Have you noticed how much packaging comes through our front door nowadays? Whether it’s food going into the pantry or hardware for the office everything seems to come in bags, within boxes, within boxes. Are you guilty of keeping some or all of that unnecessary packaging?
When it comes to non-consumables, why is it that so many people feel the need to keep the boxes they came in?
Many of my clients have kept packaging for home and office items. They tell me it’s because:
- They may need to take the item back
- To keep all the extra bits in
- So that they can easily find the manual or warranty
Have a look in your cupboards – have you done the same thing………..
In some instances the box outlasts the item, with clients finding boxes for things they threw away years ago.
Unless the box holds a complete set of something, it’s a waste of space. Most of the time, these boxes are bulky, hard to open and have served their purpose by delivering your goods undamaged.
If you find you also keep packaging, here’s are a few simple steps to get rid of these space wasters:
- Take out everything that is in the box
- Look at the actual box; does it have any reference information on it you may need? Ie the product code or version (sometimes manuals can be for more than one product or version). If yes, jot the details down on the cover of your manual. If you have the receipt, I would also suggest stapling this to your manual or warranty so that you don’t lose it.
- Throw the box away!
- Look at what you have left and consider whether you really need to keep all the items.
If you do, put everything but the paperwork in a zip lock bag and label it with the product name.
Now the most you will have is the paperwork and a zip lock bag.
As the zip lock bags are bulky items, I would suggest storing all bags for similar items together in a labelled container (have a look around, do you have an old Tupperware container or similar that you could use for this). If you have a home office, you could start a container and label it ‘office hardware parts’.
For the paperwork, I would suggest keeping all warranties, manuals and receipts together in one place.
If you have a lot of literature for one item keep them together by either putting them in a document wallet and clearly labelling the outside or clip them together with a fold-back clip (paperclips are not a good option as paperwork will easily come apart).
If you have more than one computer, it’s also a good idea to have a document wallet for each computer storing all the hardware and software paperwork for each individual computer.
Here are a couple of storage solutions for the paperwork:
- If you have spare shelving – use a couple of magazine holders to store your paperwork in.
- If you have a filing cabinet, use suspension folders.
Whichever you decide to use, have them clearly labelled. I have mine divided into office, home and outside – use headings that make sense to you.
And don’t forget to maintain these folders by going through them about once a year and throwing out paperwork for anything you no longer own.
The Finer Details team are a wealth of knowledge on all manner of storage solutions and tips. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and blogs for more Organisation Tips and Concierge Services or if you would like friendly professional help organising your life and home contact us now.