What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

product box

on July 7, 2014

As dusk turned to dark tonight, the shed I meant for today slid sideways into a ditch. I hope to complete it tomorrow and tell the story. Instead, I’ve chosen a box for shedding, having recognized that it represents a whole class of clutter.

In consumerist culture, most products come in more packaging than would satisfy the customer’s needs. (Some items, I grant, need protection during transit.) Usually it’s intended to increase eye appeal and to ease the retailer’s inventory control. And we buy it, don’t we? Certainly we pay for it, in more ways than one.

But back to the box, which held our Kelty Sunshade (a tent-like shelter, without the walls or floor) and which I kept because … well, I don’t know why I kept it. To protect the shelter when it isn’t in use? It came with a stuff sack for that. To make it easier to stack in a pile of boxes? Maybe, but it’s a bit unwieldy to play nice with other items on our shelves. To increase its resale value should I ever decide to auction the Sunshade off on eBay? I’m ashamed to have bought into the system if that was why. Whatever the reason, I have no use for the box; it can go to recycling.

Blueberry and Muffin say, "But it has a use: it's a TOY!"

Blueberry and Muffin say, “But it has a use: it’s a TOY!”

shedding style: recycle
destination: community recycling stream

Comments welcome … I’ll be looking around for other boxes something came in that I inexplicably saved; do you have them, too?

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5 responses to “product box

  1. nrhatch says:

    I keep a few boxes around. Not many. Shoeboxes I keep and store the shoes in them. Some boxes I keep for mailing gifts. One box I keep to put clutter in until I can drop it off at Goodwill.

    And if boxes become too numerous, I do what you did. Recycle.

    • revdarkwater says:

      Oh yes, boxes are a good tool! If re-purposed, so much the better. But I laugh at myself for keeping boxes full of air because something specific fits in them!

  2. Lots of electrical items claim that, if faulty, they can only be returned ‘in their original packing’. As a result Mr Snail and I stuff such boxes in the loft. However, out of sight is out of mind and a year or so ago we had a rummage around up there and discovered several boxes that had outlasted their original contents! Of course the stuff about original packaging is nonsense, your consumer rights exist whether you have the box or not!

    • Anne Lene says:

      Depending on item, I might keep the box long enough that I know the item works, just in case I need to return it, but never keep a box past 30 days… Only exception is when the box is perfect to use as a storage box for other stuff…

    • revdarkwater says:

      We’ve found those too. There’s something very funny about the obsolescence and endurance!

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