Boxes-------keep or toss????

pinkcarnationJune 28, 2007

I think this topic has been addressed in the past, but I cannot find it. What do you do with boxes...all kinds of boxes that your stuff comes in?? I recently upgraded to a new computer, monitor, and printer-scanner-copier and according to the manufacturers, I should be keeping all those boxes in case there is a problem. I have phone boxes, appliance boxes, etc. and I am inundated with boxes! Do you keep them and if so, for how long, and do you break them down? The problem with doing that is there are all the inserts and stuff inside the boxes that is needed for returning anything. I am trying to organize myself thanks to all the ideas I have gotten here. You guys are awesome. I hope you can help me with this latest problem!! TIA :-)


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Jackie my DH is a box saver too. I can sympathize. Have you ever needed one of the boxes you're saving? Do you move ALOT? Are the things you're saving boxes for still under warranty? How hard would it be to safely box up something you might need to send back?
Our coffee maker went on the fritz while still under warranty and they simply had me cut off the cord and send it in as box needed.
When our computer is acting up, we carry it in to Best box.
In the past we used to move A LOT. Boxes were saved to pack up stereo equipment and computers. I think we've moved (LOL) passed that stage.
Hope this gives you some ideas for evaluating whether saving boxes is right for you.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 8:17PM
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I think a lot depends on how you use things. I don't think a blanket policy of keep or toss is the best.

For instance we use box fans (no A/C in our house) for cooling in the summer- I think we have at least a dozen of them. They come in large cardboard boxes and I save those boxes because in the fall after I've cleaned the grills and fan blades, I slip the fan back in its box where it stays clean and ready until needed again. (Some summers we don't use as many, other times they're all in use.)

Now we also use a variety of small desk-top fans, but these come unassembled and can't go neatly back in their boxes after they've been put together. I'm certainly not going to spend time breaking them down enough to put them back in - that would defeat the whole purpose of having them clean and ready. The small desk top fans get wrapped in plastic bags and set on the shelf after their seasonal cleaning. And their boxes get recycled as soon as they taken out the first time.

For expensive electronics we have purchased by mail order we do keep the boxes in the attic in case we need to mail something back for some reason. (My DH had a Dell laptop that spent so much time going back and forth it probably had its own frequent flyer account.) But if we've bought something locally, then I'll recycle the box since I can just take it back in.

I do keep a supply of useful-looking shipping boxes that waxes and wanes over the course of a year; the low point is after the holidays when I'm done shipping presents.

I tend to keep most smaller boxes (like shoe boxes) which often get recycled within my household for holding small groups of things in larger collections: for instance all the sewing machine parts for each specific machine are kept together in its own box on a shelf in my sewing room. I like having stuff semi-categorized.

Try to find a place that will take corrugated boxes (broken down) and all those styrofoam pellets. I have a small business near me that is very happy to get the peanuts once or twice a year. I just keep a big box with a plastic garbage bag inside to collect them from every arriving shipment and when it's full, I deliver it. Ask at your post office if there's someone who does a lot of eBay shipping - perhaps you could make a patch with them and off-load your packing materials (boxes and fillings) and send them on to a second use.

I like to think of my passed-along peanuts zipping around the world delivering stuff to people who are glad to see it.

For moving boxes, I just got rid of a ton of them by putting an ad in my local freecycle paper. With any luck, I'll never need moving boxes again!


    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 9:20PM
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Here's my quote from the last thread. "I have faith that the universe will provide me a box if I need one."

They are gone. Even when we have needed to send a computer back to Dell for repair, they had DHL drop us off a new box. They didn't want it returned in the original box. I saved three shoe boxes this year thinking the kids might need one for a school project. The just took up space and I still had to send them to the recycling center.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 5:02AM
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tre3: Good questions! NO, I have never, ever needed one of those boxes, but I guess I am suffering from that "I might need it if I toss it" syndrome! LOL I don't plan on moving for awhile, so I don't need them for that purpose.

Molly: Wow, what a great response! Like you, I try to recycle most of the boxes I title is somewhat misleading...I guess I think I might need them for returning things for repair. I am mainly concerned with the Dell and printer boxes.

Gloria: I LOVE the quote! You answered my question about the Dell boxes! Out they go!! I think my future plan is to just recycle them as soon as they enter the house. I might hang on to them for a month or so, just until I see if everything is working properly, especially the computer w/Windows Vista....not sure I like that system!
I can't thank all of you enough for all the wonderful ideas! I know I can always count on some really good suggestions from all of you!! Thanks again!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 1:44PM
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I vote toss. I was saving boxes. then I had an unexpected flood in the basement. I had to throw my entire stash of boxes out. So far I haven't needed even one. If I do need one, I am secure in the knowledge I can find one for free or buy them extremely cheap when and if the need arises.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 3:02PM
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I nest boxes until I have no more space left for them and then I stop nesting and recycle anymore that come along. I do use them to ship, so they come in handy along with the packing materials.

If I get too much packing material, I take it to my nearby UPS store, and they are happy to have it.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 8:41PM
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DH insists we keep computer boxes, luckly we have an "attic" area over the garage that is basically useless, that is where those boxes go.

All others (toaster etc) are kept for the 90 days or so they can be returned to the store they were purchased at. After that they go out. Boxes we get through the mail, I look to see if I need to send out anything in the next 2 weeks, and will it fit that box, if not, cut off address and break down, put out with the newspapers for recycling on recycle day.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 10:11AM
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Apple Computer boxes are a marvel for compactly & safely repackaging what came in them, so I save these in the attic or other out of the way spot. I save some boxes & "airbags" for shipping things. Everything else gets tossed.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 4:35PM
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I am packing to move to another city (tomorrow!) and it has been very convenient to have the boxes for the TV (Sharp), DVD player (Samsung, VCR (Toshiba), CD player (Sony), etc. All of these have well-designed inserts so that the gear fits perfectly and is easy to pack.

On the other hand, I can no longer think of a reason to save the box for a pair of Wharfedale speakers; the packing material is just a heap of loose cardboard and nothing fits any particular way.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 10:21PM
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Along with the fact that they could get wet in the basement, I heard that cardboard attracts bugs, don't know if it's true. I have rubbermaid containers and stack the unused ones. I used them when we moved so I have a lot of extras.....Linn

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 5:47PM
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we save our boxes, most of them, and i reuse them for christmas presents. i wrap the kids' presents in them. i use them over and over. in the year in between, they are stored in one of the outbuildings. the kids have grown up opening the same "boxes" over and over. they recognise the "box" by size, but still have no idea what the present really is.
im a keeper...

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 2:38AM
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I too used to store empty cardboard boxes. But I realized that I never used them. So now, when I get boxes, I use them in the garden: I put them down on bare ground (or grass I want to get rid of) sprinkle water to dampen, then throw mulch down. Works great at suppressing the weeds and it builds up our sandy soil.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 3:08PM
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