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. Mona says

    Don’t listen to Amanda! You’re my heroes for having already accomplished as much as you have in the short time that you’ve lived in your new house! I just moved and know that it personally took me at least a month to be done unpacking and another few months to paint even a single room. The fact that you’re still blogging twice a day during a week that every other blogger is “off” is amazing to me. I heart YHL!

  2. says

    We moved last February and also rocked the box graveyard for a week or so. After I broke them down they went into a stack in the basement. It’s unbelievable how handy they have been. I use them for painting projects, lining the car truck when transportating things that might stain, keeping supplies organized on camping trips, etc. We just used another 2-3 for Christmas. 10 months later we’ve only got about 4 left.

    The moral of this story is to hold on to at least a few of the best ones. You’ll be glad to have them.

  3. Shannon says

    We just moved not that long ago so we had a lot of empty boxes that were put in a room we call the “porch.” It’s not actually a porch though lol. Anyways, since we have to remodel everything, and my daughter’s room is at the back of the house and needs the most work, we have decided to use her room for storage and set her up temporarily in my photo studio. The “storage room” has become quite chaotic and I can’t wait to get the rest of the house done so we can put everything in there away where it belongs, and get her room finally done!

    The only reason her room took the back burner is because it’s at the back of the house and you actually go through the studio to get to it, which is kind of open to the livingroom. Everything of hers is set up in there nice and she loves it. I closed down my studio for the winter, which I had planned on doing anyways.

  4. Dawn K. says

    It’s my favorite type of method to use when unpacking/reorganizing! I’m very particular about getting absolutely organized, so I usually go room by room. Anything that doesn’t have a home or we’re discarding through whatever means gets thrown into a junk room. While we’re then faced with a big room full of junk, my inner control freak doesn’t have to worry about whether a missing shoe or part could be in another room. It makes it so that we have to face the junk all at once and can’t just keep shoving it in different drawers or cabinets.

  5. says

    We had a Box Graveyard (the bottom of the steps of our basement), but we ended up finding the most cathartic part was breaking down the boxes and recycling them (we had no internet with which to Craigslist anything for the first 2 weeks). We did keep a few for the gidgets and gadgets that didn’t have a “place of their own” in our new home, but once we were done…putting the boxes out on the curb on Recycling Day felt oh so good. Of course, we’re moving into our first home in a few months (darn short sales take forever), so we may have a whole new method at that point!

  6. says

    When I moved my parents into their new house (actually I practiced my Spanish directing and chatting with the moving crew), I wanted to have as much settled as I could before they came back from the hospital (mom had an emergency c-section for child #6 the day of the move… CRAZY!). With my own 3-month-old baby in a sling (yes, my brother is younger than my son), I had my 5 and 9 year-old siblings’ rooms unpacked, my 19 yr. old brother made all the beds and found/put away all of the towels, and one of my aunts (a designer) came over and directed the menfolk in rearranging the furniture. It was a ZOO! It felt so good to toss the boxes out onto their carport… until my dad made us flatten all of the bunched up packing paper that was stuffed in the boxes. It was amazing how fast the basics came together (in just a couple days) and my mom is just finishing up the last room just shy of 2 years later. They had 35ish years of stuff accumulated and spread around the much larger new house. The movers later came to take the packing materials away, and the rest my mom freecycled.

  7. Tiffini S. says

    We put our boxes to the curb with a sign that said “FREE BOXES” as we unpacked them. Over a 7 day period, we got rid of all the boxes like that. Most of them disappeared within minutes to a few short hours. People can’t resist a nice, sturdy box.

  8. Ellen says

    Our last move was over 11 years ago, but seeing your box graveyard reminded me of ours.

    We had friends who were moving shortly after us, so we broke down boxes and saved paper and bubble wrap and put everything into our garage. About a week after our move, our friends came for everything and cleaned us out. Like you, we were glad that someone else could use our left overs!

  9. says

    I worked at a record store when I was in college and at the end of every day there was always a HUGE pile of empty boxes in the back from all the merchandise that came in that day. It was one of my favorite tasks to get the box cutter out and break them all down. Seriously. I loved it. I brought that pile of disaster down to cleanliness and order. And the guys I worked with were super happy cuz it meant they didn’t have to do it. Maybe I could make a career as a professional box-breaker-downer ;)

  10. Anna says

    Oh John, that would make me nuts. I’m so rediculous that I have to breakdown everything as I go along. I’m sure your way is much more efficient though.

  11. Megan says

    We did the box graveyard during our last move. The garage was filled with packing material and about to overflow before we broke everything down.

    Also, I just wanted to say keep up the good work. I don’t expect you guys to be knocking down walls or remodeling the kitchen anytime soon. I like the real time blogging, it lets me know that you are human. So keep on keeping on… and when you DO starting knocking down walls, I’ll be here.

    • says

      Thanks Megan! We know it’s easy for people to get impatient and want to see a fully remodeled kitchen tomorrow, but we’re happy to do things in real-time while we save money and think things out, just like many other DIYers at home who are reading and renovating right along with us!


  12. says

    When we moved a year and a half ago it was a lot more gradual then your move, so we just unpacked and resued the same boxes over & over and then broke them down to be recycled. We did still end up with a room full of “what do we do with this?” type stuff, though.

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