Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ISO: a really good box

I was talking to the BF, on the phone, recently and casually mentioned that I had a 'thing' for good cardboard boxes.  Not a sexual thing...more of an abnormal-respect-and-affinity-for thing. His response, "You too?? I love a good box!" Oh, you sweet, sweet man...your stock just jumped....seriously.

Apparently SOME people think cardboard boxes are for just sticking stuff in or recycling....or {gasp} throwing in the trash. Not me...a good box is something special. A friend recently saw one of my coveted boxes in my basement, "Oh, cool, I need a box. Can I have this one?" I found myself instantly weighing the depth of our friendship against the fabulousness of the box in question, "Ummm, I think that one belongs to the landlord....sorry.  Here's an old one from some liquor store." Obviously she was found happens...can't be helped, really. Not everyone is worthy.

You can't just toss "stuff" in a good box. You have to really consider what's going to be stored in it. I've been known to hang onto such boxes for years in the hopes that something would be found worthy of their use. I have three citrus boxes with beautiful graphics...they are now holding cherished toys that my children have outgrown but cannot bear to part with. Ok, fine, the kids could give a rat's ass about the toys...can't even remember playing with them, truth be told. I'M the one who can't part with them....happy now? ANYWAY, I remember the day I matched up the toys with the boxes....oh, it was magical. You should have seen it....there I was organizing the basement and I came across the plastic bag of toys and in almost the same moment, my eyes caught a glimpse of the citrus boxes waiting quietly in a corner. "Well, look at you, you beautiful things, you!! My, my, my....THIS is going to be perfect!" Time seemed to stand still as I lovingly placed the forgotten toys into these amazing specimens of cardboard engineering. It was beautiful, truly.

At this point it seems necessary to point out, to the unenlightened, what constitutes a really good box. It has to have quality construction, handles or a lid. All three?  Well, that there is the trifecta of boxes.  Nice graphics are a bonus. My box of choice is pretty much any made for a citrus company. These people give good box, let me tell you. They have it spades. My second choice would have to be the boxes that reams of paper come in. Not impressive graphics, true, but they make up for it in sheer durability. After that would be banana boxes but these can be annoying....often proving to be more trouble than they're worth.  That gaping hole in the bottom has to be covered with something and then there's the issue of sacrificing another box to BE the bottom for the banana box.  It's just a big pain in the ass and if it wasn't for their strength, they'd barely get a passing glance from me. I only use them when moving and then only to hold small appliances and over-sized books. Liquor store boxes do have their purpose but the part of me that can't even walk out of a liquor with alcohol in my hand has trouble with them on principle. (Don't judge, I'm baring my soul about my cardboard box didn't really think that's all I had lurking, did you??) The absolute worst boxes on the planet are ANY from China. This isn't a diss about the country, in general, but damn...who the hell told them their boxes were any good? You've seen them, I'm sure. The cardboard thick yet without substance and rips WAY too easily for my taste. The large staples holding them are only succeeding through sheer will. It's a miracle that the thing survived a trip around the world.

I really hope this post opens doors for people who have lived with their box attraction in's nothing to be ashamed of...together we can help each other.  In fact, in support of one another let's all wear a little cardboard square on our lapel....cut from that crappy box, your eBay purchase from Hong Kong came in, of course. Because we're saving the others.....


  1. I've never been secretive about my affection for a decent box. Although, after some terrible run-ins with water, I have extended my interest to include the plastic variety.

    1. Oh sure, don't get me wrong...I do thoroughly enjoy a nice tote now and then....but nothing beats your first good box.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Have you been lurking in my basement? Those boxes are still waiting for the perfect contents.

  4. Yup... we're twins parted at birth. :D

  5. I think I just heard a man whimper....