The Tech Box Conundrum

About a month ago, David Galloway wrote a short article on apartment therapy asking “Should You Toss Your Tech Boxes?” I was very excited to hear his answer because my husband and techy friends all save the original packaging their electronics came in. We have boxes stored in our closet, attic, and basement. Whenever I question the logic of keeping all these boxes, my husband and friends tend to spout the same reasoning: We need to keep these boxes just in case we want to return, ship, or sell the item. They believe that keeping the tech packaging is part of the stewardship of owning an electronic device. Between David and his readers, here is the list of criteria they came up with for keeping or tossing your tech boxes:


Keep your boxes if…

– Your item is still under warranty and you might need to ship the item back to the manufacturer in the original packaging.

– You tend to upgrade your electronics on a regular basis and you know you will want to sell the item again (sometimes having the item in its original packaging garners more favor from potential buyers)

– You have an item that is an unusual shape that would be hard to find packaging for in the future.

– Your device is so delicate and expensive to replace that anytime you move it, you want the utmost protection.

– There was a large concensus that you should keep any boxes that held Apple or camera items (especially lenses). If space permits, you should also keep the box that your flat screen tv came in (replacements often cost $70+). 


Toss your boxes if…

– You tend to keep your electronics till they end up getting trashed/recycled.

– Your electronic item is not very delicate and you can easily find another box with some peanuts to move the item in.

– You have no room in your home to store them. It is not worth the cost of paying for storage to save empty boxes. Instead, spend the money to get new packing materials when you need to move. Or as reader “eyeb” suggested, go to a Best Buy or other store that sells electronics and see if they’ll give you an empty box for the item your are trying to pack. 

– Your item is no longer under warranty (or you no longer own it).


Overall, if you decide to keep the boxes, review them once a year to purge the boxes for items you no longer own. 

Photo by rynosoft hosted on


About Gabriela Burgman

Gabriela's mission is to empower her clients with the tools and motivation they need to get and stay organized. Prior to becoming a Professional Organizer, Gabriela worked in a photograph archive as well as several university archives, assisting offices, administrators, and retiring academics to sort through their files for preservation or disposal. She became a professional organizer in 2007 working as an independent consultant before joining Living Peace. When Gabriela is not learning new ways to organize photos or paper both physically and electronically, she is spending time on what matters most to her: visiting with family and friends, reading a good mystery book, or cooking a tasty meal.

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