Do you need to keep your electronics box? Consumer Reports has the answer.

When you get that new tech like a laptop, phone, or tablet, you’re probably wondering if you need to keep the box it came in.

“One of the first electronic items I remember buying is a clock radio with a cassette player built into it,” remembered Consumer Reports’ Deputy Tech editor, Chris Raymond,

He has been buying electronics for decades, which in turn left stacks of boxes.

“You can probably go into any room in the house and open a closet door or look in one of the corners and you’ll find a box tucked there for a laptop, or a speaker, or a telephone,” he said.

Raymond says there are some times when it’s a no-brainer to hang on to a box, at least for a little while, like when there’s a chance you might return a product.

Depending on where you bought it, you might not get a full refund without the original packaging. So. for that reason, it might be worth keeping during the return window, often 14 to 90 days -- especially for expensive electronics.

Another time to hold on to the box is if it’s for an item you think you might resell.

“People are much more likely to buy it when it’s in the box,” said Raymond.

Consumer Reports also says keeping the box while the manufacturer’s warranty is in effect might make it easier if you have to send an item back, although most will accept an item for repairs in any box.

It’s also a good idea to save the box to store a device you might not use every day or to keep track of its extra parts, like a battery or cord.

“That helps you, one, go back and find them but it also helps you remember what that cord goes to, right?” said Raymond.

If none of these reasons apply, Consumer Reports says feel free to get rid of that box.

To help you keep the boxes you’re storing from taking over your home, consider the one-to-one rule: When you get a new device and keep the box, get rid of an old one.

If you want to keep and store them, flatten the ones you can and for those you can’t, put smaller boxes into larger ones. You can even repurpose some of those nice, sturdy boxes for holiday decorations or another use.