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Do this when you’re feeling boxed in

Want to know how you can free up a huge amount of space in your drawers, closets, and garage without a lot of time or energy? Let go of your empty boxes.

You may think there are all sorts of reasons for holding on to your carboard containers. But think again. By the time you go looking for that box, it may be stuffed where you can’t find it, too flimsy to be useful, or just the wrong size.

Here are more good reasons why getting rid of boxes is a good idea:

You’ll have more space to store the things you really need and use. Even when laid out flat, boxes are awkward and difficult to store. Letting go of empty boxes means you’ll have more space to put things you use and really need.

Boxes are different sizes and weights for a reason. Boxes come in a variety of sizes because they are designed to protect specific contents. Just because you have a box you can put something in doesn’t mean it’s able to protect it.

Boxes don’t do the job alone. If you’re shipping something, you’ll want to protect it with bubble wrap, paper, or packing peanuts. Do you want to store all that stuff, too? No, you don’t!

Boxes don’t age well. Even the strongest boxes break down over time. (This is why we recommend using plastic boxes for storage.) By the time you need it, you may not be able to use it.

While you’re not using your boxes, other critters will be. Cardboard boxes are perfect environments for spiders, silverfish, and other household pests, to say nothing of rodents.

Recycling cardboard is good for the environment. Recycling boxes takes less energy than producing new ones, and it reduces the strain on our natural resources. (Recycling cardboard = cutting fewer trees.) In recycling your boxes, you’ll be making a small but important contribution to helping protect the environment.

Saving a computer, TV, or other large appliance boxes may make sense… if the item is still under warranty. If you keep the box, hold onto all the packing materials inside the box as well. Once the warranty expires you can let it go.

It may be difficult to let go of perfectly good boxes. But when you are able to easily get to the things you need and use, you may find you don’t miss them after all!