The Four-Box Method

Clutter is evidence of many things: poor habits, lack of organisation, sentimental attachment – or just too much stuff. But at the bottom, each item of clutter is a decision delayed – with the eternal words “I’ll do it later” attached to the end of any clutter decision making moment.

The Four-Box method forces a decision, item by item. To apply this method, gather together four boxes. Label the boxes “Put Away, “Give Away/Sell”, “Storage” and “Bin it”. Take the four boxes into the “de-clutter” area. Taking one item of clutter at a time ask yourself what you want to do with this item – do you:

  1. Want to put it away?
  2. Want to give it away/sell it?
  3. Want to store it?
  4. Want to throw it away?

Think carefully, and be honest in your assessment – always ask yourself the questions, “will I REALLY ever use this again?” Once you have made your decision – place the item in the relevant box.

At the end of your de-cluttering session, empty your boxes. Put the “put away” items in more appropriate places. “Give away/sell” items should be stored outside the house in a shed or garage – or better still in the boot of your car so that you can immediately take them to your chosen charity shop. As the storage box fills, make a brief inventory of the contents and put the box into the storage area. Finally, empty the “bin it” box into the rubbish bin quickly to prevent any second thoughts!

The Four Box method will work for anyone in a “de-clutter mode”. Use it to clear a shelf or a drawer each day, or apply it as a whole-house weekend assault on clutter. By forcing a decision it will serve you well to eliminate clutter from your home or using storage unit rental queens ny.
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