The "Outbox" Technique Can Make Decluttering a Breeze

Start the new year with an organized home.

Maybe you didn't Marie Kondo your life last year. Maybe you sparked plenty of joy in 2019 but you're still looking to tackle your kitchen pantry clutter. Maybe your porch is in need of some serious sprucing up. Whatever the case, here's some good news: It's January, and with the arrival of a fresh start comes the perfect moment to double down on your resolve to declutter.

Here's the not-so-superb news: Starting this task can feel pretty daunting. And while there are countless books on tidying up your space and nearly endless methods to try, we recently stumbled upon one from our friends at Apartment Therapy that is equal parts simple and effective. Enter the "Outbox" technique. As writer Taryn Williford shares, it's an excellent tool to employ if you're looking to toss, donate, or sell excess stuff in your home:

Living Room HDR
Getty / © by Martin Deja

"[The "Outbox" is a] for things to just sit...while you loosen your attachment to them. Once something has been in the outbox for a while, you'll see the object for what it truly is: either a treasure to hang on to, or a relic to rid yourself of," writes Williford. And you don't have to use an actual box, feel free to make your "Outbox" a bag, a basket, or even a designated corner, closet, or room in your home where you house your collection pile. The genius in this method is that you don't need to get rid of anything right away. Just like it's wise to "sleep on it" a day or two before you splurge on a new handbag, the "Outbox" gives you time to live your life for a bit without given items in it and then decide how you want to proceed at a given time in the future.

Really looking to overhaul your living environment? Read our guide to 31 days to a clutter-free home.

Now is as good as any time to create our personal "Outbox" and get started. Item #1: Starting small with that leaf earring from college that's missing it's mate that we must finally admit we're just never going to wear. And yours?

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