Saturday, April 19, 2008

Small Space Saturday: The Out Box

On Saturdays I write about strategies for living in 300 square feet

The way we keep stuff from creeping into Odyssey and making our small living space cluttered is a firm adherence to the One In/One Out Rule. Simply stated, for everything that comes into the bus something else must go out. A pair of new shoes? An old pair goes to charity. The latest magazine edition? An old one gets recycled. Purchased a part for a project that doesn't work right? Return it for a refund.

The problem with this system is the time delay. The charity drop off is rarely right next to the new shoe store. We don't usually start the project while still sitting at the hardware store. And don't get me started on how limited the recycling opportunities are in some states!

For a while, we had plastic bags floating around the living area half full of things that needed to leave the bus, sometime. One bag for Home Depot returns. Another for the Salvation Army. They usually collected on the couch and became, well, clutter. Even if they were small and tucked in a corner, decorating with used WalMart bags wasn't looking too chic.

So we dedicated a niche near the front door to serve as the staging area for Stuff That Must Leave. I measured the space and found this nice box at Target:

Approximately one cubic foot in volume, it easily holds those random bags of things waiting for their final destination. The faux black leather blends nicely with the industrial look of our cockpit. When we finally find another Home Depot to return a bag of screws, we know exactly where to look for them.

If you'd like to see clever examples of storage containers that might work for an Out Box, visit Jeri's Organizing & Decluttering News. She does a fantastic job of finding interesting organizing products in a huge variety of decorating styles.


  1. Thanks for the kind words, Louise. I feel a post on "out boxes" coming on ...

  2. the only reason i have had ANY success with our budget is because we've been in Mexico for over a year and they don't have Tarjay down here! :)

    Off to check the link. Thanks!


Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!