The Four-Box Decluttering Method

Written with Hire A Box.

Are you feeling weighed down by excess stuff and need to do a serious clean out but don’t know where to start?

One of the best decluttering methods is the four-box technique which can be done room by room so it’s not too overwhelming.

Step 1. Get your boxes and garbage bags

For each room in the house, you will need garbage bags plus 4 boxes labelled keep, maybe, relocate, sell/donate. Go through each area of your home and every item will either go in box or garbage bag. Don’t skip any items & think about where each item should go.

Keep: For the items that you are keeping and will stay in this room.

Relocate: For the items that you are keeping but need to get moved into another room.

Maybe: For the items that you just can’t get rid of yet. This box will be packed away and anything that hasn’t been taken out of the box in 6 months needs to go. For this box, try using a smaller sized box as you want to try and avoid putting things in this box as much as possible.

Sell/Donate: This should be the largest box (you might even need more than one) and is for everything that you are getting rid of that is in good condition, you can either donate them to a local charity or sell online, a garage sale or markets.

Garbage bags: This one is pretty self-explanatory, anything that you are getting rid of but isn’t in good enough condition to donate or is just rubbish goes in these bags.

Step 2. One area at a time

Start with one room at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed or disheartened. Don’t plan on doing your entire house in one day, start with a room or two and see how you go. You want to take your time and think about each item carefully, if you go too fast you could end up with too many items in the keep or maybe box.

Step 3. Decide

Pick up each item in the room and ask yourself do I want to keep this or get rid of it? If you can’t decide, try asking yourself the following questions to help narrow it down:

• How often do I use this item?

• Does it have a purpose?

• Would I buy it again if I didn’t already own it?

• Does it make me happy?

If you really can’t decide on if you should keep or get rid of an item, you can put it in the maybe box, but remember this is just a temporary box.

Step 4. Empty your boxes

Once you have gone through everything in the room, put back the keep items neatly & in easily accessible areas, take the relocate box around the home and put things away in their appropriate place, pack away the maybe box & the either take your donate items to a charity or list online to sell.

Don't forget to revisit your maybe box is 6 months & anything that you haven't used and is still in the box needs to go!

Now you’ve done your decluttering, you need to be selective about what new items come into your home. Don’t impulse buy - only buy things if you need them or don’t already have them. If you do already own something and are replacing or upgrading, get rid of the original one by selling, donating or recycling it. Think green in this process, less is more and where you can, give used goods to those in need. With Spring almost here, its the perfect time to do a big clean out and freshen up your wardrobe, home and life so you can enjoy all of the fun of the warmer seasons without suffocating in a cluttered space. Happy spring cleaning!

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