#301 Unpacking the last box

Packed boxes are ghosts.

After you move into your shiny new place those cardboard demons haunt your hallways and basements for months and months and months. You see them hiding behind drain pipes in the storage room, lingering between boots in the closet, and even subbing in for missing furniture. (Seriously, I can’t be the only one with a corrugated bedside table.)

Now see, that’s why it’s so satisfying when you finally unpack the last one. Throw those VHS tapes on a bookshelf, stash the gravy boat in the cupboard, and drop them baby clothes in a donation bin.

You just exorcised your demons of laziness.


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38 thoughts on “#301 Unpacking the last box

  1. Man I’ve lived in my apartment for almost 2 years and I have all but one box unpacked. It’s a box full of odds and ends of the craft persuasion. Maybe I should get on that since it is supposedly so awesome!

  2. I’ve been in my house for 2 years and I still have several boxes left…but I moved them to the laundry porch. Not even sure what’s in those anymore. Probably spiders and roaches by now. I should probably toss them out…

  3. This is a true story…I have moved 65 times!
    I’ve got it…why I am having a mid-life crises, I’m entitled!
    And people wonder why I have a fetish… yes, I am a self proclaimed hoarder of good strong boxes. Awesomer, if they have handles…it’s LOVE!
    Get it…LOVE HANDLES:)

    1. I work at a print/copy shop, and I have discovered that W.B. Mason paper boxes are the best for moving. They’re sturdy and not too big (still manageable when filled with books), and they have handles and lids that lift off. The next time you move, hit up a copy shop for boxes!

  4. When I moved into my current apartment a year ago, I totally brought at least 5 boxes that had NEVER been unpacked in the 5 years that I lived at my previous address. They are still unpacked. I have stacked them in such a way that they provide a makeshift shelf. I have NO idea what is in said boxes :)

  5. thats so weird that you should say about a ‘corrugated bedside table’……ive had one for a year now, and im constantly in arguments with my mum to get rid of it! But its the best because you can store stuff in it — or on it :)

  6. Ahh, 1000 Awesome Things has once again provided validation for my actions. I moved in July and still have a few boxes in my basement, garage, and spare bedroom closet. Every time I see them, I feel guilty about having not unpacked them yet … but when I think about things I want to do in my free time, unpacking boxes full of things that I’m apparently not missing in any way is never at the top of the list.

    It’ll probably be this summer before I once again experience the joy that is unpacking that last box, but I SO look forward to it.

  7. You’re not alone in using boxes as furniture. I’m currently using one as a coffee table in the living room.

  8. Hey, I’m moving right now! I’m definitely looking forward to unpacking that last box. :)

    Also awesome is carrying the last item out of your old home, then going back in and taking one last look before you leave.

  9. In all my moves over many years I have never unpacked the last box. There’s something comforting about the surprises in the box in my closet. Will it be old pictures? The charm bracelet I wore in high school? Those old boxes are the best way to waste a Sunday!

  10. So true! I’m in the process of moving right now and am coming across previously unpacked boxes with old treasures just like that. :)

  11. We moved from Mississippi to Georgia a year ago… we unpacked about 6 or 7 boxes. The rest have been living in our guest room and guest room closet… We may be about to move again, so I am okay with the idea that I haven’t exercised my Demons of Laziness… :-D Love your blog, the book, and the feeling of warm and fuzziness I get from them each day! Keep up the good work. :-)

  12. I have a box which has been labeled “do not open”, I don’t know where it came from but it arrived with the other boxes when I last moved (2 years ago). It’s been stored in a safe place (outside in the back of the garage) but I can’t get the nerve up to open it …

      1. Maybe it has a gift for you in it? One move I made years ago was just before Christmas so I put all the gifts I had bought in one box, marked it as “Private, do not open” so that none of my family and friend very helpful movers wouldn’t see what I got for them. So go ahead, open it! It may be a nice surprise – or a total disappointment – but at least it won’t be haunting you and filling emotional and mental space.

            1. Agreed. I’m far too curious to leave something like that alone. And I’d really like the piece of mind of knowing that there isn’t a random body part in there.

  13. Two things, my friend: I am going to live here 3 years come May … and I have a whole garage of unpacked boxes. Methinks it is a combination of not feeling at home here AND not having the promised help!

    And, I once had a coffee table that was once the foam insert for a new computer!

  14. Hey there, apologies for creeping anyone out – not my intention – sorry! I took a deep breath and opened the box before I left for work this morning; there’s nothing sinister inside, just packing paper and a very old china tea-pot … it’s definitely not mine!

  15. Yep, I moved 3 years ago and have many many boxes not unpacked yet. Some go back at least 10 years and 4 moves…. I have one labeled “box-o-junk from each of the 4 last moves….. sigh…. maybe I should be unpacking them now instead of hanging out with my friends in the computer…..

  16. I can totally relate to this very situation. I think during my previous move, I still had more than 5 storage boxes still being left on their own without any claim from their rightful owners after a year into the phase. I think labelling is not an issue, but it is just the importance level of those items, whether it is needed on a daily basis or not.

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