What do to with new product boxes? (2 minute read)

$_86Common space suckers I meet when working with clients are empty product and appliance boxes.

Some I’ve come across, in spare rooms, garages and lofts, have outlived the very thing they once held.

And these boxes often take up far more space that the actual device they once carried.

They’re a classic ‘just in case’ form of clutter. The mischievous clutter clown in people’s head asks ‘but what if you want to resell it?’ or ‘what if it breaks so you need to send it back?’ or ‘what if you move house?’

If you regularly upgrade your electronics, such as your smartphone or laptop, and sell the previous model to fund this DO keep the box but you can make use of it in the meantime. I-phone boxes are things of beauty so you may as well fill them with paperclips or spare change.

All other boxes, once you’ve kept them for a few weeks to check the item isn’t faulty, can be sent to recycling.  If you can store them flat in the meantime please do.

And what about all the bumph that comes with it? Take a digital photo or scan the warranty. Once you’ve set up your new product ditch the manuals as you can find the information they hold online. And often your relevant bit is less than a 20th of the actual book and the rest is a duplication of the same information but in different languages.

Try to engage an element of trust. So trust that the device won’t break so you won’t need to send it back.

If you do desperately need to send something back you will find a way – probably using some of those Jiffy bags that have been breeding in another space.

Unless you are planning on moving in the next three months ditch the boxes. If circumstances change it’s pretty easy to find more packaging at your local supermarket or friendly local shops who should be happy for you to remove and reuse some of the flattened boxes in their hefty recycling bins.

I recently helped a client move house and we simply wrapped her large flatscreen TV in a duvet and transported it in a car. It hadn’t been necessary to clutter up her attic with a vast LCD TV box for the previous 4 years.

Getting rid of empty boxes is a risk you can afford to take. If you drive a car or simply cross a road this is a daily risk you don’t think twice about. If you’re missing a box it is not going to kill you.