Don’t let a thief driving by buy items to steal.
The holiday season is not just busy for those traveling to see friends and family. It’s also a busy time of year for thieves. And sadly, those boxes you dump on the curb for that big screen TV or that new Playstation 5 show burglars exactly what you have inside the house.
Right now, there are high-end gadgets under Christmas trees everywhere, just waiting to be unwrapped. We’re talking about a new 75-inch Samsung TV, the latest iPad Pro, game consoles, cameras, and much more. During the Christmas weekend, people everywhere will receive gifts.
Where you dispose of those boxes is more important than you think. And posting about a gift on social media is not a great idea. So here’s what you need to know and what to do with all those boxes.
Why you shouldn’t throw gift boxes on the sidewalk
Drive through any neighborhood next week and chances are you’ll see all kinds of holiday gift boxes on the curb for garbage day: packages for a fancy new electric bike or the classic big-screen TV. We hear stories about it every year, so this is your reminder to avoid throwing expensive boxes on the curb.
Dropping large boxes shows thieves exactly where to go. It’s a target in front of your house that suggests that behind your front door are expensive gadgets that are easy to steal. Prevent theft, theft and other crimes by properly disposing of all your holiday gift boxes.
This also applies to small boxes, especially if it is an expensive item. We are talking about a new MacBook Pro or expensive 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 house.
Thieves search for new toolboxes, car stereos, bikes, guns, speakers, headphones, and more. I’m talking about items that could be easy targets in the coming days and weeks. You’ll want to properly dispose of boxes for anything that eventually gets stored in your garage or car. As this suggests to burglars that they can return at night and break a window or wait for the garage to open.
Depending on the size of the item, dumping the boxes the right way is easier said than done. The same goes for a large family going big for Christmas. You’ll end up with much more trash than your recycling bin can hold, which is why people dump everything on the curb.
If you have smaller items, hide them before you throw them away. You can place smaller boxes in extra trash bags or hide them in the bottom of the bin before disposing of your regular trash.
It’s always a good idea to break up large boxes inside your home, making sure they will fit in a trash can without the lid being left open. An easy way to do this is with electric shears or a rotary tool. Cut those big 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 on a college campus or in mall parking lots. Another option is to check with your local garbage company for more details and drop-off locations.
Some cities have started offering what they call a “robbery box” to residents, which is essentially a large recycling bin designated for trash. This helps prevent theft by encouraging homeowners to dispose of boxes off property rather than post all products on the sidewalk.
Alternatively, you can upcycle that big TV box and turn it into a household item. Some companies like Samsung have QR codes on the box with instructions for making a cat house or magazine rack out of cardboard. Or, the Instructables site is full of box repurposing ideas.
See what you put on social networks
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 keep in mind what you post to Facebook or TikTok in the days and weeks after the busy holiday season. Please do not post images, stories, or reels of any new high-value items you received as a gift.
The sidewalk by your dumpster is an easy target, but so is your social media account. Posting videos of a new laptop is not the best idea. Thieves are getting more sophisticated every year, and searching online is an easy way to get an inside look into someone’s life.
According to a report from Forbes, more than 65% of people who have been robbed know the thief. So if you’re showing off that new necklace, smartwatch, or laptop, someone with bad 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 burglar. At this time of year, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be careful what you post online, don’t advertise when you’re out of town, and throw away all those boxes without showing them to the world after Christmas.