Apparently one of the things I fear most in life is not having a cardboard box of exactly the right size for packing up a gift or mailing something.
And this is why I hoard boxes. It's a problem. Shoe boxes, Amazon boxes, the cardboard packaging of pretty much anything sold in large quantities from Costco.
I store them in the basement. And that works fine, until I reach a certain quantity. And then they start not stacking so neatly, and they spill over into the middle of the floor, and then finally I just start throwing the new boxes on the top of the pile of old boxes.
It takes something pretty significant to make me wake up and face the cardboard excess. A move, for example, or the impossibility of being able to walk across room anymore when the pile gets too unwieldy.
I remember when D. and I moved in together, lo these many years ago. We'd gotten all of the furniture and books and packed boxes out of our two apartments but still had the inevitable detritus to clear out of our old places. D. opened one cupboard and just stared. "Um, honey? What is all of this?" Why, just my supply of empty cardboard boxes, of course! She took them all out to the recycling bin, and I started fresh in our new home.
We're not moving or anything this time, but it has become impossible to do laundry or use our deep-freezer without climbing over stray cardboard boxes that have fallen off the basement pile of boxes. So this morning, after I boxed up my mom's birthday present and recognized that I really wouldn't have to mail anything any time soon, I decided that the time had come.
I spent the next hour schlepping empty boxes up the narrow, winding, totally-not-up-to-code basement stairs, breaking them down, and then schlepping them out to the recycling bin. It was bizarrely satisfying to demolish my cardboard mountain.
But, oy, I guess that cardboard mountains breed dust, because this evening I am so snuffly and miserable! But a Benadryl will take care of that problem, and tomorrow I'll go down to the basement and actually walk across the floor. So it's all worth it.
(This little cardboard problem is the sort of thing I'm afraid to confess because it's so clearly not a nice, normal, adult problem. Ah well.)