Re-using is better than Recycling

It’s hard to get back to work after a few days away. I’m quick to grow accustomed to having a maid clean the hotel room, having breakfast ready downstairs in the morning, and having nothing more to decide than which art museum to visit next or where we should stop for coffee in mid-afternoon.

Now I’m home, deep into vacation-entertainment-withdrawal, and trying to focus on the next organizing and downsizing task. Maybe if I write about the last thing I did before vacation it’ll lead me to what to tackle next.

Serendipity at the UPS Store: a couple of weeks ago I was dropping off packing material when someone came in with a load of cardboard boxes. Inspired, I asked if UPS took boxes for re-use. “No,” said the lady behind the counter,  “she’s just dropping those off to be picked up by the recycling truck.”

“Too bad,” I said, “I have several large wardrobe boxes and I’d like to find someone who could use them.”

“I could use some for storage,” she told me… and I have to admit, I was thrilled. It was like little bells and whistles went off in my head.  Really.

Tall clothing boxes side by side in the basement.

I get a lot of space back by finding a home for these boxes.

Three boxes fit in the bed of my pick-up truck.

Three boxes fit in the truck (I wish she’d wanted ALL the boxes).

Just before leaving on vacation, I got three of the storage boxes delivered. This is becoming my mantra for getting things out of the house (I like it so much that I’ll say it again) — Re-using is better than Recycling. I’m slower for being picky about getting “stuff” to someone who wants it, but I like finding the right homes for things.

I’m still not sure what to work on next, but here’s an idea — with my history of starting too many things and not getting any of them done — how about finishing something I’ve already started?

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