The humble cardboard box; they have been around since the early 1800s. They have changed the world we live in completely. Almost all of us will use one in the next year or two. But for most people they are something easily overlooked and underutilised.
Invented and developed throughout the 19th century , staring out as flimsy paperboard boxes to the precut, corrugated marvels we know today, the cardboard box has changed the way businesses, charity organizations, retail giants and homes have moved and stored their goods and belongings. When you sit down and actually think about it, it would be hard to imagine a world without them. Perhaps the main reason the cardboard box is such an overlooked and neglected business or household item is due in part to our wasteful habits.
The one thing most would notice about cardboard boxes is that once we have finished our big move the shabby beige soldiers are no longer needed for duty. Right? Wrong! With just a bit of thought and effort, there are no limits to how we can use and reuse cardboard boxes for a number of interesting things.
We need only look to societys less fortunate people to see a multitude of uses for the cardboard box. Cardboard boxes provide protection from the elements, privacy from passersby, and even a commodity to be recycled for a meager income. But for the average newly moved homeowner, faced with a mountain of brown cubes, what good reasons do they have not to trash these bulky brutes?
Arts and Crafts
For those of you with kids at home, the cardboard box could save you from a few gray hairs if put to use properly. To us adults, the sight of cardboard boxes makes us cringe. The very thought of that dreaded move is enough to make us shudder. But to young children, the mighty cardboard box can play host to any number of fantastical stories. With a bit of guidance and help (especially where scissors are involved) why not transform your boring boxes into a castle or fort? Better yet, with the addition of some paint and tape, have your kids recreate their favorite fictional characters in a game of dress-up.
Girls can play out their domestic fantasies by designing and making their very own dollhouse. Boys can take over the world once they have manufactured their army of robots or aliens from outer space. And if all of this sounds like its going to end up being very messy, dont fret, you can lay down cardboard boxes underneath the craft stations to avoid getting paints on your brand new carpets. When the weathers good take your fun outdoors and kit the kids out with sleds and slides. And lets not forget, kids can also use boxes for geography, science and other school projects.
Moving Boxes Around the House
Well thats all good and fine for the kids, but what about us adults? What good reasons would we have to keep these ugly cubes around? If you have just moved into a new house, it is more than likely that your new home may need some touch ups and adjustments. This means mess. Cardboard boxes offer a great way to prevent and deal with mess. Cardboard boxes, once they have been collapsed, make for a great protection from dripping paint and varnish. Its a far sturdier option than newspaper which ultimately tears or gets blown away just as a nice dollop of paint hits your parquet floor. Another handy trick for those of you eager to protect your floors is to cut out cardboard bases for table legs and cabinets to prevent scratches to wooden floors.
Cardboard boxes are also great for garages and garden work. Keep a few boxes around in the garage for any car problems that might arise. They are great for catching dripping oil and saving you from aches and pains from lying on the hard floor. Two sections of cardboard are great for scooping up leaves or grass cuttings after a hard days toil in the garden.
So remember, dont feel burdened by the presence of these tattered monsters. With a little imagination and time you could easily transform a nuisance into a must have. The cardboard box will never find itself on the pages of glossy magazines, or sitting in auction rooms ready to be fought over; but if you keep in mind its many uses, you may just begin to think of the humble cardboard box as a friend of the family.