Tidy in Ten – Week 1: Cardboard

Shipping boxes, product packaging, empty wrapping paper roles. Ah, the remnants of the recent holidays. In this first installment of the series, I encourage you to tackle any lingering cardboard in your home.


Any and all empty cardboard waste you may have lingering around your home. For example:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Product packaging
  • Wrapping paper rolls
  • Tissue boxes
  • Packing paper


I recommend collecting and disposing of your cardboard during an active transition period.

An active transition period is a moment of time when you are switching between tasks. You have physical momentum to work off of and are already context switching so this added task won’t be so disruptive. Here are some active transition periods between which you may take ten minutes to collect/dispose of as much cardboard as possible.

  • Just prior to heading out the door to run errands (e.g. grocery shopping)
  • Just after finishing errands (e.g. right after putting away groceries)
  • Between swapping loads of laundry
  • During a TV pause break (e.g. Did you pause to grab a bite to eat or take a bathroom break? Before sitting back down, set a 10 minute timer and gather that cardboard.)


Set a timer. Of course, you may choose to spend more than 10 minutes, or more than one session on this task. However, the idea here is to not overwhelm yourself and at least do something (it doesn’t have to be everything!).

  • Gather empty cardboard from around the house into a central location (e.g. garage) (~5 minutes)
  • Flatten all boxes and prepare for discard (~5 minutes)
  • Discard in your recycling
  • (Bonus) Bring to your local transfer station (recycling center) for bulk disposal. If you have a lot of cardboard you can likely get rid of it in one trip rather than waiting on multiple rounds of recycling pickup. You also may not need to cut the boxes down as small. *Many local transfer stations offer free passes for recycling to local residents.

I’d love to hear your experience tackling the cardboard this week in the comments below! Stay tuned for another recommendation next Tuesday.

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