23 February 2012

Crazy box lady

So. About that move to St. Louis. The one I keep bringing up every single day. Let’s be honest: there are so many things about it that make me anxious, it’s a wonder that I haven’t developed some sort of anxiety disorder.

(takes a moment to Google “insomnia”, “severe shoulder pain”, “eye twitch”, “skin breakouts”... oh wait a second)

One of the many things on my “To Panic About” list for the move is BOXES. As in, we are going to need a lot of them, even after my heartless, house-wide purging. I did – rather pack-rattingly – break down and save all the cardboard boxes from my original move to Nashville after college, because I paid about a hundred dollars for them. But I stored them next to the water heater in the garage, which decided to go all geyser on me a few years ago and destroyed the corrugated cardboard. My precious, expensive cardboard boxes.

You think I’m kidding? Here you can find what is apparently the going rate for cardboard boxes:

Almost TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR BOXES. Boxes! What happened in the cardboard box market that made the price for boxes double in six years? Did the price of cardboard futures skyrocket or something?

Also? If I did my math correctly – and goodness knows that’s a crapshoot, but still – all of those boxes, fully assembled, could essentially be stacked into a cube a little more than five feet per side. While a giant 5-ft by 5-ft by 5-ft cardboard cube is, I admit, formidable... I do not think we could fit all of our packable belongings into a space that size. Clothes, linens, books, dishes and other breakables that require a bunch of cushy space? Doubtful.

Do you feel my despair radiating through your computer screen? Two hundred dollars and we can’t even fit all our stuff in it! I mean, sure, lots of stuff can be “packed” in garbage bags and such, but still. How depressing is it to spend so much money and then STILL lug your stuff around in garbage bags? Very.

So, around Christmas, I started hoarding.

If I saw some unused boxes laying around after all the presents were opened? I stealthily snuck that box into our own pile. The stealth part was... probably unnecessary. But only because people don’t realize that cardboard boxes are worth their weight in gold!

I did the same from work. We used to throw out several boxes A DAY. What were we thinking?! So when my time in lab was ending, I filled a box with things from my desk to carry home... and then put that box in a box. And then maybe another box.

In my head, I need them to pack up our things for house showings, which is why I’ve been compulsively grabbing them though we’re not due to move until June. As a result I’ve accumulated quite a stack of boxes in the office (note most of those boxes contain other boxes, like a leaning tower of matryoshka dolls):

I visited my lab the other day and grabbed another, too, which isn’t pictured in that stack. I’m especially proud of that box, because I carried it all the way to my car that was parked seven blocks from the university. It’s sturdy though, so.... worth it.

So yes. I officially have a box-hoarding problem. I turn on my box-radar when I walk down the hallways of the building I work in so I can grab any useful boxes that were set out for trash. I attempt to buddy up to the clerks at our neighborhood liquor store (you can’t purchase wine in the grocery stores here) so they’ll recognize me and give me boxes. And crazily enough, I refuse to take things to Goodwill in boxes, which means I actually place more personal value on cardboard boxes more than the (fairly nice, some of it) stuff we are donating to Goodwill.

My anxiety has made me a crazy box lady. But hey, if you would like to feed my addiction? I will gladly accept it.


Janice said...

Looking for boxes? Go to the print shop on campus. Ask them to save you the boxes they get copier paper in. Those are very clean and uniform in size. Makes loading into UHaul very easy to do. Most often the print shops will store them for you, then give you a call and let you know when to come pick up your boxes. Try it out! Might try asking at Kinkos as well. Can't hurt to ask.