A Life Full Of Boxes

Why <b>Andy Rooney </b> Likes Boxes

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney
One of the most important decisions we all make is what to keep and what to throw away. Some of us keep everything. Others throw everything out.

People who throw things out may be more successful but I am not one of them.

If you keep things, you need something to keep them in. I like boxes. I suffer from the illusion that if I have enough boxes, my life will be orderly. I'll never throw away anything I might want later.

As a result, I have dozens of containers to keep things in - hundreds probably. For example, when I buy a new pair of shoes, I might not wear the shoes much but I love the empty shoe box. I keep old letters in empty shoe boxes. I have one from Barry Goldwater. You don't throw that out.

I have a box the bank sent me with bank checks in it. I keep my Scotch Tape, staple remover and various other office tools in here.

Some boxes are better than what comes in them. There was a pretentious bottle of bourbon in here but I love the box it came in.

I have a box from Tiffany's that probably once held some jewel of great value. I don't know what was in it, but it must have been expensive. I don't keep anything expensive in it anymore.

Several years ago, I got hooked on Altoids, these curiously strong little peppermint candies. What I like most about them is the little tin box they come in. I keep one of these in the glove compartment of my car with quarters in it for parking meters.

Companies are always sending me some product they hope I'll mention on television. They send it along with a basket of fruit. I eat the fruit but I never throw away a basket. Little baskets are a great place in which to keep things you don't know where to keep. These two are filled with old cords and attachments to electrical appliances, cameras and computers.

Papers I save in major boxes like those under the bench over there. Every time I decide to get organized and file a lot of papers in there, they all end up in a box called "miscellaneous".

I also have good-looking little boxes. I keep stamps and paperclips in one box. I see that a nickel got in another somehow.

Friends know I like them so they give me little boxes to put things in. I don't want to offend them -- these are all very nice boxes -- but I don't really like to keep anything in a box that was specially designed to keep things in.

What I really need most now to get my life in order is a big box to keep all my boxes in.