January 8, 2015
January is often a time of reflection, a chance to take stock of where you are, identify what you want to achieve with the New Year and the opportunity of a fresh start.
What better way to ‘clear the head’ than to physically clear the decks – get rid of some of the clutter that you may have accumulated over the past year and beyond!
Here is our top tip for your January clear out…
Create an ‘outbox’ – it’s a powerful weapon against clutter and, honestly, it’s the secret to a cleaner, calmer, under-control home.
An ‘outbox’ in your home makes it easier to let go of things that you may not have space for, items that are cluttering your home and quite frankly you may no longer need. Do you have a secret tendency to ‘hoard’? – keeping precious keep sakes that have an emotional tie or a memory? Do you have cupboards and wardrobes full of expensive rash purchases that you wish you hadn’t bought?
We all have emotional and financial connections to items and breaking that hold is a challenge, but the Outbox makes it manageable and it does get easier each time you use it – promise!
Here is Callender Howorth’s take on the Outbox concept:
Choose a space that is clearly defined. This area should be out of the way of daily activities and be a place you can comfortably allow to get messy and chaotic for a short while. A closet or guest room is perfect for this, but any small area or corner near your front door will do. Designate this your Outbox.
The Outbox is not rubbish, nor does it need to be an actual box; it is a halfway house where things sit while their fate is being decided. You should never be afraid to put something in the Outbox.
Once an item has sat in the Outbox for some time, it releases its hold over the owner and becomes just an ordinary object that one can easily decide what to do with. One client compared it to the phenomenon children experience when they fall in love with a rock that is wet or under water. Later, when the rock has dried off and is no longer shiny, it becomes just a plain old rock again and the child’s attachment to is suddenly lessens.
As simple as it is, the Outbox has proven to be extremely successful in allowing people to clear out their homes efficiently on a regular basis.
Anything can go in the Outbox
The Outbox is allowed to get messy
Everything must stay in the Outbox for at least one week
After that time you have several choices
– Take anything back out
– Leave anything you are undecided about for one more week
– Dispose of the rest by moving to the rubbish, recycling bin, or giveaway pile
Set up your outbox as per the guidelines above and put one thing in it.
Once you get used to separating first and disposing of later, you’ll find that clearing clutter gets easier and easier.