I’ve been reading Apartment Therapy(http://www.apartmenttherapy.com) for years now & I always enjoy picking up little tips along the way to incorporate into my home. Designing the look of my home was always a passion of mine but I can definitely say it took at lot of growing up & refinement of taste to even write about interior design. In elementary & middle school my room was decorated with sunflowers: bright flowery bedspreads, fake bouquets, & lots of light. Then came my freshman year of high school & I graduated to a new, larger but much darker room of the house in the basement. I wanted everything to be pink, red, & zebra print! I couldn’t get enough of these things & on top of all that I needed gray walls(a compromise from black) & black carpet because boy, did I have a vision. My home decor taste then still surprises me when I look at old photographs! But one thing remains-the need to make a place MY home.
So now as an adult, organization is the most important component to me. I continue to become more & more minimalistic within my home design. Loving white, light, & lots of open floor space. To get to this lighter me I also discovered the ” outbox”. I used to need to keep every birthday card, every program to a show, movie stubs, paid bills w/confirmation numbers attached and these are all items that now go in my outbox(the shredder). I place questionable small objects on top if need be. SO go ahead & let’s see your “Outbox”!
Here is the Outbox concept in Maxwell’s own words:
Choose a space that is clearly defined. This area should be out of the way of daily activities and be a place you can comfortably allow to get messy and chaotic for a short while. A closet or guest room is perfect for this, but any small area or corner near your front door will do. Designate this your Outbox. The Outbox is not garbage, nor does it need to be an actual box; it is a halfway house where things sit while their fate is being decided. You should never be afraid to put something in the Outbox.Once an item has sat in the Outbox for some time, it releases its hold over the owner and becomes just and ordinary object that one can easily decide what to do with. One client compared it to the phenomenon children experience when they fall in love with a rock that is wet or under water. Later, when the rock has dried off and is no longer shiny, it becomes just a plain old rock again and the child’s attachment to is suddenly lessens.
As simple as it is, the Outbox has proven to be extremely successful in allowing people to clear out and heal their homes efficiently on a regular basis.
1. Anything can go in the Outbox
2. The Outbox is allowed to get messy
3. Everything must stay in the Outbox for at least one week
4. After that time you have several choices
a. Take anything back out
b. Leave anything you are undecided about for one more week
c. Dispose of the rest by moving to the garbage, recycling bin, or giveaway pileOnce you get used to separating first and disposing of later, you’ll find that clearing clutter gets easier and easier.
Go for it.