When to Toss Your Tech Boxes

Ah, spring, the time of year when the urge to purge many a clutter causing item is almost overwhelming. During our last spring cleaning session this weekend, we had a bit of a household debate over boxes. Yes, we're talking about empty boxes that tech arrived in. Our debate caused me to think about what exactly the rationale is for keeping the boxes around, and in the interest of helping others in a similar spot, I'm more than happy to share it.

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Here are the 4 talking points we think about when deciding if we should stow or toss a tech box:

1. Are we are planning on re-selling the tech? Almost all tech in its original box will sell for a higher price than without the box. This is especially the case with Apple products, so we make it a habit to keep all of the boxes (since we sell the old version when we buy the new one). Keeping the boxes has worked for us and we've been able to get much better prices than friends who re-sold iPads, Apple laptops, and iPhones without the box.

2. Is it easier to move with the box? Some items are easier to relocate when they are in the box. If we know that we're moving soon, we hold on to the boxes for items like big screen TVs to make the move easier.

3. How much space does it take up? Unless a move or re-sell is right around the corner, some boxes don't make sense to store in our tiny apartment because even if they increase the value or make moving easier, they are just too darn big. With each of these larger boxes, we think about how much space it takes when it's flat and make the call from there.

4. Can it be used for something else? I have some serious hoarding tendencies when it comes to things that can be re-purposed in DIY projects...so this is the point where I have the most trouble and my other half needs to remind me of point 3. I've made several nifty things out of old tech boxes, including headphone cable organizers, desk caddies, pet beds, and fridge magnets. I see a box and I think of the possibilities, and I really dislike throwing things away that have "potential." If you're like me, remember to think about how much space it takes up and how many other items are waiting to be re-purposed that you still haven't used. If you have a tendency to toss everything, take a minute and think about how the box can be used before tossing it.

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As you can imagine, these 4 points are helpful, but they don't solve the debate for every box...

What are some of the things your household considers when you decide whether to save or stow a box?

(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho)

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