Join us for the boxes free challenge. Do you have boxes kicking around your house? Stuff shipped to you by Amazon or maybe empty iPhone boxes you’ll never use again?
Boxes free is about processing the boxes for quick recycling and freeing up space in our homes.
Listen: Boxes Free Challenge
Watch: Boxes Free Challenge
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Are You Boxes-Free?
Are you boxes-free or do you have little odds and ends boxes that are kicking around your house, they’re stuck on your bookshelves, they’re hiding behind your couch, they’re stuck over in the corner of the room and they might be empty and they might have stuff in them? Do you have boxes in your house?
Right now we are spending 30 days, we’re going through every area of our home and we’re pulling out things for 30 days that no longer belong, and today we’re going to focus on boxes. And you say, “Boxes? Well, I don’t have any boxes in my home.” I didn’t think I did either but I went through my house and what I found was in my closet I had a couple of shoeboxes, they still had new shoes inside the boxes.
Now, I bought them on a sale, and if you are like me during the COVID pandemic you switched a lot of your shopping from in-store purchases to online shopping so the boxes keep coming.
Boxes Pile Up Pretty Quickly
And then the boxes arrive at your house as the shoes did for me. And the first thing I did is I took them out of the bigger cardboard box and I just put them on the shelf until I can organize them and put them where they go, so I had two boxes inside a bigger box.
Okay, yesterday I bought some cleaning supplies. The cleaning supplies arrived in this box and on the box itself it says, “Please recycle me.” It’s an empty box. But my question is, what do you do with the boxes that come that have shipping things in them that you bought?
Do they kick around your house? Do you break them down? And do you recycle them and do you know what to do with them?
I Have Always Broken My Boxes Down
All right. As a house cleaner of almost three decades, one of the things I’ve always done is I break the boxes down. I take a box cutter and I cut off the tape on the ends and I flatten the box so that when I’m done the box looks like this, this is a flattened box.
And then you can store it inside your garage and you can have a lot of stored boxes. Now, the reason that I like to store the boxes instead of just throwing them out is that whenever we would go on a move-in move-out clean, I would always find there would be lots of extra stuff that customers would leave behind.
It would be things like a shoe, socks, it would be toys, trinkets from the bathroom, whatever, there would be little odds and ends.
I Had a Surplus of Boxes From Work
And I will box everything up, and I had all these extra boxes that I could then tape up and either give back to the customer or you could take them and just throw them in the trash or what have you. But lots of the things that were left behind needed to go inside a box, so I always had extra boxes.
Now, if I ended up with a surplus of extra boxes I could always go to nextdoor.com, you can even go to facebookmarketplace.com and you can make a note and say, “Hey, I have extra moving boxes if anyone wants them.”
It’s Better to Recycle Unused Boxes Unless You Do Moving Cleans
Now, this happens to be a small box, it would be great for little items from the bathroom vanity. And you could pack everything up in a box this size and it would be easy for even a child to carry if they were helping you move into your house.
So if you have boxes that you have not used it’s great to recycle them and get rid of them quickly instead of just storing them unless of course you’re a professional house cleaner and you use them on a regular basis for clients that you have.
How Quickly Can You Get Rid of Your Boxes?
Okay. So, one of the things that I recommend is how quickly can you get rid of the boxes that you have? Do you have a recycling bin that you can put out on a curb?
Because the recycling actually goes to these big recycling centers where they can process the boxes and also they’re available to the public if you want to come and you want to take the boxes for your own moving.
Now, I know that we’ve had several clients that have moved and they’ve gone down to the recycling centers and they’ve been given hundreds of boxes that just came in all different sizes, shapes, whatever. We get to use the boxes over and over and over again so that we’re not being wasteful.
It’s an amazing process of recycling the boxes that you have that come in from shipping, but to keep them kicking around your house, not so great, they take up space and they create clutter in your house.
Look Around Your House for Other Boxes
So as I was going through my house I found other kinds of boxes. One of the boxes was I bought this little gizmo, this extends your satellite signal across the areas of your house. But I saved the box that it came in. Don’t ask me why I saved the box, it’s silver and it’s pretty and it has some information on it.
I have no good reason for keeping this box other than it’s just pretty. And then I asked myself, “Why do I still have this because this is plugged into the wall and I’ve already hooked it up and I’m already using it, why did I save the box?”
I don’t know but I can get rid of the box because it no longer belongs, I don’t have a need for the box anymore.
Think About Why You Save Different Boxes
I also found my Apple boxes from my Apple iPhones. And then I realized I have always saved my Apple boxes because they’re so expensive and they’re built really well and they’re super durable and they’re pretty. That’s not a very good reason to keep them but I’ve saved them.
Why did I save them? I don’t know, but you have boxes like this also in your house. You’ll probably never use them again, they will probably sit there for years.
They’re pretty, they’re durable, and what we keep them for is not because we’re ever going to use them again, we keep them because we paid a lot of money for the item that was inside, or it’s built so well we feel like we have to hang onto it. Or it’s valuable, it brings us happy memories, it represents the productivity that happens on our smartphone. I don’t know why we save them but I no longer need those boxes.
Some People Will Buy Certain Boxes
I will tell you this, there are a lot of people who will buy those boxes on eBay because they also have a phone that they want to sell and they want it inside a box, and so you can resell your Apple boxes on eBay because our other buyers want to resell their products. I found other kinds of boxes.
This one has file folders in it and I decided to leave it inside this box because this is a good holder for these file folders.
We send out certificates when people register and certify for a class, but all of the printing comes in these boxes. And instead of having loose certificates lying around, they’re still in all the boxes on a shelf.
Go Through and Decide Which Boxes to Keep
And then I said it’s okay if those stay in the boxes and the file folders will get to stay in the boxes, we will keep those boxes. So the exercise here that we’re going to do is we’re going to go through every room of the house and we’re going to say, “Does this box get recycled or do we get to keep this box? Does this have a purpose in our lives?”
If it does not have a purpose in our lives we’re going to go ahead and get rid of that box.
Whether we resell it, whether we give it away, or whether we recycle it, we’re going to get rid of the boxes in our homes because our homes don’t really have space for empty boxes just sitting around.
Take Care of the Boxes Right Away
So my challenge to you when a box comes into your house and it has stuff in it that you just bought, take out this stuff that you bought, write your Amazon reviews for the stuff that you bought, let the buyer know I received the item it was in good condition, or it’s not what I thought I ordered and send it back.
Okay? So process whatever it was you purchased and then take the box and process the box instead of leaving it on your living room floor.
Because I went to my living room floor and lo and behold, there’s a huge box of stuff that arrived yesterday, it’s huge, and I haven’t done anything with that box yet but I’m going to.
We’re Doing the Boxes Free Challenge Together
This is a challenge we’re doing together. Process the box, recycle it, get rid of it or store it, flatten it and store it and process it so that it’s not just lying around your house taking up space creating clutter, and mental clutter of you walking through your house and seeing all this stuff that’s not taken care of.
That my friends are the 30-day box-free challenge. We’re going to get rid of all the extra boxes in our lives that we no longer need to use or want and they don’t have a current purpose. Okay? Are you with me?
The Sentimental Person’s Guide to Decluttering – https://amzn.to/3dtRKFI
Organizing Your Home with SORT and SUCCEED – https://amzn.to/2ZoG1QH
Decluttering at the Speed of Life – https://amzn.to/2M4DnN6
The Holistic Guide to Decluttering – https://amzn.to/3qxCkEf
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – https://amzn.to/2Znzvtk
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