April 18, 2011

Peevish Box Fling

Ever since Paul rearranged our basement shelves into rows, and didn't allow enough room for my hips in one of the rows, I've felt peevish and irritable about our basement storage.

When he "dealt with" the empty boxes he thinks I'm silly for keeping (says the guy who NEVER DOES ANY OF OUR MAILING OF ANY SORT, NOT EVEN GIFTS TO HIS OWN FAMILY, nor does he handle handmedown clothing storage) by tossing them ALL willy-nilly into that too-narrow aisle, making the aisle COMPLETELY INACCESSIBLE even to parts of the body narrower than my hips AND the boxes inaccessible as well, I priced online divorces and realized a cast iron skillet and a shovel were cheaper and faster and could be reused afterward.

Every time I try to get rid of some of our STUFF, I get stopped by that aisle: I can't even get into it without taking out dozens and dozens of boxes---and doing it sideways. And the boxes were just TOSSED in there, so if you try to get one box, a whole bunch of other boxes tumble down around your ears. And I'm too mad about him making that mess (and it is SO CLASSIC: he will "store things" IN FRONT OF CLOSET DOORS, so every time I see THAT mess I remember all the other, SIMILAR messes) to make myself tackle doing the cleaning up. So I showed HIM: I left it that way for YEARS. More and more boxes accumulated: I couldn't get to the ones he'd "stored," so I saved new ones, which he sometimes added to the inaccessible pile.

Yesterday I HAD to have a box. I needed a box badly enough that it was worth rummaging in The Box Aisle. I got angry enough at my inability to find a SINGLE APPROPRIATE BOX that I flinged EVERY box out of that aisle.

I saved the few old moving boxes that are the perfect size to fit on the shelves we can now get to, and I stacked them at the far end of that aisle so that we can still ACCESS the aisle. I also saved an assortment of smallish boxes: it's pretty common for me to need a smallish box for something. I recycled ALL the rest.

Then I made a very ugly but fully functional box out of cardboard from a larger box, because in that whole pile there was not one single box the right size or even close.

19 comments:

Lisa said...

I know how you feel! My husband saves every box for everything we've ever bought---but throws out gift boxes. So when we move, don't worry, our iron and muffin tins will be appropriately protected. But BOXES I MIGHT ACTUALLY USE?? Lets throw those out.

I have started retaliating by throwing away all the appliance boxes. Now we are completely box-less. That will show him.

cakeburnette said...

Aghhhh! I know this scenario so well! We have EVERY electronics box EVER, but he likes to throw out the mailing boxes/storage boxes I collect. But we are planning to finally settle down, so I'm thinking an electronics-box-recycling party is in my future....

Slim said...

Was there a box big enough to hold Paul? Then you wouldn't need that shovel, and all those years of mailing experience would pay off.

Nowheymama said...

"So I showed HIM: I left it that way for YEARS."

Further evidence that you are in my brain.

Mrs. Irritation said...

His efforts at organizing your storage just reiterate what I think of my own household: if I want it done right/well, I should just do it my own damn self. I'll grumble through it at the time wondering why I have to do EVERYTHING, but it will save the "can't he do anything?" grumbles later.

d e v a n said...

Ah, the flinging. I do this with so many things when I get, finally, irritated enough.

Nik-Nak said...

I'm with Mrs. Irritation. If it has got to be done, and done right, might as well do it myself.

Shelly said...

As one of my friends says, "It's the little things that make you load the shotgun."

LoriD said...

Grrr. Homer has this annoying habit of accumulating things that need to go out to the garage (garbage, beer cans, recycling) in front of the door to the garage. To finally deal with the pile, you first have to move the whole pile further into the kitchen so you can actually get to the door. I'll never understand what he is thinking.

Maggie said...

Am going to broaden the complaint and note that this is one of the reasons I hate it when my husband "organizes" anything in our house. Inevitably things are put in such a manner that the things we need regularly are buried or behind things we never use. Like Mrs. Irritation said, after years of marriage I realized if I need something organized properly, I'd better do it myself, complain the whole time, but then have a useable area when finished.

Lylah at Write. Edit. Repeat. said...

I could add and add and add to this with my own experiences (I call them "cleaning tantrums" and no, they are not mine), but here's a positive thing: I deal with box-storage issues by breaking down the box (cutting the tape and flattening it out) and then storing a whole bunch of them inside a single, large, still-intact box or a rubbermaid-like plastic bin. Many boxes have their dimensions stamped right on them, so I try to store them with that flap visible. Then, when I need a box, I go through it like looking for a document in a filing cabinet.

velocibadgergirl said...

OMG, what is it with men and their completely counterproductive "solutions" to clutter / storage? As soon as I declared that this would be the Year of the Great Decluttering, my husband started offering completely unhelpful suggestions for things we could get rid of. Useful things, things I wouldn't want to pay to replace, things that barely take up space as it is. I finally cracked and asked him to stop making suggestions altogether, because he was discouraging me so much with his aggressive non-understanding of what constitutes helpful anti-clutter comments. :P

cherylc said...

My husband says I shouldn't worry, because he is bigger than me in all dimensions so he would never create shelves like this. (He's a very large man.) Also, he says he's not going to worry because he has never told me where we keep the shotgun.

Jenny said...

Cast-iron skillet and shovel. [sighs happily] I have nothing constructive to say, I just love coming here.

Hillary said...

My husband recently recycled 14 shoe boxes that I was saving. Empty shoe boxes. That I was saving for ... something? I don't even know. Anyway, it actually felt really good to get rid of the empty boxes. Even though now I am convinced that I will need 14 shoe boxes and not have a single one.

Slim said...

Hilary, I bet a shoe store would be able to give you some if you need them. The place where we buy our kids' shoes always saves them if parents don't want them.

Kelsey said...

This reminds me of how Matt likes to "organize" the pantry so that I can't get to half the things I need without going through seven layers of other stuff (it's a deep pantry). SO HELPFUL.

Jen said...

yes to all of the above. also, color me pleased that there isn't a single "at least you HAVE a husband" comment in here. :)

Swistle said...

Jen- OH MAN, ME TOO. Or, "At least your husband TRIES to help."