Drowning in Boxes!! Do I save them??? UGH!!

netshoundFebruary 7, 2007

HELP!! I'm drowning in my saved boxes!! What do I do?? I've been saving the empty boxes for some collectibles I have in the event that I sell them some day. They take up so much of my valueable storage space that I am thinking about tossing them. Would it be foolish to throw them out or should I just keep them? My house is VERY small and storage is hard to come by. Make my mind up for me...PLEASE!!!!

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talley_sue_nyc

well, I'm not into "collectibles" as investments. I either have them because I love them, or I don't have them. That's not to say I might not find myself willing to sell them later (I love something else more, or outgrow them, etc.).

But when I do sell them, I'm willing to take whatever financial hit I'd take because I didn't have the original packaging. I could find a box they'd fit in, and could also find packaging to protect them.

That said, I had the original packaging for a china unicorn, and was very glad of it--I had to store it away (storing stuff while we tried to sell the house), and could do so w/ perfect assurance it wouldn't get damaged. It's a VERY fragile piece--the horn, and wings, etc.--I'd worry about it even if it were in a different box all its own w/ peanuts.

My single friend who has lots of eaves on her 2-br house keeps all her original boxes, because she has moved some (not a lot, but a couple of times), and figures, hey, she has room, it makes moving much easier. I see her point.

So--if you thought you were going move soon, or if you had a piece that was particularly fragile, you might let that influence you to keep some of the boxes--for those things that were most hard to store.

(I'm assuming th atflattening the boxes won't help, bcs they've got styrofoam packaging inserts, etc.)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 1:37PM
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spiritual_gardner

If you have not used it since last month, no matter what it is, it should go...either donate, sell or toss.

SG

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 5:13PM
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quandary

Wow, spiritual gardner, that means I have to get rid of my bathing suits -- not a bad idea!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 10:53PM
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western_pa_luann

Wow, then along with the bathing suits quandary mentioned... the winter coats go in the summer; the Christmas decorations go every spring, etc.

I DO think some things are to be kept longer than a month... even when unused!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 8:23AM
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talley_sue_nyc

I've decided that I'm not getting rid of my power drill--even if it has been more than a year since I used it.

I was pondering that "if you haven't used it in a year" question once, and someone here said, particularly w/ regard to clothing: "If you have PASSED UP an chance to wear it, then toss it." If you had a formal party to go to, and went to buy a formal dress instead of wearing the one in the closet, then get rid of the one in the closet. If it was a cold day, and you looked at your longjohns and decided to wear tights instead, that means there's something wrong w/ those longjohns, and you should ditch them.

Does anybody else have any thoughts about the BOXES issue?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 10:44AM
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silvercomet1

How come you're saving the boxes? Is it because you think having the box will increase the value of the item if you decide to sell it? Is it because the box would be good to ship the item in if you decide to sell it? Is it because the boxes came with the collectibles so it's just hard to throw them away? I can relate to all three reasons! But you're going to have to become more selective in the boxes you keep.

Sometimes having the box doesn't increase the value of the item - it really depends on the collectible. And even if the box is considered "nice to have" by a collector, it may still not really influence the price much - it's still already been opened. If you don't have immediate plans to sell an item, go ahead and pitch the box. Taking up all your space for boxes for items you might sell someday just isn't feasible.

And it just occurred to me - if the boxes are really valuable to collectors, then go ahead and sell just the boxes now. That gets the boxes out of your house, and gets you a little money. If no one is willing to buy the boxes separately, then they can't be influencing the prices of the collectibles all that much.

If a particular item is very fragile and has a very specific box like the unicorn above, then I'd be tempted to save it in case you move or need to ship it. But if you're drowning in boxes, be very, very selective.

Saving the boxes just because they came with the collectible - well, I get that one! But you have to keep in mind that you bought the collectible, not the box. Presumably the collectibles are bringing you pleasure - the boxes are just taking up space. If there's relevant information on the box, you can always cut out the panel with the info and pitch the rest.

Okay, now I need to go down to my basement and follow my own advice....

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 11:36AM
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mjny

I would think saving/storing boxes of any kind would be a major fire hazzard.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 12:25PM
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talley_sue_nyc

boxes aren't inherently more of a fire hazard than any other "fuel" you might put in that storage space.

My kids have both learned that fires need 3 things: oxygen, fuel, and ignition.

Boxes can't ignite. (clothes w/ linseed oil, or tung oil, or other kinds of oils, *can* ignite all on their own).

They are essentially only fuel. So they're not going to burst into flame in the attic. They'll just give any fire that gets there from somewhere else, something to use to keep going.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 12:42PM
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marys1000

Are these boxes so specific to a specific collective that they make the packing much easier by shape and insertable packing? Then I would think about keeping them.
If they are your normal square packing box that you can buy peanuts or puffed up plastic for then get rid of them - unless you really think your going to sell them in the next few weeks in which case why by packing and boxes - but if your a procrastinator or just hanging on to the collectibles for selling in a possible future money pinch - chuck!
Mary

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 12:58PM
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quiltglo

Back to the boxes. I think the goal with the boxes will determine the fate. If the OP does want to sell them someday, then I would break the boxes down so they are flat and store them under a bed or something. Re-evaluate if they are really going to be sold every year or so.

With a collectible item, I think it's important to remember that it take a looonnnngggg time for most things to be of much value or for people to collect them. That means the boxes may have to be saved for 50 years or more. And if everyone saved the boxes and the figurines, then the value would still be low because there would be too many of them floating around.

Unless I wanted the boxes for moving purposes, they would not get space in my house. My last move was my 23rd move. I may have wished for a couple of boxes at one time or another, because I've always carried something in my lap that I was afraid would get broken. Not enough to keep boxes, though.

I think most of us understand that a hard and fast rule on when to get rid of items doesn't generalize very well for how we live. I prefer to go back to my mantra of "I need a place to live my life, not store it." Items either help me achieve that goal or they interfere with the goal. Talley's example of the unicorn box illustrates how it makes her life easier to know a valued item can be safely packed away. I bought some old Hazel Atlas Christmas glasses which were still in the original box. Someone hung onto that for 50 years and I put it in the recycling bin. But if they hadn't chosen to keep thoses glasses in that box, I probably wouldn't have been able to buy them since they would have gotten broken.

Gloria

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 2:34PM
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jannie

I cleaned out my hall closet and found the box from my cell phone that I had TWO PHONES AGO. When my MIL was alive, she hovered over everyone at Christmas while we opened gifts. She grabbed all the Dept. store boxes she could get, she especially liked the "rarer" extra large and small boxes. When she died, we found hundreds of empty boxes in her attic. Ironic, isn't it? By the way, I learned my lesson. I had to return a TV that broke during the warranty period, I couldn't find a box big enough for it. Went to my local mailing store, they not only had boxes, they packed it up and did all the work. As far as I can see, there is no point in saving boxes.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 10:58AM
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duluthinbloomz4

Watching the "Antiques Roadshow", original boxes seem to enhance value if it's an old toy or game (it's always the old graphics that gets the appraisers so worked up) or signed jewelry from the likes of Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, etc. which often came in fitted, custom boxes.

The bottom seems to have fallen out of the aftermarket for collectables - there's so much of it out there and should be viewed as something you like as opposed to something to make money on. But if you're of the mind to sell something at some future date - someone who wants it will probably be just as happy with a sturdy little packing box from the UPS Store.

And since I'm always attempting to declutter my life, boxes are always folded down and in the blue box on recycling day. Haven't been sorry.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 4:21PM
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pammyfay

Do these boxes have those foam inserts specially designed to "cradle" the collectible? (Like, for an egg, it has an egg-shaped depression in it?)

If they all do, then save them. Because if you sell them and have to ship them, they are beneficial (of course, you'd have to put that box inside another box and cushion around it with styro/or those organic packing peanuts/bubble wrap.)

I would throw the plain boxes out. Even if it has "Limoges" or something like that written on it, I doubt that not having it as part of the sale would turn a buyer off that much.

That's just my opinion!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 6:40PM
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netshound

Thanks for all your input! I took the plunge and threw them all away. The collectibles I have certainly are'nt valuable enought to keep all those boxes. My space is way more valuable!! Thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 1:41PM
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mitchdesj

Bravo !! I stopped saving boxes once I realized how much cardboard gets dusty and dirty and develops a smell, specially in a basement.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 11:58AM
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marie26

How long do you save boxes for small appliances and computer items once you've started to use the product? I'm thinking that if the product ends up being defective down the road, how much time do you really have to return something, thus needing the box for it.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 12:18PM
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talley_sue_nyc

I toss the box in a day or two--if I've actually used the machine and it works fine, I toss the box. I figure if it breaks after that, it's either my fault, or I'll return it w/o the box.

if it's DEFECTIVE, they won't resell it, so they don't need the box.

Bed Bath & Beyond wouldn't require the box, I don't think.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 7:43PM
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