Unboxing Day

My apartment is blessed with 4 walk-in closets. Not only is there ample hanging space, there are also plenty of shelves. It seems like my closets can hold unlimited amounts of stuff — until suddenly they can’t.

Because I have so much closet space, I have gotten into the habit of keeping empty boxes. Sometimes I keep a box because there are spare parts in it which I may need in the future, or because I may want to buy another one and I want to keep track of exactly what model it is. Other times I keep a box because I am likely to sell the item on eBay someday, and it’s always good to be able to sell it with the original box. And sometimes I keep a box because it’s so darn cool. I’m particularly partial to Apple product boxes, with Sonos a close second.

I recently started cleaning out the shelves in my bedroom closet. I started with the shelves on which I keep extra medications and toiletries, extra parts for exercise equipment, small electronics, laundry and sewing accessories, etc. I was able to get rid of quite a bit that I no longer needed or had too many of, but a lot of what I ditched was empty boxes. When I was done with that section of the closet, I had achieved three important benefits:

  • I had greater access to the items that I needed most frequently,;
  • I could see everything I had;
  • I had empty space on most of the shelves.

I was so jazzed at the end of this organizing session that I vowed to set aside time another day to work on the rest of the closet. A few days ago, I tackled the very top shelf. I knew that this would be mostly empty boxes for larger electronics. When I took everything down from the shelf and put it on my bed to sort through it, it looked like this.

When all was said and done, I kept the boxes that had spare parts in them. And I kept most of the Apple boxes. (I can’t help it.) Everything else got broken down and put out with the recycling:

I still have more shelves to go through in that closet. But I feel like I’ve made a tremendous breakthrough because for the first time in a long time, there is a lot of empty space in that closet. I will do my best to not fill it with empty boxes!


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