imageI began doing this in the 1980’s. The first time I used brown paper grocery bags. The danger with that is someone may think the bags contain trash and take them out!!

  • I changed to white cardboard banker’s boxes available at Target, Walmart, Staples, Office Max and a variety of other sources.
  • You will need a location (–not your bedroom) to store the full boxes as you go through this process. The garage or attic may be a good short term solution. A few dangers here include; out of sight, out of mind. You must commit to this project and keep going until it is done. Garages can be cold, damp, and full of critters. Again, commit to working through this process quickly. o   Attics get hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Extreme heat and cold can damage the items in the boxes. Avoid storing candles in boxes in the attic.
  • As you go, use a sharpie to label the box with the location the items came from and/or the general contents. (Example: Papers—: kitchen counters and table.) The danger here if you do not label the boxes is a stack of plain white boxes that all need to be gone through to locate something.
  • Put together the first box and either start near your front door or at the worst place in your home. Gather all clutter into the labeled box. Label and proceed to the next area and the next box.
  • Do not place trash into these boxes. Trash goes into a waste basket.
  • Continue through your home, gathering clutter, labeling boxes and placing the boxes neatly stacked into the area you’ve chosen for short term storage.

Do not stop with gathering the clutter. Now we are going to deal with it.

  • Bring in one box at a time and deal with the contents. Put away. Give away. Throw away. Return to rightful owner. Commit to at least one box a day 6 days a week until the process is complete.
  • You can add a repair box for items that need some attention. Gather glue, tools, needle and thread and fix those items regularly. I saved a whole day for my first trip into my repair box. It took half an hour. It probably isn’t as bad as you think and will not take as long as you think. After repair: Put away. Give away. Return.
  • Always return an item in as good condition or better than you received it. If there is a problem be honest, take responsibility and work it out.
  • Keep a box after the process for quick declutters. Swoop through the house and gather up all the stuff that has not been put away. Allow family members to redeem by doing an age appropriate task. Give fair warning and then act.  Example: “In five minutes the clutter box is coming to visit and anything not put away will go into the box.” OR  “In ten minutes the clutter box is visiting your room (or the bathroom, family room, playroom), anything left out will go in the box.”  Be reasonable, not mean spirited, but firm.
  • You can use a box to declutter a drawer, shelf, cabinet or closet. Remove everything to the box. Return the items that belong in that area. Distribute other items to where they belong. Deal with anything remaining in the box.
  • Be consistent and persistent. You will get it done. This strategy will work if you stick with it. If you hide stacks of white boxes and do not deal with them it will be a disaster and you should be ashamed of yourself. 3;-)

Do all for the glory of God.

Hugs,

Mary P

2 Timothy 2:15

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