When packing for a move, bubble wrap should be the packing material you use exclusively for protecting fragile items that can easily get damaged during the transportation phase of the relocation.
The truth is that the air-bubbled material provides the best overall protection for breakable items as it forms soft padding around them.
If you’ve made up your mind to pack up your things by yourself – as opposed to hiring professional packers to do it for you, then there’s no such thing as using too much bubble wrap during the home-packing process.
In fact, you’re encouraged to use as many sheets of bubbly plastic material as possible in order to guarantee the well-being of your fragile belongings until you reach the new home.
But here’s the catch: using too much bubble wrap during the house packing task will definitely be advantageous but it will also cost you more money. And this can be problematic, especially when you’re moving on a limited budget.
So, one excellent solution is to get hold of free bubble wrap for your packing needs. After all, what’s better than using good-quality bubble wrap without paying for it?
Read on to learn where to get bubble wrap for free when packing for moving.
Benefits of using free bubble wrap
All in all, there are two major benefits of using free bubble wrap when packing for a move:
1. You will save money
Saving money is the obvious bonus of not paying for the quantities of bubble wrap you manage to get hold of before you begin to pack up your things. But how much money will you be able to save in the end?
It’s hard to know for sure because you won’t know exactly how much protective plastic material you’re going to use. Nevertheless, it’s useful to know the approximate prices of brand-new bubble wrap:
- A 15-foot roll of Enviro-Bubble wrap (15’ x 16’’) costs around $5.
- A dispenser box of Enviro-Bubble wrap (150 ft. x 12 in.) costs roughly $20.
- One bulk roll of Enviro-Bubble (250 ft. x 12 in.) costs approximately $30.
2. Your decision will be good for the environment
Using second-hand bubble wrap is an environmentally friendly choice because it conserves resources, saves energy, reduces waste, and lowers pollution. By choosing to reuse bubble wrap, you help minimize your ecological footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.
It’s important to know that when you do your best to keep packing materials – such as cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper – in use for as long as possible, not only will you be saving money but you’ll also extract the maximum value from those supplies before recycling or disposing of them properly.
Ultimately, your decision to reuse bubble wrap will reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or the natural environment.
Get free bubble wrap from retail stores
Keep in mind that local retail stores can be a great source of acquiring free bubble wrap for your packing needs. After all, those local businesses get frequent shipments of goods (some have daily deliveries), so they are very likely to have enough free packing supplies to spare – not only bubble wrap but also cardboard boxes of various sizes.
These are some of the retail stores you should consider checking out for free bubble wrap:
- Electronics stores;
- Home appliances stores;
- Furniture outlets;
- Supermarkets and grocery stores;
- Office supply stores.
Follow these steps to learn the best way to approach those businesses and ask them if you can get free bubble wrap from them:
- Get in touch with the largest retail stores in your area and ask to speak with their respective managers.
- Explain briefly why you’re calling and ask politely for any quantities of bubble wrap AND cardboard boxes that the store can spare.
- Inform the store managers that you’re flexible with your time (hopefully, that’ll be the case) and that you can go there during less busy hours for greater convenience.
- Be ready for rejections and don’t get discouraged if it does happen. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with your request – you’re only trying to save money on your local or long-distance move. So, shake off any rejections for free packing materials – free bubble wrap in this particular case – and move on to the next local business.
If you don’t like the whole idea of contacting store managers and asking for free bubble wrap – maybe you’re too shy or get stressed easily, then there’s another option to acquire bubble wrap for free you can explore. What is it? Just visit the recycling areas near big retail stores and check for any packing materials in good overall condition.
A word of caution: Be selective when it comes to free packing supplies. Yes, it’s great to get the materials you need without paying for them, but it’s more important to make sure their condition is OK and they are safe to use. When it comes to bubble wrap, in particular, do reject any plastic materials that are visibly dirty or you suspect that they might not be infestation-free.
Get free bubble wrap online
Another way you can find bubble wrap for free is online. But where exactly, you should ask?
1. Specialized giveaway websites
Luckily, there are a number of websites you go to where you should be able to find free packing materials for your needs, including free bubble wrap.
- Freecycle. Freecycle should be your best bet when it comes to scoring free bubble wrap. The non-profit organization is dedicated to keeping still usable items away from landfills and that honorable mission of theirs should play right into your hands. All you have to do is register with Freecycle (it’s FREE, of course) and do a local search for bubble wrap. And then, all you have left is to keep your fingers crossed that somebody near you is willing to give their supply of perfectly usable bubble wrap to anyone who needs it. Since you’re already there, it won’t hurt to check Freecycle for free moving boxes near you as well.
- Craigslist. You should be well familiar with Craigslist but what you may not know is that the website has a FREE section as well where you can search for free stuff near you. So, how do you search for free bubble wrap on Craigslist? It’s simple: pick your area, head to the FREEBIES section, and type bubble wrap. With some luck, you should be able to find people in your immediate area who offer bubble wrap and maybe other packing supplies too, such as cardboard boxes.
2. Local community groups (Facebook Marketplace)
Another place you can find bubble wrap without paying for it is in local community groups on social media. The best example is, of course, Facebook Marketplace.
It’s easy to check such local community groups for free packing materials. Simply join such a group for free and publish a brief post that you’re looking for bubble wrap and possibly even for moving boxes. And then, anyone who has more packing supplies than they need is likely to answer your call for help.
Basically, it’s a win-win situation for everybody there isn’t a single reason why you shouldn’t try your luck scoring packing supplies for free using local community groups.
Get bubble wrap for free from friends, family, and neighbors
One of the best ways to get free bubble wrap for the house-packing task is to ask your best friends, your family members, good neighbors, or close work colleagues if they happen to have any quantities of the transparent plastic material with regularly spaced air-filled bubbles on it.
The thing is that you just never know who might have a sizeable stash of bubble wrap in their garage or basement, placed in long-term storage with little chance of being actively used in the foreseeable future.
The great news is that your good friends will be willing to help you out during that transitional period simply because they know how tough it can be. This is especially true for those of your pals who have moved house before – they will understand best what you must be going through.
You can choose among several options when it comes to asking friends, family, or neighbors for packing supplies, namely bubble wrap:
- In person. This is by far the best way to ask if your friends can spare any quantities of bubble wrap for you. Keep in mind that your close friends will already be well familiar that you’re getting ready to move out so they are likely to have already offered you any packing materials they have, or even their packing labor too.
- Over the phone. This is the next best thing after meeting your pals in person. One good tactic is to ask your buddies for packing supplies in general and not go for bubble wrap only. This way, you’ll increase your chances of securing other necessary materials for packing as well.
- Social media post. Publishing a social medial post on Facebook or Twitter is an excellent way to reach all your friends at once. That way, it’ll be much easier for your social media friends to comment below the post if they want to help or if they have another idea about how they can be useful. Although a bit impersonal, using your favorite social media platform to your advantage will give you maximum outreach and the best chance of success in that specific case.
Get free bubble wrap from recycling centers
The good news about the plastic materials used primarily for protecting fragile items is that it’s very durable and it can be used over and over again. Even if the plastic sheets are slightly torn here and there, bubble wrap can be used for cushioning or space filler inside cardboard boxes as long as it’s not dirty and its air-filled bubbles are intact.
And this is exactly why you can try your luck getting your hands on perfectly usable sheets of bubble wrap at local recycling centers. And if there is such a center nearby, it may be worth the trip to go there and see whether you can have various packing supplies for free, including bubble wrap – the best protective material of them all.
Be mindful that finding free bubble wrap takes time – time you may not have the luxury to spare. Sure, it must feel nice to get something for free but your time can turn out to be much more valuable in the end. The truth is that during a house move, it’s a fine balance between time and money, and so you’re the only one who which one is more precious in your case.
If you just can’t afford to lose any time searching for free bubble wrap and free packing materials in general, then you should either buy your supplies new or hire professional packers who will arrive with their own quality packing materials.
Get a free quote from the best movers in your area to learn how much the extra service of professional packing will cost you.