flaps.
How do you get your hands on these boxes? Just ask! A store manager or department manager will gladly handle your request – the more boxes you take off their hands, the less of them the store has to deal with! Since most heavy stocking is done at night or in the morning, make sure you inquire early in the day to get to the boxes before they’ve been crushed or scooped up by someone else.
Looking for more great organizing and storage ideas? I got together with a few of my friends to bring you this great list!
- 50+ Free Cleaning and Organizing Printables at The Country Chic Cottage
- Easy Scarf Storage from Dollar Store Cups at Madigan Made
- DIY Removable Storage Labels at Dollar Store Crafts
- Organize Your Whole House with One Trip to the Dollar Store at Mad in Crafts
- Organize Your Stuff Online at Just Paint It!
More organization tips:
crafty grandma says
While getting boxes at the grocery store is a great idea, I must caution you (from experience) that you can bring home bugs hidden in the flaps. This can lead to an infestation of bugs. Our grocery stores no longer use boxes but reusable plastic bins and therefore when moving day or boxes for storage day comes along, you really have to fend for yourself and buy carton boxes or blue bins at the store. On the plus side, the blue bins are great when moving in the dead of winter amidst the slush, snow and hail! (again from experience) Just wanted to add my 2 cents