In our basement, we have an office/bedroom with a sizable closet where I keep all of our holiday decorations (Christmas, Easter, Autumn/Halloween). This is also where we keep all of my wrapping paraphernalia, our financial paperwork, D's comic book collection (which I made him purge a couple of years back so that it is now 3 boxes full instead of 10), and empty or mostly empty cardboard boxes.
D is a box hoarder. If I wasn't in the picture, D would purchase an item and keep the box forever. I do not have a problem keeping the box for the duration of its warranty. But once the warranty is past, get that cardboard the eff out of my space. In the 13 years that we've been married, we've finally come up with a system of sorts.
Once a year, I go through all the boxes and throw shit out. D answers basic questions like, "What the hell is this box for?" and "How long have you had this particular item?" I don't ask him to help any more than this (usually) because he overthinks. He would think stuff like, "Well what if one day in the future I need this tiny little wire for god only knows what function? And if I throw it away, then what will I do?????" And this drives me bonkers. So I do it myself.
This year I am really having at it. Tossing pay-stubs from the jobs D and I worked at when we met (in 1995) and from even earlier. Donating items that my aunt made me in ceramics when I was a kid that have been sitting in a box for years. Recycling virtually all of my teaching files and check registers dating back to 2000.
In the past 2 days I have broken down probably 50 cardboard boxes. So many that I had to call my neighbor and ask if she had space in her recycling bin for some of my cardboard. And there is still more cardboard sitting in the office needing to be put out.
This is what the office looks like right now. A god-forsaken mess.
These are the items still under warranty. But they now all have the purchase dates written on the boxes so next year I can quickly scan them and chuck 'em.
This is the box of instruction manuals, brochures, warranties, etc from various items in our house. I haven't even touched this. I need to toss paperwork for items we no longer own. And organize the papers into "Appliances," "Technology," and other categories.
This is the pile of cardboard/paper that needs to be recycled. It is only a molehill now.
Yesterday it looked like Mt. Kilimanjaro.
This is the obsolete electronic stuff that will soon be taken to the local technology recycling dump rather than the regular landfill.
This is the bin of papers to be shredded.
This is the box to donate. I still have to go through DHS videos, although D told me I have to save the original Star Wars movies. I can deal with that.
I haven't decided whether to try to sell the LPs on craigslist or just donate them.
These are the gift bags I organized today. There is a hangar for solid-colors, birthday bags, baby bags, Christmas bags, and then a miscellaneous holiday/pattern bag hangar.
This is the shelf with the tissue paper, a bin for bows/ribbons, a bin for smaller pieces of wrapping paper, and a bin for labels.
This is the bin of need-to-keep paperwork.
This is the pile of teaching materials that will find it's way into the recycling bin tomorrow.
And this is the box I don't dare touch. It is full of wires and wires and more wires. Connectors and cords and god only knows what else. It keeps growing every year, but the only thing I know to do with it is to hang myself from the chandelier because it is such a pile of junk.
Seriously, who needs this many cords?