Out with boxes

I face a dilemma with boxes.

What should I do with boxes? Fancy boxes. 

I buy stuff, nice stuff, like candles and cosmetics and fancy stuff that comes in lovely boxes. I keep the boxes thinking I will re-use them to wrap gifts. And sometimes I do. 

Oh, OK. Occasionally I do. 

But I feel it is a waste putting them in the cardboard recycling.

But is it?

Help me!

My simple living forum friends gave me some suggestion. 

Tao, suggested using them to gift to grandies and the like so they could put all the things kids collect in them. This comment came through just as I had a friend over who said exactly the same thing, except she said nieces. So they could put hair clips and the like in them. Too funny.

Friend and I were laughing as I showed my friend some of my boxes. Friend talked me into putting a smaller subset of the ones I showed her into the recycling bin, because frankly my nieces would smile with a forced smile and think why on earth I am giving them the boxes. And some of the boxes are not really usable sizes.

Two of the boxes I loved. As I pulled them out of the cupboard, my fiend correctly guessed they were packaging from mugs. Damn! But they are so pretty.

Anyway the lids went into the recycling. (Not the bases mind. That was a step too far.)

Friend pointed out the success to Mr S before I had time to stop her. She didn’t realise he is as bad as me in keeping things, probably worse, and Mr S said the boxes were too nice to recycle. 

A big box that held cosmetics also went into the recycling. I kept it because it was the perfect size to post things to family interstate. But who posts packages now given the cost of postage? Better to buy something online and have it directly delivered.

But look! The bases of the mug boxes have been put to good use. Holding gift ribbons and bows in one place. Not spread around the house when I find some ribbon, placed for safe keeping awaiting future use, in a drawer, on a book shelf, on a sideboard, I can pop them in the new set place. So I know where they are when I need them. 

Box lovers, do you too have the slight feeling of pang in my chest (anxiety? guilt?) I got from putting two lids and one box into the recycling!


13 thoughts on “ Out with boxes

  1. OK I have to admit that some Consumer Electronics etc have such lovely packaging that it pains me to recycle the. I am talking iPad, Beats headphones and Ice Watch. But I don’t want to be a collector of packaging and they serve no purpose except to create a “hgh end experience” when opening them. Sigh.

  2. oh yes, I have two shelves in the study bedroom with shoebox lids (the shoeboxes seem in use) and other assorted boxes. I have used one or two for easy Christmas wrapping! One conveniently fitted my recent Christmas acquisition of a wreathy-swagy thing. Gosh, two ikea file boxes make our bedside tables cause they are the perfect height!

    Just yesterday I took out the recycling with two 2L juice bottles and part of me thought “surely they’d make good scoops”. I threw them out but part of me still thought of upcycling. But I’m with you and the preservation of boxes!!! Far better than junk store plasticy smelly ones, right?

  3. I keep fancy boxes sometimes (as long as you can’t tell what they originally held) and use them to give gifts so I don’t have to mess with wrapping paper. My favorite victims in this scheme are my husband and immediate family because then I can ask for the boxes back after they’ve “unwrapped” their present. I have several boxes that I’ve used for years in this way. If you want to be rid of them, I say recycle without guilt 🙂

    • Yes, I think the key is not knowing what they originally held. When I got the boxes out of the cupboard (the ones with the blue base. You couldn’t see the base as the top covered it.) My friend said immediately, even though she couldn’t see the writing, “They had mugs.” Damn! She could tell from the other side of the room. Can’t use them as gift boxes. What if I cover them with paper?

  4. Haha – I loved this so post so much! It really sums up so much at the heart of decluttering.

    I love pretty boxes so much. But I have hardened my heart and become almost a bix sociopath. I just rip them asunder and recycle. If you rip one, you see the tacky internal cardboard and realise it is all a facade 🙂

    I can’t recycle iPhone boxes though. I’m not THAT callous. I might set myself Decluttering Homework and try to recycle the 2010 iPhone box!

  5. Why hello, sister from a completely different mother and father… I actually thought of you today when collecting my new glasses (separate incident to the incidents of last week. Last week was a bad week.) They not only have a lovely and useful case, but a really cool box. He asked me if I wanted it… I thought about it, I should have said no. I said yes. It was pretty. I couldn’t resist it.

      • At the moment, some of the ridiculous creatures on my desk are standing on it. Like, my lego minifigs are in the box my kikki k diary came in… I like little creatures, too.

  6. Here’s a thought. If you don’t buy any new things, you won’t ever get any new boxes, so the ones you have are the only ones you will ever have, then they become more useful and precious, and you will never be overwhelmed by more stuff or more boxes, and you will NEED the boxes eventually, because you won’t ever be buying any more storage containers..

    yes, I know I’m a bit annoying, and should just shush now.

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