non-packrats, what the &*%# do you do with your stereo/computer/etc. boxes?

Ok, so I’m trying to become less of a packrat, and trying to get rid of some stuff around my apartment.

What about boxes? Specifically the boxes that your electronics come in, e.g. stereo boxes, computer boxes, the big box my electronic piano came in. It seems like other people just throw these out, but I have this (weird?) fear of getting rid of these. What if I have to return them? Don’t I need the original packaging? What if I move–as I surely will some time in the next 3 years–won’t I need those boxes (and the styrofoam pieces) to pack up this stuff.

Ok, I know I sound like a goof to all you people who are blessed with the non-packrat gene, but, well, I’d appreciate everybody’s thoughts.


Assuming these boxes are in their usual form, you could fold them up and keep them in your closet or under the couch, etc. Packing tape will reconstitute them for future use.

I don’t know how to help with the Styrofoam, though.

If you have a warranty repair place in your town for your electronics, chuck the boxes. If you have to send it away somewhere, original packing is good stuff. Once the warranty period expires, get rid of it all.

I have some relatives who are extreme packrats, and they have a couple houses that aren’t even lived-in right now, so I tend to slowly move all my stuff into their houses. Gets rid of the clutter for me and they will never notice. Plus, if I ever need something again, I know where to find it.

As for moving, do you really need the boxes? I never have. Most things like stereos and tvs can fit in the car easily enough. I just use towels and sheets and such for protecting everything in the car. Just a thought.

I toss them, shamelessly. If the need for a box really arises, you can buy boxes. Shipping places like Mailboxes Etc. usually have an assortment of boxes & packing materials. Other than buying packing boxes when I move, I’ve never had to actually buy a box, but knowing they are available has allowed me to toss the boxes and get on with my life.

If you want to get rid of them, you may be able to bring them by a local grocery store. I believe that my store gets a hundred or two bucks for each pallet of cardboard they bale.

Alternately, if anyone ever needs boxes, you may be able to get them from your local grocery store. I don’t think you’ll have a problem because none of the service jockeys care about the store getting a hundred or two bucks. :smiley:

(I know, I’m one of them.)

I once had a large box from stereo speakers that I covered with brown paper and used for an end table. :eek:
Had the damn thing for about 5 years before finally getting rid of it.

This is a great idea! I’d toss the foam, etc.

Simply toss them out.

On second thoughts, if you ARE a genetically coded packrat, fill them with some of the other clutter in your closets/garage/life and toss it all out. Clutter is easy to identify. If you haven’t used whatever-it-is for 12 months, it’s probably JUNK. The dead giveaway is when you come across something and think “Hell, I didn’t even remember I had this.” Toss it immediately.

  • PW

You could do what Heloise would do.

Cut the boxes into small strips, maybe 1 inch wide. Then dip them in Paraffin wax. They make wonderful fire starters. The corrugated cardboard traps the wax brilliantly, and is sure to make your next fire easy and fun to start!

Your assessment is correct. I will let it slide, however, since my sister-in-law is exactly the same as yourself, and my marital bond to her sister causes me to have to put up with somebody else’s junk in my basement. Why? Because I try to pick my battles carefully and this one is not worth fighting.

I hold on to the packaging until I am sure that I will not return the item (e.g. 15 days for a computer from Best Buy since they don’t accept returns after that).
Once that time has passed, I gleefully flatten the box and put it out with the recycling. There’s simply nothing more to it than that.

In all honesty, I have never packed up a piece of consumer electronics and sent it to be repaired in 20 years as a consumer of gadgetry. In addition, the precious little free space in my home has significant value to me.

Flattening it and storing it behind a bookcase is almost just as bad as keeping it in its original form. Just get rid of the darned boxes!

I’ve done something similar to that with Guides… we use cardboard and tuna cans (or cans of similar size) roll up the cardboard and stick a wick in the middle… add paraffin wax and you got yourself a buddy burner!

Of course we only use them with camping to cook our food over sometimes (It can take forever though. You make a little ‘stove’ with a big coffee can light the buddy burner underneath (making sure there are holes so it can breathe. And cook your food on the bottom of the can.)

Of course I’m a pack rat myself… at this time I have stuff scattered at my Grandma’s and my Mother’s as well as here but I plan to consolidate it all and go through it. I’ve already started going through stuff I have here. I do have a pile of boxes in a corner though for when I move (but that will be soon anyway so I won’t throw them yet)