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Boxes. Boxes? I Guess I do Need Stinkin’ Boxes…

Steven Stone Looks at the problem of what to do with boxes…

There is one particular part of the audiophile hobby that can be truly vexing – what should you do with shipping boxes?

AR-boxes1.jpgEverything comes in a box. Well, most things do. My Dunlavy SC-VI speakers were delivered sans boxes as were most of the parts of a Genesis 6.1 surround system I’ve been using as a reference for ten years. The first question from Gary Koh, Genesis Advanced Technologies head dude, when I called him to let him know I was moving to a smaller house and wanted to return the 6.1 system was, “Do you have the boxes?” Sadly, the answer was no. The Dunlavys are also going to require that their new owner have crates made for them if they are shipped anywhere; or they will need to be moved and delivered by piano movers.

Keeping audio component boxes is a good idea if you plan to move or sell these components, right? But where do you store all these boxes in the meantime? Having a big house with a garage made this relatively easy for the last fourteen years – empty boxes went into the garage. But in my new place I will not have a garage available for boxes – my car is actually going inside it for a change since it does look better sans grafitti, so what to do?

My box overflow will going to a different garage, offsite, that currently holds a whole bunch of electric parts and supplies. That ten-year old industrial-sized fan liberated from a local Chinese restaurant by my wive’s regular electrician will have to make way for all my cardboard.

AR-boxes5.jpgBut what if I lived in an apartment in NYC for instance? I know that some apartments come with small locked storage areas in the basement, but many don’t, so keeping boxes is not a viable option. For those audiophiles the concept of reselling their gear “with original boxes” is never ever gonna happen.

Some audiophiles who are cramped for box space flatten their cardboard shipping boxes and only keep the cardboard, jettisoning the inner packing and from-fitting cushions. When the time comes to ship something they resort to foam peanuts and newspaper to fill the spaces formally occupied by the custom packing. Obviously that’s not really “original packaging” anymore, but it is probably the equal of what would happen if you brought your component and flattened box to a packing/shipping shop.

But even if you have a place to store all your shipping boxes finding the right box at the right time can be challenging. As I went through my boxes recently I found several boxes belonging to components that I had long ago returned to their makers. I shipped them back in whatever I found that fit, which obviously was not the original box since that is still residing in my garage. Ah well, such is life.

So my question to you is simple, “What do you do with your boxes?”

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