We’ve all heard that it’s best to have the original packaging, including Styrofoam, for appliances, TVs and other electronics. Generally speaking, this is true, but should you save them? That answer depends on a couple of things.
First, when are you moving? If you buy a stereo and you know you’re moving in two or three months, yes, save the boxes and the packaging materials. Moving for sure in a year? Keep them if you have the storage space. Maybe, possibly, moving in three to five years? Nope.
The clutter of storing every single electronics or appliance box would be overwhelming, and most people just don’t have the space. Additionally, cardboard stored for long periods of time can deteriorate. In a damp basement, cardboard turns soggy and may start to mold, and boxes stored in garages can absorb odors from chemicals and gasoline. And if something leaks, it may ruin your boxes.
Boxes can be attractive nesting spots for mice and other pests, especially if they’re stored in little used attics, or shoved into the corner of a garage. Even when closed and sealed, cardboard doesn’t stand a chance against a rodent’s teeth. There’s a good chance that your boxes won’t be in good shape when you do decide it’s time to move.
Rather than saving boxes in case you move at some point in the future, we recommend recycling packaging and cardboard. Most small appliances will fit into standard sized boxes, and it has become easier to find specialty boxes and packing materials like Styrofoam sheets and bubble wrap. Talk to your moving coordinator about your box needs, or check out the selection at the Container Store or hardware stores.