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The One Simple Tip That Will Make You Better At Decluttering

Trying to declutter, but can’t decide what to throw and what to keep? Give this easy organization hack a try!

If you’ve never heard of “denial piles” before or seen me mention them here in previous posts, they’re those little piles of paperwork, old receipts, and miscellaneous junk that clutter up the surfaces around your home. The “denial” label refers to the fact that many of us simply move these piles from place to place without ever really addressing them.

Until now, that is! 🙂 Because today, I have a super simple, 2-minute method to share with you that can help you tackle denial piles and clutter of all kinds in every room of your house! I’ve employed this method in my own home, and it has completely taken the stress out of decluttering for me.

Decluttering can be taxing both physically and mentally, and it’s hard to make smart, confident decisions about what to keep when you’re worn out from tidying up or clearing out clutter. But you might feel pressured to decide right away whether each item should be categorized as “yes, keep this” or “no, get rid of this” just so you don’t leave a bunch of uncategorized clutter just sitting around!

But the method I’ll be sharing with you today is all about accepting that some items won’t immediately be a “yes” or a “no,” and that it’s okay to make those tougher choices another day. And the secret to this slower, more thoughtful form of decluttering couldn’t be simpler—just set up an “outbox!”

What Is A Decluttering Outbox?

A decluttering outbox is sort of like a “purgatory” for clutter. As you clean up an area or room of your home, you may end up with items you’re not sure if you want to keep or get rid of, and these will go into your clutter outbox.

You will eventually make a decision about the fate of each outbox item, but part of the beauty of the outbox is that you don’t have to decide right away. Your outbox gives you place to keep the stuff you’re not sure about, so they don’t end up in denial piles that get shuffled from place to place.

Now that you know what a decluttering outbox is, let’s talk about what it isn’t. It’s not a donation box, a box for things that are going into storage, or a box of stuff you’re throwing out. The items in your outbox may end up in those places, but ideally, your outbox is reserved exclusively for items you haven’t decided what to do with yet.

How To Set Up Your Decluttering Outbox

1. Pick A Spot

The best spot for your decluttering outbox is somewhere that’s generally out of the way, but still easily accessible. It can be an area of your home like a drawer or corner of an unused room, or a literal container like a basket, bag, or box.

Be sure to pick a place you’re not worried about being a little messy or chaotic at times. The whole purpose of this area or container is to contain the mess that’s cluttering up the rest of your home! 🙂

2. Use It!

Once you’ve got your outbox set up, all that’s left to do is use it! Start by combing through your home’s standard clutter hotspots, like a corner of your closet where you pile clothes you’re not sure about, or the coffee table that’s always covered in books, tools, and toys. Any cluttered area is fair game!

Any items you’re not sure about can go into your outbox, and try not to think about it too much as this point. If the idea of putting items with sentimental value into your outbox makes you anxious, remind yourself that the outbox means you haven’t decided to get rid of it yet! The outbox is risk-free, so there’s no reason not to put things in it.

Then every once in a while (maybe once a month, depending on how frequently you use it), you should review the contents of your outbox. If you’ve forgotten about certain items or haven’t missed them, you’ll feel a lot better about getting rid of them. Or maybe you’ll realize you had missed that navy sweater and want to keep it, and that’s great too!

I’ve been getting a lot of use out of my own decluttering outbox recently, and I hope it proves just as useful to you! 🙂

Looking For More Decluttering Tips?

Do you have any tips or tricks for decluttering or getting organized?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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