Boxed In

We’ve dealt with box-y rooms, but this takes that term to a whole new level:

What you’re looking at is what we lovingly called our “Box Graveyard,” aka the guest bedroom filled to the brim with all of our now-empty moving boxes and packing supplies. As disastrous as it looks, we have to admit that after trying to be so orderly about packing, it was somewhat cathartic to just toss the empty boxes into one big über-disorderly pile. Call it tapping into our wild side if you will.

But of course we can only pretend to enjoy a mess for so long. So almost as soon as the last box was tossed there, I found myself breaking them down and collecting the newspaper and bubble wrap into garbage bags (so they can be reused by someone else along with the boxes thanks to cragslist). About two hours later I found the walls and the floor again:

It’s not quite the tidy “after” that we typically go for, but we’re sure a fellow-craigslister will take them off our hands so we’ll officially have our guest room back. Well, except for those bi-fold doors that still need to make it over to the Habitat For Humanity ReStore. Hopefully we’ll get to that soon…

Has anyone else out there used the Box Graveyard method? Or relied on some other form of controlled chaos to make themselves feel better after a move?


  1. Hillary says

    We moved this past July when I was 7.5 months pregnant (and yes, I was up on a ladder painting the ceiling… and I too have a painting belt, though it didn’t fit at the time).

    After the move, I was so overwhelmed and HUGE, that my mom took pity on us and while we were at work, unpacked and organized us over 4 days! It was like extreme home makeover. Everything had its place (and was labeled thanks to mom’s label maker). she broke down every box and organized them by size. We borrowed boxes from a co-worker and then passed them on to another co-worker. Felt good to recycle and reuse.

    Can we ever thank our moms enough????

  2. Donna says

    When we were first married, we had an entire room with no purpose and no furniture. So we stored all of the boxes from our breakable wedding gifts, such as china and crystal, and used them to safely pack up all those items when it was time to move the next year. And 35 years later, they’re filling up our attic! Not really. Just couldn’t resist an organizational joke.

  3. jess! says

    I take my groceries home from the grocery store in the leftover cardboard boxes that the food is brough INTO the store with, then I use the cardboard boxes to put my paper recyling at the curb on garbage day. In – Out!

  4. says

    Our garage was, and still is, our box grave yard. Keeping those things around just makes a huge cluttery mess and breaking them down in the midst of an unpacking kick just isn’t realistic. Better to consolidate into one cluttery messy area. Right now our garage is housing the box for our new tree, which has yet to be broken down (tree OR box)

  5. Kaitlyn says

    Our basement is still a box-y graveyard after 7 months of occupancy in our new house! And with each new IKEA purchase or gift, the graveyard grows. We recycled some of the broken boxes, gave away a ton of intact boxes, and we still have a bunch of cardboard under the basement stairs. What else are basements for?

  6. says

    Man, if you guys lived in Michigan I would totally get some of those boxes off your hands!

    We had a dedicated room for junk for a while. It was a transition period until we got our first apartment in college, and all we had was unpacked boxes in there – books, clothes, bedding, dishes, you name it, it was in there. We tried to live a very minimalistic life for a couple months until we got our first official place. Man, it totally was a graveyard.

  7. Mandi says

    Military moves, which are often “overseas”, are highly packaged affairs (by contract.) Having to deal with all that is such a PITA afterward! Our last move was the only one we had use of Craigslist, and it was SO NICE to be able to pass perfectly good moving materials onto another family. Someone drove 90 minutes each way to get it, and were sooooooo happy.

    To me, the cathartic part is breaking down each box as I empty it, LOL!! It’s so satisfying to me to see something go from “yet another unpacked box” to FLAT!! (…and so I do it as I go. But your method has much to recommend it as well :-)! Just never have extra bits of space in military moves!! Someday, perhaps!)

  8. Caitlin says

    I love seeing these little glimpses of your packing, moving, and unpacking process! My husband and I are going to be moving within the next six months. I would love to hear any further tips about how you guys organized your packing and unpacking– the order in which you did everything, how you kept track of what was where, and how you survived the week or two when much of your stuff was in boxes. I know you already posted some, but anything else would be welcome! I feel like I never know how to do it all efficiently. Thanks! Love your blog!

  9. Beth-BTW says

    Totally did the same thing a couple of years ago when we moved into this house. Our guest BR was a box pile from floor to ceiling with paper and bubblewrap shoved into them and strewn throughout. I had just had our second daughter a week before moving, so it was all I could do to get a box here and there unpacked much less worrying about the packaging itself. Later on, I paid our older daughter a dollar a box to flatten all that paper for me. Big kids = cheap labor. ;)

  10. says

    We had a stack like that when my roommate and I recently moved into our apartment. For us it was easier to keep our motivation and just keep unpacking than it was to take the time and cut down each box.

    However knowing that I am going to be moving again in a year – my boxes are being stored in my parents basement as they have extra storage room. I hit the mother-load thanks to my roommates boyfriend who works at Culvers. All of our boxes are the same size so they stack wonderfully when filled along with when they are empty for storage.

  11. Laura C. says

    Oh, yeah. We’re military, and have made 12 moves thus far. The box graveyard is a common occurance. FYI – I’ve had better luck getting rid of our boxes on freecycle!

  12. Laura C. says

    Should have added – it’s MUCH easier to tackle breaking them down as you’re emptying them. Trust me! Just have a designated place for each pile of broken down boxes, papers, and wrapping materials.

    As an FYI for anyone using a mover (we did 11 on our own, 1 with a mover) – check because most WILL take away your broken down boxes with you when they leave. They get the $ for recycling them, so are more than happy to take them.

    • says

      Sorry Amanda! We’re all about real time and this is what’s really going on at our house during the week between Christmas and New Years! After lots of family time we’re cleaning and breaking down boxes. Remember we’re not going to flip this house in a day or even a year (it took us 4.5 years to transform our last one so hopefully you’re in it for the journey and not the destination, since we’re faaar away from all those sparkly after pics). But we’ll be tackling projects as we go and sharing the “in-progress” details, just like we did with the bifold door post, the painting-Clara’s-room post, the shower curtain hanging post, and the bed buying/building posts that we’ve recently shared. We’re actually pretty proud to have already painted a room in just two weeks of living here with the holidays in full swing!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *