Oatmeal boxes speak to my soul. I have no clue why. There is something about them that makes me cling to them when they are empty. It’s horrendous to throw them away. So I save, and save, and save them.
The other day I had a sewing project. (Sewing new curtains for our tent trailer that is at least a bajillion years old.) When I opened my sewing closet, a swarm of empty oatmeal boxes tumbled out.
I counted them. One, two, three. . . eight . . . nine . . .
My mother-in-law saved all sorts of empty plastic containers — from tubs of butter, whipped topping, cottage cheese. As I wrestled with the empty oatmeal boxes, I thought of her.
Are these oatmeal boxes to me what empty plastic containers were to her? I wondered.
I don’t think so. She mainly used those containers to store leftovers in the fridge and freezer.
Ah, but oatmeal boxes. That’s a different story. I remember making Valentine’s Day boxes in grade school. I thought I was so clever with my designs. I remember my children making Valentine’s Day boxes when they were in grade school. I thought their designs were so clever.
But empty oatmeal boxes can be used for more than just Valentine’s Day boxes. Much, much more. They can be made into tunnels for train sets. They can become doll houses for teeny dolls. They can be used as drums for a family band of homemade musical instruments. (Our family plays a mean song of Jingle Bells using empty paper towel tubes!)
An empty oatmeal box can be a parking terrace for matchbox cars. It can hold a plethora of treasured rocks. It can be a mailbox, stilts for young children, a robot, or a cast for a pretend broken arm.
Oh the things you can do with an empty oatmeal box!
That’s why I save them.
But one only has so much space for these things — especially when one needs the space to sew. (Why is it that my sewing closet is also a storage closet? Hmm?)
So, it was with heavy heart that I threw three of them away. What a painful experience. I almost cried. But not to fear. Another box will be empty soon and I can build up my supply again.
I heart oatmeal boxes.