empty boxes

i didn’t wake up saturday morning with any minimalist projects on my mind.  i just woke up a little bit earlier than everyone else and happened to walk downstairs.

in our storage room, i noticed an old, empty box from a light fixture.  i also noticed a large empty box from a stereo that i purchased 9 years ago.  i have a habit of holding on to empty boxes from purchases (mostly major purchases, but there are some minor purchases too).  i like to have the boxes because it makes taking the item back easier if i need to. 

but as i looked around the room i couldn’t believe how much space was being taken up by boxes.  so i made a decision to recycle every box from any purchase made over 6 months ago.  i recycled over 15 empty boxes saturday morning. 

feels good to have space back.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    I used to hold onto empty appliance boxes too long.

    I was indoctrinated into this philosophy by my mother as a teenager. My mother didn’t keep them in case there was something wrong, she kept them because, “when we move, it will be easier to box them up.” It took my parents 20 years to fully move from my childhood home in New York to their retirement home in Florida. I’m glad I was out of the house by then.

    I can still remember when the absurdity of this hit me and when I went through my home 10+ years ago and threw out all the boxes I had accumulated for a move that still hasn’t come. I actually had boxes for things I didn’t have anymore, that’ll really make you feel like and idiot. Took me weeks to move it all through the recycling.

    Anyway, I keep empty “purchase” boxes next to the recycling and they sit there for only two weeks and then they go out.

    • Yan says

      I like the idea of keeping boxes of recently purchased items next to the recycling bin for a while and then throw out. And I laughed out loud when I read your comment about having boxes for stuff long gone. Great comment!

    • di says

      Packing boxes are inexpensive.

      My daughter frequently moves. She collapses her packing boxes and stores them inside a bedroom closet. They take up very little space and are usually all the same size, easy to carry and easy to pack in her car.

  2. says

    Or get rid of twice as much – fill the empty boxes you’ve been saving with other stuff you don’t need any more and drop it all off at Goodwill (or whatever charity you like)!

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