I hacked my clementine boxes, or, don’t you wish you had thought of this?

Do you buy your clementines in those sporty wooden boxes or crates? By sporty I mean old-fashioned, cute, and seemingly re-purpose-able. (Isn’t that what sporty means?)

(I got the photo above off of the Darling Clementine website, which is really colorful and informative, and I sure hope they let me keep this photo on here!)

So I buy my clementines and think — goody! I’ll get a box out of this deal. Maybe those of us whose grandmothers lived through the Great Depression just have a hankering for stuff that comes in other stuff that can be made into stuff, like feed-feedsacks-dresses, but I for one just wish that everything came in handy re-usable packaging, and I get vexed when things come in packaging that not only can’t be made into something else, but can hardly be used to store the thing that it packages. Do you know what I mean about this? Like sugar. You can’t keep sugar in a paper sack, unless you like bricks of sugar with ants running all over it. You can’t keep flour in a paper sack, unless you like moths springing out at you.

And what was I just opening the other day…oh yes, cream cheese. Cream cheese, as we all know, comes in a cardboard box AND a sort of foil-y wrapping, and both of those things simply stink at keeping cream cheese feeling contained once you open it up. And, needless to say, you certainly can’t re-use them. For all my life I’ve been sort of silently cursing the way cream cheese comes packaged.

Anyway, back to clementine boxes. I always have this jumping feeling in my frugal soul as I purchase my clementines, because the box really seems as if it will be useful and handy. But it really isn’t. They stack, but they don’t display, and to get into one you have to lift off the others, which isn’t always practical. So I had a bunch (6 to be exact) doing some sort of duty in the pantry, but not really helping all that much when you got right down to it. Cute, but not so clever after all.

Until the hack! Today I just found myself saying one time too many, “Why doesn’t this thing have a removable side?” and decided just to remove it.

So without further eloquence (recognize The Quiet Man quote?), here is — The Clementine Box Hack #1! (Well, a little more eloquence: this video is of my box hack in situ; the next one is the actual hack — but wouldn’t you love a little peek at my pantry? I’d kind of like to see yours! — and by the way, I hardly got my pantry ready for this video. Another time we’ll have a proper tour):

To see how I did it (it’s pretty simple, but this is a video that is narrated by the charming Bridget, so you won’t want to miss it!) — The Clementine Box Hack #2!:

 *UPDATE: Take the piece you removed and put it under the front! You can glue it there. Sometimes you can just flip it around and under. That adds necessary stability to the front of the shelf.*

Hey — if I can do it so can you!


  1. says

    This is very clever, Mama! I like the way you have them on the end of the shelves – it creates easily-accessible space where there was none before!It's good you have such a charming and effective narrator, too.

  2. says

    I just found your blog and am loving it so far! I just wanted to say that I love your ingenuity, and also that I found your voice very soothing and comforting. Especially in the first video.

  3. says

    That is the mostest ingenious idea ever! I was so miffed to learn that just as I saw this, our grocery store switched to flimsier cardboard boxes. Grr! Next tangerine season I will keep my eyes peeled for the Real Deal.

  4. says

    Hi, just reading through your archives and wanted to say thanks for the great idea. We are currently using our boxes for "baby beds"(have a little pillow inside) but the next round of clementine boxes are going to be reserved for Momma.

  5. says

    Love the idea for the Clementine boxes. I'm definitely going to copy that one! Btw, we just moved back to the states from Switzerland, where you buy cream cheese in a container with a little plastic lid. Makes SO much more sense! They seem to package things with much less waste than we do here.

  6. Angela says

    I'm going to try this! But the best part of the video is putting a voice to your face to your words of wisdom. Thank you for the glimpse into your life. God bless you.Angela

  7. says

    Awesome! I'm using my clementine box to display diecast and hot wheels cars on the wall :) there are already holes in the bottom, and they hang so easily on the wall. All I did was peel the label off the sides of the wooden box.

  8. Rachel says

    I saw this post last week, and thought "perfect! we're just getting into clementine season!" And then I went to the grocery store and this year, they are packaged in cardboard. I'm so disappointed! (And mourning the loss of a reusable packaging for something the will just get tossed.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *