The holiday season isn’t just busy for those traveling to see friends and family. It’s also a busy time of the year for thieves. And unfortunately, those boxes you throw out on the curb for that big screen TV or new Playstation 5 show thieves exactly what you have inside the house.
Right now, there are high-end gadgets under Christmas trees everywhere, just waiting to get unwrapped. We’re talking about a new 75-inch Samsung TV, the latest iPad Pro, game consoles, cameras, and much more. Over the Christmas weekend, people everywhere will be getting gifts.
Where you dispose of those boxes is more important than you think. And posting about a gift on social media isn’t a great idea. So, here’s what you need to know and what to do with all those boxes.
Drive around any neighborhood next week, and you’ll likely see all sorts of holiday gift boxes on the curb for trash day—packages for a fancy new ebike or the classic big-screen TV. We hear stories about it every year, so this is your reminder to avoid throwing big-ticket boxes away on the curb.
Throwing away big boxes shows thieves exactly where to go. It’s a target in front of your house that suggests sitting beyond the front door are expensive gadgets that are easy to steal. Prevent burglaries, theft, and other crimes by properly disposing of all your holiday gift boxes.
This goes for small boxes, too, especially if it’s an expensive item. We’re talking about a new MacBook Pro or costly jewelry. You’ll want to pay close attention to what you’re throwing away, even if it’s not a fancy gadget or something that goes inside your home.
Thieves look for boxes from new tools, car stereos, bikes, guns, speakers, headphones, and more. I’m talking about items that could be an easy target in the coming days and weeks. You’ll want to properly dispose of boxes for anything that’ll eventually get stored in your garage or car. As this suggests to thieves that they can come back at night and smash a window or wait for the garage to be open.
Depending on the item’s size, throwing away boxes the correct way is easier said than done. The same goes for a large family that goes big on Christmas. You’ll end up with far more trash than the recycle bin can hold, which is why people toss everything on the curb.
If you have smaller items, conceal them before throwing anything away. You can put smaller boxes in additional trash bags or hide them at the bottom of the bin before disposing of your usual trash.
It’s always a good idea to break down big boxes inside your house, ensuring they’ll fit in a trash bin without the lid staying open. An easy way to do this is with electric scissors or a rotary tool. Cut up those large TV boxes into small pieces to fit in the bin or an extra bag.
More importantly, you can find designated recycling drop-off locations in every major city. You’ll often find large recycling bins at a college campus or shopping center parking lots. Another option is to check with your local trash company for more details and drop-off locations.
Some cities have started offering what they’re calling a “burglary box” to residents, which is essentially a big recycling bin designated for trash. This helps prevent theft by encouraging homeowners to dispose of boxes off-property instead of advertising all the goods on the curb.
Alternatively, you could upcycle that big TV box and turn it into a household item. Some companies like Samsung have QR codes on the box with instructions to make a cat house or magazine rack out of cardboard. Or, the site Instructables is full of box repurposing ideas.
It’s always fun to share what you got for Christmas with friends and family on social media but do so carefully. You’ll want to be mindful of what you put on Facebook or TikTok in the days and weeks after the busy holiday season. Don’t post pictures, stories, or reels of any new big-ticket items you got as a gift.
The curb by your trash bin is an easy target, but so is your social media account. Posting videos of a new laptop isn’t the best idea. Thieves are getting more sophisticated each year, and looking online is an easy way to get an inside look at someone’s life.
According to a report from Forbes, over 65% of people who’ve been burglarized know the burglar. So, if you’re showing off that new necklace, smartwatch, or laptop, someone with ill intentions could be watching.
Unfortunately, this is the world we live in. And don’t expect those security cameras on the front porch to stop a would-be thief. This time of the year, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be careful about what you post online, don’t advertise when you’re out of town, and dispose of all those boxes without showcasing them to the world after Christmas.