Posted by: navalanche | July 25, 2014

Boxes of boxes

In addition to all the clutter in my home, I seem to collect a lot of empty boxes.


At one time, I needed boxes of all shapes and sizes as I was selling items online.  When I took a break, I kept all the boxes.  I don’t use them to store items because once I fill them, I forget what is in them, even if I mark a detailed description on the box.  If I do use a box for storage, I take a picture of the items and tape it to the side of the box.  It works well for seasonal items.

In the past, I’ve also kept the original boxes that items were packed in.  Ollie the Octopus was one of them.


I brought him out every summer for the nephews and neighbors to play with and stored him for the winter in the basement.  Then one year, I lent him to the boys across the street while we were on vacation and forgot about him.  One afternoon, I saw the boys playing with Ollie unsupervised in their front yard.  How cute!  I noticed that Ollie was missing an arm and another was twisted and no longer functioning properly but the kids were having fun.  Not 20 minutes later, I heard rhythmic pounding and looked out to see one of the boys (let’s call him Andy) brandishing a baseball bat and assaulting Ollie’s head.  I started to yell for him to stop but it was too late, the final blow decapitated Ollie and I watched in horror as his head, both dented and split wide open, slowly rolled towards the street.  Andy then grabbed Ollie’s base from which the arms were still streaming water and attempted to chase the other children around the yard.  They squealed and fought back by grabbing Ollie’s flailing arms and attempted to redirect the water back at Andy only to have all but one of Ollie’s remaining arms break off during the struggle.  Without arms, water just trickled out of the base at which time the boys lost interest and cast him to the ground and ran towards their backyard.

Stunned, I stumbled into the house to tell Mike the horror that I had just witnessed.

Me:  “I’m so upset.  I just watched the boys beat Ollie to pieces.”

Mike:  “Who?!?”

Me:  “Ollie the sprinkler!  The boys across the street ripped him apart right in front of me.”

Mike: “Andy?”

Me: “Mostly…”

Mike:  “Are you @&^%$ surprised???  I found Andy beating on the plastic kitchen in the back yard with a croquet mallet a week ago and the week before he was throwing a ball at our dining room window.  Why would you give him something that you did not want to be destroyed?”

I don’t know why I thought that Mike would sympathize with me, he didn’t care about Ollie and was happy that one more item was gone from the house forever.  However, I was determined to replace him so I kept the box and hoped to find another online even though the sticker on the box indicates that I bought Ollie at Hills Department Store which existed until 1999.  Thus the box is at least 15 years old.  And I’ve kept it…….empty.  Hmmm…

I never found another.  A perfect example of an item I kept because of sentimental value that I’ll write about another day.

So what to do with Ollie’s box and all the others?  They are perfect to use on trash day.


Mike is quite happy filling them yard debris and other oddly shaped trash.  He obviously has weeks of happiness to come.


  1. Your blog was in the google search results when I was looking for information regarding a storage unit. How random! As I am often prone to distraction, I decided to read ‘How not to empty a storage unit’ anyhow. Then I just had to keep reading.. the above story in particular made me laugh so hard I nearly cried. I really enjoy your style of writing. Just thought I’d leave a note saying so (:

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