What to do with your mess of electronics boxes

Find more space in your home by knowing which appliance and electronics boxes to keep or toss

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My basement is overrun with cardboard boxes. Boxes for computers and televisions long ago donated or recycled, boxes for just about every camera I've ever owned, and, yes, boxes for electronics I'm still using. Basically, a sea of boxes. Here's my strategy for what to do with all this packaging and reclaim my storage space.

Which boxes to keep/toss: Much of my plan is the same as this helpful guide from last year from Apartment Therapy. The site recommends keeping tech boxes (for things like tablets and digital cameras) because those gadgets will be more valuable with the original packaging when you resell them. Even if you don't plan to resell them, it makes sense to hold onto the boxes until the warranty runs out, in case you need to send the devices back for repair.

Appliance boxes, on the other hand, can be tossed after a few weeks when you know you'll be keeping them, since, the site says, "packaging for kitchen and home appliances do not usually affect resale value as much as electronics, and their larger size takes up too much room."

How to store the boxes: Storing boxes flat when possible can also save a ton of space, but the only problem with breaking down boxes is there's usually styrofoam packaging too. However, you could nest boxes within each other if some of them don't need the internal packaging.

Some good hiding places for these boxes include attic crawl spaces, attic eaves, that semi-useless area under the stairs, and other out-of-the way places.

Another tip is you can toss the bulky user manuals that come with all of these electronics, since you can easily find and store them digitally at Manuals Online.

One more thing I'm planning is to check my boxes stash whenever I sell or get rid of anything to prevent this box hoarding problem from continuing. What are your tips or tricks?

Photo by Roger Mommaerts

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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