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Thread: Do you save boxes and bags?

  1. #1
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    Do you save boxes and bags?

    I do -

    I think it's kind of silly - and definitely a space taker-upper - to save as many of them as I do.

    But every once in a while, one of my boxes does come in handy!

    I hardly ever save banana peels, potato peelings, gum wrappers, etc.

  2. #2
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    You know, for some of us the push to reduce, reuse, recycle is hard on us. Sometimes I have visions of this one episode of Monk where he is rewashing and resorting his glass recycling...

    I do keep boxes for stuff like stereo equipment for as long as I have that piece. It's rather silly of me since I bought my house, they aren't going to be moved, and they are so old that they are long past warranty and/or the technology is outdated. I'm thinking I should push myself and that I'm going to get rid of a few cubic feet of box storage... No need to keep those awkward big boxes when I have stuff I want to keep that can go there instead!

    I keep a few "handy" sized boxes around. I especially like some odd sized ones for project boxes, Amazon has some great ones that open on the wide side. It helps to store them if you can break the temptation to store them "whole" and slit the tape so they are flat.

    I'm lucky that my hubby works for a plant that makes boxes, chances are if you've been to Costco you've seen some of their boxes. If we need a box, he can typically get one for me (helps that he controls the waste and inventory flow). If we have too many and our recycle box is full, he can take them to work.

    When I mail stuff, I use the Post Office Flat Rate Boxes or envelopes. When I have gifts, I go to the Dollar Store if I need packaging. The rest of it I have decided I just don't want to keep around even though that voice inside me goes "oh, that's useful you better save it for a rainy day" -- well, I live in Seattle and have a lot of rainy days and still have burdened myself with a lot of unnecessary stuff.

  3. #3
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    I do save boxes--reuse for mailing, put items in for thrift stores, use for food bank items, etc. Some times for fabric projects. I save my grocery bags for food bank.

  4. #4
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    I save gift bags and have a good collection of occasion bags and another of Christmas bags. I fold them flat and keep them in one larger bag and they don’t take up much room. I use them for gifts and seldom have to buy any. I sometimes keep a box if I have a purpose for it. If not they go in the cardboard recycle bin.

  5. #5
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I save plastic bags because they always get used. And gift bags for the same reason. I sometimes save boxes, but then will get a lot of them around and get tired of them and toss them all! That sort of goes for bags, too.
    Patrice S

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  6. #6
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    I save some boxes but always break them down to store.
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  7. #7
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    I save some nice sized boxes for that 'someday' when I organize my sewing rooms. I recycle smaller and larger ones. If I need any small ones, I can get them from my daughter who works for an optometrist. I don't use a lot of gift bags, though I do have a bag full. I save plastic grocery bags, but use them so there is not an oversupply.

  8. #8
    Junior Member charley26's Avatar
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    I reuse all padded envelopes - for posting onwards. I often receive small packages in reused padded envelopes. They are difficult to recycle. All paper, and envelopes go to recycle, as do any cardboard boxes that I cannot find a use for. I reuse gift/bottle bags for Christmas, birthdays etc, when they are a bit grubby they go in the recycle bin, so long as there is no glitter on them. I take the ribbon/string out of them. Other bits of paper go towards the fire kit.
    Our supermarket accepts plastic bags for recycling, I try not to have any, but visitors will always bring something in one, but if they are sturdy I will continue to use them until no longer usable. I use fabric bags for shopping, and reuse paper bags for veg at the supermarket. A large cardboard box is very handy in the boot of my car, and will stay there until it is almost wrecked, and then off to the recycle centre.
    All glass (bottles and jars) go to recycle after washing, as do any tin cans. Many nice bottles are reused for various liqueurs that I make, as do many jars (for jam, marmalade) that are not damaged.

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I expect that I will be moving again, so I've saved all the moving boxes from the last move. Some of them have been used for several moves now. It helps that I have a single car garage with wonderful cabinets that I can use as storage, in addition to the double car garage where I park. I have always saved boxes from big items like TVs and computers that need special packaging. If I didn't have the space, however, I would get rid of the boxes.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    yes I do. It's a joke in our family that if you give mom a gift she is sure to
    say, "Oh, what a great box!"
    I definitely like gifts too, lol. Every so often I feel overwhelmed and throw
    most boxes out but I can't resist so they "grow back".
    Many times I had "just the rig
    ht box" for that!
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  11. #11
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    Mother had a small home but it had walk up attic and she had a huge stockpile of boxes up there. When we were getting her house ready to sell, DH was going to throw them and I vetoed it. I ended up using every one as we boxed up things to sell. I save good boxes myself under the stairs & find they come in handy.

    When we were first married, Grocery stores used their empty boxes instead of sacks for our groceries. They’d lift the flaps up and tie a grocery string around to hold in place. I, for one, wish they still did that ! I even saved the string and reused it different ways. Sometimes I ask for groceries in paper because I keep one in the garage for recycled newspapers. Mostly I use my reusable bags for grocery trips.

    My kitchen trash can is small, fits under the sink and I use plastic store bags for liners. The heaviest & best bags come from the hardware store. I never buy bags for trash cans. (more money for quilting LOL)

    i reuse gift bags if they are in good shape - but I usually give money so don’t need many.

    Can you tell I was raised by parents who grew up with nothing ?

  12. #12
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    For years we saved boxes that things came in. But one time we walked into the garage and we could barely get around. It took most of a day, but we broken them all down and off the the recycler they went. I save a few boxes in case they are needed for sending things.
    As for bags, we re-use some and the others go to be recycled, unless they are dirty. When my mother passed away I was in charge of going through and throwing out things that could not be sold or recycled. There were so many bags with more bags in them. I could understand it because when the plastic bags first became popular we all re-used them until they got a tear. But with time we had more than we could use and they tore much more easily. But my family mantra was always, "Never throw anything away." So I came home and got rid of the majority of our plastic bags. Luckily we can take them to Walmart and have them recycled. My parents even brought home paper napkins from restaurants. Which I do that too - but I found a couple boxes filled.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mousie View Post
    yes I do. It's a joke in our family that if you give mom a gift she is sure to
    say, "Oh, what a great box!"
    I definitely like gifts too, lol. Every so often I feel overwhelmed and throw
    most boxes out but I can't resist so they "grow back".
    Many times I had "just the rig
    ht box" for that!
    Haha!! You sound just like me! We recycle the "normal" stuff, but gift boxes and gift bags are definitely kept, and reused. At Christmas, the bags and boxes are reused for the same people, because I use stick on labels! The kids and grandkids laugh at me, and they make jokes about it. I do not take it so far as my MIL did...she saved, ironed and reused wrapping paper!

  14. #14
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    Unfortunately yes. The boxes have taken over the dining room. I guess I need to get rid of some of them, but I like having different size boxes on hand. They’d still work if I folded them down. As for plastic bags - there are a lot of those too. I do re-use them for trash can liners. But the bags grow really quickly. I need to get back to using the fabric reusable bags.
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  15. #15
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    Oh Dear! I will save a couple of bags for current use but I don't save them in stacks. I know I can get a machine box from my LQS and dealer any time. If we ever move, the movers will pack and move us.

    There are only 3 plastic containers for food storage in the kitchen cabinet. No stacks of butter tubs to fall out. LOL. Food (as in leftovers) in the refrigerator goes out after 3 days too if not eaten.

  16. #16
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    Oh yes! I save boxes. You never know when you'll need one. Before I retired, I got several boxes that reams of paper come in. Now I have no source of those wonderful, strong boxes so my 'stash' of them is dwindling, but I still have a few.

    I use the plastic bags in the small trash cans for trash and garbage and I have a supply (another stash) of them saved up.

    I have a supply of those large 'kitchen size' bags, too. I got bunches of them when I volunteered at the thrift shop. People donated stuff in them and the volunteers would toss them when they emptied them. What a waste! So I rescued them. Recycling at its best!!

    Except for plastic bags for food, I haven't bought plastic bags for many years.

  17. #17
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Oh I do. I used to mail things a lot, even overseas. boxes came in handy and i didn't have to buy them. I still keep some but after awhile, i usually toss them out. old habits are hard to break.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 06-11-2019 at 01:23 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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  18. #18
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    If I have a need of a box in the relatively near future I will save one of an appropriate size. Otherwise they go in recycle. I do save plastic grocery bags as they are used as liners for small waste baskets in the house as well as 'poopy bags' when we walk the dog.

    Don't generally save plastic takeout food containers as I have enough reusable containers of the size I like. Will save several paper grocery bags for some garbage needs but not many. Our recycle program is quite handy. We have several 40 gallon plastic bins. Paper; plastic; glass - all in the same bins; no sorting necessary. Pick up is every 2 weeks.

  19. #19
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    I save boxes that I break down flat. I also save ribbon and tissue paper that gifts are wrapped in. I have a drawer full of tissue paper and when I need a certain color and the paper is wrinkled, I iron it. Several years ago, my granddaughters were amazed that I iron tissue paper. I just can’t throw them away and it’s hard to store them without them getting wrinkled.

  20. #20
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    nope--I will only keep a few plastic bags to replace as trash can liners, recycle the rest at Walmart. As far as boxes, no--they just pile up in the basement! My DH is a box saver, so regularly I will trash them. We generally use USPS to mail stuff and opt for the flat rate as much as possible and that means purchasing the box too. I plan to put the DH box stash to use this summer in getting rid of tons of "stuff"!

  21. #21
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    Still remember Erma Bombeck writing about her mother saving boxes, bags and wrapping paper. Her writing was hilarious and I still miss her.

  22. #22
    Senior Member AlvaStitcher's Avatar
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    I keep gift bags if reusuable and not already recycled several times before I got it. Boxes are flattened and put out in recycling. Plastic bags are gathered periodically from a wooden collection box that my husband made for that purpose and then taken back to the grocery store for recycling. I am trying to weed out the unnecessary stuff from cluttering the house. Have gone through one closet in the guest room which has seemed to collect the most stuff. Glad to see it go! LOL

  23. #23
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    I saved the boxes my sewing machines came in, and anything related to my quilting frame. Packages mailed to me from online buying are saved also, but only 10 or so at a time as I will reuse them to mail fabric to someone when I sell it. Other than that I take the excess boxes to be recycled.

  24. #24
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    I recycle plastic bags, and keep good boxes and gift bags. I also recycle tubes from toilet paper rolls and paper towels, as our humane society zoo use them for the animals to chew or hide in.

  25. #25
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    The ladies of my old church served food at countless funerals, anniversaries, etc. It was almost always sandwiches and they actually never threw out the twist ties of the bun packages. I mean they had a whole drawer dedicated to twist ties ! Hundreds upon hundreds ! I never saw them reuse even one so I saved a small handful and dumped the rest in the trash and nobody seemed to care.

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