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Boxing Loves

That’s right.   I love boxes.  You have a problem with that?

Altoid InukshukIn fact, it’s not just boxes that I like, but tins (*LOVE*), pouches, bags, blister packs (Most of them are outright evil, I usually hit a well-designed one just before I reach the homicidal stage of accumulated frustration).

It’s gone beyond the childhood magic of being able to play inside them.  Which is good since I don’t fit inside the box for my bluetooth headset.  But even if they aren’t viable as fortresses or spaceships any more, they are still magnificent articles of function and design.

For functional value, you can’t beat a box.  It packages whatever original item you got that the box contains.  Small ones can help to organize the litle doodads that seem to magically breed on my desk.  Larger ones become storage for cables, or pencils.  Shoeboxes store photos or cards or pens.

And all of that is assuming I’m ready to give up their originally designed purpose of allowing the safe transport of their intended containee.  I got an LCD TV.  And I can’t imagine what happens if there’s ever a defect that forces me to return the TV to the factory.  Because you don’t get a flatscreen TV sized box at any random box store.  Certainly not one with perfectly sized and cut styrofoam shoulders.   What if I need to send my laptop in for warranty repair?  Or my running shoes?  Or this tub of yogurt?

Every once in a while, having a box that’s just right for a job only reinforces the perceived value of the rest.  I had to return a dead disk drive and the stringent packing requirements required considerable care, and a box, a box sized just so, a box that I had because I’d bought a just-so-sized device just a few weeks before.  Being right, that one time, every  few years, that’s what makes it okay to stack the boxes of boxes of boxes of boxes on top of the other boxes of boxes of boxes.

I’m a prisoner, in fact, of potential.  Of my collection of tins that are bound to be useful, of my boxes which could definitely do something, and the giant boxes which couldn’t possible do anything else.  My basement is full of boxes which contain other boxes in a recursive cardboard matroshka fractal.

But I have an escape plan.

For one, I’m going to dispose of boxes that are more than two months old.  That’s long enough for any immediate warranty issue, I think.  If I can find them a home, that’s great, but I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it.  More important to get them out of my way, so that they stop stressing me.

For another, I’m just not going to buy candy tins anymore.  Not if I can at all resist.  I have no practical use for the tins I already have, and I don’t need the candy that’s inside.

For a third, I’m going to replace the mysterious shoeboxes on my desk with transparent tubs I got from the dollar store.  Being able to see inside means that my searching is a lot more efficient.  And the standard look and feel makes me feel a lot more organized and ordered.  A lot less stressed.

And last…  I’m going to keep a few of my favourite tins.  Just a few.  Just enough to make getting rid of the rest not hurt.  You can’t expect me to go cold turkey.

Posted in life, productivity.

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  1. naima says

    mee toooooo I love containers…all kinds!

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