Decluttering Cure

If You Have a Hard Time Letting Go of Clutter, Try the “Box and Banish” Method

published Sep 26, 2020
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Making decisions is the hardest part of decluttering. So if you want to make decluttering easier, well… that the decision-making out of it. At least for the on-the-fence-stuff.

I’m a big fan of the “box and banish” decluttering method. Here’s how it works, generally: Leave a box somewhere out of the way, like in the bottom of your closet or under your desk. Then as you’re living your life, and you come across something that makes you think “do I even really need this?” you just put it in the box. No pressure to get rid of it right now—just put it in the box. (If you end up needing the thing later, you can just grab it from the box.) Eventually, after some time, the box will fill up and that’s your cue to… get rid of everything inside it. Yes, everything.

Decluttering Tip: Have a “decluttering box” in your closet or home at all times, so you can get things you don’t need out of the way as you come across them.

→ Create Your Own Decluttering Workbook

The box-and-banish is a great way to practice living with less. You survived however many weeks or months without needing that dress or that book. So send it off to another home.

You might be thinking, “Hmm I should try this sometime!” Well, I have good news: You’ve been working on this for the past 18 days…

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Day 19: Try the “box and banish” method with your “maybe” items.

Remember those three boxes we set up on day one? We’ll deal with the sell and donate boxes tomorrow. But today, grab that box of “maybes” and… close it up.

The maybe box is a little bit of a crutch. A purgatory that lets you get things out of the way of daily life so you can get a taste of what life is like without it. Give it one more look—grab some things back out of it if you want to. But then close it up and set it back down next to your sell and donate boxes—so we can get everything out of the place tomorrow!

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