The Root Simple Anti-Subscription Box


The Apocabox

Concurrent with the worldwide success of decluttering author and guru Marie Kondo has been a puzzling trend: subscription services that will send you a box of random crap. Averaging around $20 USD a month, these services will send you everything from dog toys to sex toys. You don’t get to choose the contents. Birchbox sends you beauty supplies. Blue Apron sends you food. Apocabox has you covered for the zombie apocalypse. You can even get 12 months worth of moss.

Marie Kondo would not approve. But I suspect she might approve of a new service offered by Root Simple: the anti-subscription box. For just $100 a month I will come to your house, while you’re at work, and remove a box of random crap. You don’t get to supervise, edit or comment. I have the final word. My guiding principle will be William Morris’ dictum, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”


My new uniform.

When I told this idea to Kelly and a visiting house guest they accused me of attempting to “disrupt” and “Uberize” the “legacy industry” known as burglary. I suppose corruption could enter into my scheme if I tried to resell the stuff I remove from people’s houses. To get around this I promise to donate all goods to the Salvation Army.

If you like this idea you can help fund the anti-subscription box’s parent company: the Root Simple Institute for the Present. If you don’t like this idea, as Marshal McLuhan was fond of saying, “I’ve got others.”



Leave a comment


  1. DO NOT, under ANY condition, allow my daughters to see this post. Should they happen to read this, I know what my Christmas present will be, and you’ll be on your way to San Diego.
    That being said, if “random crap” includes stuff in THEIR room, we might have a deal.

  2. Actually I think you’re onto something.

    Two models occur to me:

    (1) a service that comes by once a month to pick up one standard-sized box filled with old clothes and shoes; old kitchen items; old books; canned items and other food stuffs– basically anything you would take to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Friends of the Library or a local food pantry or shelter or dog and cat rescue. So the service would provide an incentive for customers keep those boxes filled– one goes out a month, so the customer doesn’t need to make multiple trips or keep the box in the back of the car or in the garage, waiting for the opportunity to drop stuff off at one place or another. (2) Death Bear. I thought Death Bear was beyond brilliant.

    • That’s a great idea. And thanks for that Death Bear link! Looks like I’m not the only person with this idea!

  3. I’d gladly pay you $100/month if you could end stop the endless robocalls I get on a daily basis. and are pretty much useless.

    • I got my mom a Sentry Call Blocker. It works great. If you have a VOIP service like Time Warner there is a service called Nomorobo ( It’s free and Nomorobo has stopped all sales and survey calls at my home. I like it better than the Sentry gadget which sometimes screens out calls from friends.

  4. I will apologize while I slap your hand away from my stuff! Don’t touch!

    You’ve heard the expression “one person’s trash is another’s treasure”? That’s how I earn my crust of bread. People (good, kind, understanding, helpful people) give me stuff they don’t want (this can be stuff like a silver tea service or date-expired food and literally anything else in between) that I can use or sell. Sometimes it’s a bit of a conundrum (like the time someone showed up with a large bag containing 30 pre-owned brassieres) but I work it out and I move things along to new homes.

    I’m not a hoarder but I do sometimes, quite reasonably, have a bit of a mess in one room or another. (Right now, I freely admit, the rear of my card is serving as box and packing storage ahead of the Christmas shipping rush.) And I save things that might not make sense to others (like Styrofoam vegetable trays and empty cereal boxes–they are excellent for shipment packing supplies; they are free; and I am recycling in my own way). If you were to remove any of that stuff, I couldn’t make my honest and humble living.

    I am also fond of that William Morris quote (although I do NOT like KonMari) but what constitutes usefulness to you, is likely to be very different from what it means to me. So, shoo! Hands off my stuff!

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