The Story of a Blue Milk Crate

In 1989 I graduated high school.

One pre-university ritual was (and still is) is to shop for things for the dormitory room.  One popular organizational item at the time was the plastic milk crate.  They were square in shape and made of hard plastic.  I remember agonizing over color choices and quantity.  After spending an inordinate amount of time trying to decide, I selected four crates:  two in electric blue and two in slate blue.

Those durable crates lasted longer than my four years in college.  They were purposed and re-purposed again and again throughout the years.  They held everything from clothes, to books, to scrapbooks, to canned food, to papers.  When I married, the crates were used for kid books, toys, and diapers.

Eventually the slate blue ones broke.  Cause of death most likely from a young Furman using them as a step stool.  Now left were the two electric blue ones.  Truth be told, I think I liked them better the whole time, but did not want to insult the slate blue ones by saying so.

The two electric blue ones have survived and been in use for over two decades.

Until recently.

I had been making use of them on my porch.  During a ferocious wind, one of them ended up under a pile of items and cracked.  The crack wasn’t severe and I continued to use it.  However, I have a rule in my home.  Any toy or item that has cracked, broken, or a sharp plastic edge gets trashed.  As thrifty as I am, I staunchly uphold this rule.  With an almost crawling baby who scoots everywhere, I could no longer bend the rule. He gets into everything.  Gotta childproof.  Gotta keep him safe.

So, yesterday my electric blue crate was put out next to the dumpster.  Maybe someone would see it, love it, and find a good use for it.  Though no tears leaked from my eyes, I was a little sad to part with my beloved crate.  As Marie Kondo of ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ advises, I thanked it for it’s service and walked away.

This morning while out walking with my pre-schooler, I noticed the crate was gone, as were the other bulk items near the curb.  I hoped my crate had found a new home.  But alas, on the ground I saw a few small random pieces of electric blue.  The jaws that remove bulk items must have snapped it into pieces.

Should I have kept my crate longer?  Should I have put up with the cracks?  It is now too late for second-guesses.  Truth be told, I have de-cluttered so much and have more “proper” storage options than that of an old milk crate that I really didn’t need it anymore.  26 years is a good life for a milk crate. Thank you for your service, Blue Milk Crate.  R.I.P.

Thanks for reading.


The Klutter Koach

Published by Karen Furman

Philosophy = Your home should be organized so you know where things are, to the degree that you feel relaxed and not stressed in your space. Method = A combination of Marie Kondo + FlyLady + my own style. YOU make the decisions. YOU decide what to keep and not to keep. I help provide clarity. Attitude = Positive, enthusiastic, non-judgmental

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