Cheapskates Guide to Making Your Own Packaging Material to Pack Boxes for Self Storage

If you are getting ready to put some items in self storage, you need to pack them carefully, but that doesn't necessarily mean you need to waste a lot of money on packaging materials. Instead, you can make your own. Check out these four cheap or free ideas:

1. Ask friends to save packaging material from mail

Talk to your friends, relatives and neighbours and ask them to save their packaging materials. If you have associates who order a lot of goods online, the supply of packaging materials can build up quite quickly. When you are ready to start packing your items for storage, grab a few bin bags, and drive to everyone's houses to pick up their contributions.

2. Recycle old mail and paper into packaging materials

During the weeks leading up to putting your items in storage, don't throw away any paper. If you receive catalogs, advertisements or even bills in the post, shred them, and use the remnants as packaging material. If you want a lot of paper quickly, go door to door on the day before recycling pick-up day in your neighbourhood, and ask everyone to contribute their paper recycling to you.

3. Use old books

Old books can also be shredded into packaging materials. If you don't have any that you need to get rid of, call local libraries. When libraries have decided to let a book leave their collection, they may sell it, but in some cases, they amass falling-apart or irrelevant books that they cannot sell, and they may be willing to give them to you.

Alternatively, try contacting a local bookstore. When bookstores cannot sell paperback books, they can get a refund for the book from the publisher. Instead of mailing it back to the publisher, however, they simply strip the cover and send the cover back. Then, they dispose of the rest of the book. If a book store has a lot of these old books on hand, they may be willing to give them to you for free as well.

4. Don't forget rags

Cloth also works handily as packaging materials. If you need to put dishes, wine glasses, figurines or other breakables into storage, you can make packaging material out of old clothes, sheets and other cloth. You can even pull the batting out of old quilts. In addition to using your old cloth items, consider asking charities stores if they have received any donations they cannot use and are willing to give to you as rags.