One Box is All You Need to Get Started on Your New, Uncluttered Lifestyle

published Jan 5, 2022
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cardboard box filled with clothing in home

Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 20-day program all about loving on your home and preparing yourself and your space for the new year. Sign up now to get daily lessons sent straight to your inbox!

A place for everything and everything in its place. It’s a maxim that many people use to guide their organizing efforts at home. But isn’t part of the problem that some things just don’t have a place? Especially when you’re actively trying to declutter because you have too many things and not enough places to put them in? And then forget about the fact that you’re not quite sure what should stay and what should go, at this point in the journey.

Fear not — the first step of a less cluttered lifestyle isn’t tossing half your closet to the curb. Step one is getting yourself set up with the right tools. And luckily, my favorite tool is something cheap (free, actually) that’s so easy to come by, you probably have one sitting by your front door right now.

Today’s Cure assignment is an easy one, so let’s go!

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Credit: Sarah Crowley

Day 3: Set up an outbox and put one thing in it.

Take two minutes to establish a place — the outbox — where you’ll put your cast-off items aside during the Cure, and then find one thing to add to it today.

It will be like a decluttering purgatory. Throughout the Cure, as you declutter different areas of your space, you can put things you’re getting rid of, or just thinking about getting rid of, into the outbox.

Your outbox doesn’t need to be an actual box. It can be a bag (those big IKEA bags are clutch), an unused room, the trunk of your car, or any designated nook or corner. Someplace that you can allow to be messy for a little while.

Once you’ve got your outbox set up, I want you to add one thing to it. Look around your home and zero in on one item you’re thinking about letting go of — a trinket, a kitchen tool, a sweater, anything — then put it in the outbox with abandon. Don’t think about it too much, just… into the outbox. You’re not getting rid of the thing (yet, or maybe ever), so don’t hesitate to put the thing in the outbox if it crosses your mind.

But for now, just set it up and feel good about putting that first item in, knowing you’re on your way to letting go of things you don’t need.

Once you’ve got your item in your outbox, you’re done with the Cure today!

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More Ways to Participate in the January Cure: