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Hoarding Help Message Boards : The Daily Chat : Boxed In
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Boxed In

Posted: 19 February 2023 - 04:31 PM
1) Why are you keeping them?

1a) If the answer is "just in case", set a goal of reducing the volume of boxes by half. Go through them, keep and go. Break down the "goes" with a box knife. Pile them up, take them to the car and then to the recycle center. Put a date - 6 to 12 months out on the remaining piles and reassess at that time. If you still haven't used them, cut the amount stored in half again.

1b) If the answer is "to use" make a list of "boxing projects" with an estimated date of when the projects will be done. put the list where you can find it. 6-8 months out, check and see if you are doing the projects and the piles of boxes have gone down. If they haven't, go back to 1a) and give up 1/3 to 1/2 of the boxes on hand.

DO IT, NO EXCUSES. That becomes part of your motivation to do the boxing projects in the next cycle.


Look at your house, garage, whatever. Assign a specific place to extra boxes. When that is full, you HAVE to trade out to keep a new box that looks bigger,better, stronger, etc.


Best wishes.
Posted: 20 February 2021 - 10:02 AM
Great work! Very impressed! I want to suggest that you join us over on the What are You Doing Today thread ? there are a few of us who past daily there. Although, lately it's been a bit sparse. Or just keep posting here.

We are all in different places and it is so helpful. I made my big move to reduce several years ago, not sure of the exact date but maybe around seven years ago. I've learned a lot and now I live in a clean home. In fact, I have professional cleaners who come every two weeks. It's great. And I've learned so much along the way. But I'm still moving forward and making decisions.

I always had a pack rat thing going for me and the rat has left the building. Boxes, especially tiny little boxes from stores just had to go. Extra sets of dishes, books, etc. A lot has gone out. It's been great. Some very tough choices along the way but remarkably zero regrets of what I've gotten rid of. None. Occasionally when I'm looking for something I wonder if I just got rid of it and if so, it's okay. I used to like to keep things in case I ever needed it or if someone else ever needed it. It is so freeing not to think that I have to be everything to everybody so that whatever they need, I have it. I had to shift my thinking to decide that it's not up to me to store stuff in case some random person needs it. So freeing.

So congratulations on getting your Christmas stuff put away! And for decreasing the square footage of the boxes! What's next on the agenda?
Clueless in Seattle
Posted: 19 February 2021 - 02:09 PM
Hi Tatoulia!

Thanks for those trenchant insights!

I especially appreciated your pointing out to me that these days virtually everyone has a pile of amazon boxes, so if I ever need a box, all I have to do is go online and ask my neighbors for one.

And also your reminding me that a lot of folks do business from home and need shipping boxes, so it should be easy for me to find a taker for my boxes.

And just this morning, in my "Daily Stoic" email, I found this sentence: "Seneca was declining to face the problem that was actually in front of him by focusing on a potential problem that may or may not have occurred in the future."

That sure describes me. Instead of dealing with the present problem of the piles of boxes that are hindering me in my daily life, I instead fantasize about a future situation when I might need a certain size box but won't have one.

So, how did I do with my boxes of nothing?

Not very well I'm sorry to say. Instead of getting rid of the boxes, I packed them one inside of another, from smallest to largest, so as to greatly reduce the volume of space they took up,and then stacked them up again in a corner of the back bedroom.

That cleared the access to the closet, so I was able to pack up my Christmas decorations, put them away, and vacuum the carpet.

So I solved the immediate problems of the stuff piled on the carpet and the lack of access to the closet.

But I put off dealing with the more intractable problem of my hoarding compulsion.

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"
Posted: 17 February 2021 - 06:34 PM
Hi Seattle! Amazon boxes are the worst- they are new and clean and frankly I'm continually upset with Amazon for not coming up with a sensible way to re use the boxes.

The boxes are in the way of making your home livable. How about posting on craigs list or some such that you have clean Amazon boxes for anyone who needs them. You don't have to say the number so no shame. If anyone is selling on eBay or Etsy, they will be glad to have them. Otherwise flatten and recycle. Save one or two if you think you'll need a box.

I mail things frequently and reuse mailing supplies. I don't shop at Amazon anymore for various reasons. When I need a box I ask a neighbor to save one of their amazons for me. Just remember, these boxes are in abundance so only save what is truly reasonable. And when assessing the reasonableness think about your inability to out your holiday decorations away. Any quantity that prevents you from doing so has surpassed the bound of reasonable.

What are your thoughts? Glad you are here and would like to see what you are thinking!
Clueless in Seattle
Posted: 17 February 2021 - 12:27 PM
I still have a pile of Christmas decorations sitting on the carpet in my living room that I haven't put away, and this morning I wondered why I hadn't done it.

So I went to my back bedroom closet to retrieve the storage boxes for the decorations, and realized what the problem was: my access to the storage boxes was blocked by a floor to ceiling stack of shipping boxes. (And there was another huge floor to ceiling pile of them in a corner or the room).

So, I've started moving them all to the floor in the front room so I can "sort them out."

"Sort them out"?! What am I thinking? I don't need to sort them out, I need to throw them out! But for some reason I cling to these piles of boxes. You know, "You never know when you'll need one." And it seems a shame to tear apart and flatten out these sturdy, nicely made objects that still have so much useful life left in them.

So I'm trying to motivate myself to go online to my neighborhood group and offer all the boxes to see if someone will just come over and take them all. But I haven't been able to work up the courage to take that step.

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"
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