Saturday, August 21, 2010


Empty BoxImage by rkelland via FlickrHave you ever seen the television show called "Hoarders"? It's where people have a phobia of throwing anything away, and they almost literally end up burying themselves alive in all their masses of "stuff."

I don't know that anyone in my family actually has come to this (thankfully). But it certainly wouldn't be a stretch to say that we all suffer from some fairly mild cases of "stuff-itis." We really don't like throwing much away, especially if we "might" use it. So we keep it, "just in case."

The most frustrating thing my family seems to suffer from (in spades) is what I call "Box-itis." It is the condition by which my children can't seem to throw away empty boxes. Now, they do manage to put them back where they would technically belong if they were full. But since they have consumed every last cookie, cracker or piece of cereal, the new proper place would actually be the trash can. But they can never seem to manage to get them there.

I have found empty ice cream containers in the freezer (much to my disappointment when going on an ice cream raid). I have pulled out lonely popcorn boxes who only smell like the buttered popcorn they once contained. My children have even managed to fool me with my own purse, putting an empty packet of chewing gum back into its formerly proper spot. The worst thing they've done to me is to leave the empty Diet Coke box in the refrigerator, tempting me to take out my lack-of-caffeine rage on some unsuspecting children.

If I could ever teach them how to achieve freedom from "Box-itis," my next venture would be to teach them how to also kick the "Wrapper-itis" condition, along with the "Shoe-itis," "Book-itis," and "Paper-itis." "Paper-itis" is particularly bad after school when they are cleaning out their backpacks and pitch paper wildly about in order to keep their backpack "clean."

For now, I just have to get a handle on their "Box-itis". It is making me crazy. And at least twice I've not bought something at the grocery store because we supposedly had a box full of it at home. At the very least, I need them to add a box- of wine. So that I can toast their  ingenuity and their obedience at putting the box "back where they found it." (Figures they listen to that, right?)
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1 comment:

Stephanie Faris said...

I think my husband suffers from that. I can't tell you how many times I find empty boxes in the kitchen cabinets. I don't know what the rationale for saving it is. And the new kick is to drink all the tea in the pitcher and put the pitcher back in the fridge empty.

I have a weird thing about boxes where they have to go in the recycle bin, so I save them all to take out at once. So normally there are at least three boxed stacked by the door!