Saturday, November 22, 2008

Small Space Saturday: Box Decluttering

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

I just found the neat sustainability/frugality/farming blog Room Farm, and her post about getting rid of stuff stored in cardboard boxes has some really great tips.

We all know the standard method of making several piles as you sort through clutter: Keep, Sell, Recycle. I love Room Farm's twist on the Keep pile: "Put it away immediately if it will be kept. The object cannot leave my hand until it goes into the appropriate place." In other words, if you can't march the item right over to an appropriate new place of honor, maybe you shouldn't be keeping it. Brilliant!

I also like how she forces herself to take her donation box to the thrift store every week. The guilt of having make the trip into town with only one item to donate inspires her to declutter more stuff to fill the box.

If you're working on downsizing your life in order to start full-timing in an RV, you probably have boxes of stuff stored in the attic, basement, or closets. Room Farm's suggestions are a great way to tackle all that dead weight and free yourself up for travel.


  1. so, is George going to be kept, sold, or recycled?

  2. I immediately found a place for her on my lap, so I guess we'll keep her!

  3. Louise, thanks for the pointer to Room Farm. That was a fun read!

    While the "put it away immediately" rule seems to work well for her, and might well work for you in your small space, for many people it's a disaster. They go to the room where the item belongs and get distracted by things that need doing there - and the original decluttering effort gets derailed.

    What I'll usually recommend is a "goes elsewhere" box which needs to be emptied by the end of the organizing session - so the person can stay focused on the task at hand.

    But I'm all for whatever works!


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!