Accumulating clutter happens gradually and many people don’t realize the state of chaos their home is in until it becomes overwhelming. Whether you’re constantly having to search for things you need or can’t seem to find any storage space to put newly acquired items, consumerism happens. We all fall subject to advertisements for the newest products, the prettiest décor, or the most convenient kitchen gadgets. The problem is that eventually the initial awe wears off and you stop using whatever it is you bought, or you get bored with trendy décor. If you start to feel cramped in your own home, it could be time to get rid of some of your things. As minimalism has continued to grow in popularity, more people have started to consciously downsize. When you own too much, especially in a home that doesn’t have adequate storage space, you add unnecessary layers of stress to your everyday tasks. Luckily, there are plenty of strategic techniques that can help you take back your home and reduce clutter that’s fogging your mind. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about using the box technique when you have too much stuff.
How to Use the Box Technique
The box technique is a popular method to declutter your home without causing a mess or adding stress to the process. It’s fairly basic and can be done in any household, any time of the year. The underlying premise includes gathering different boxes and going room to room filling them with your things. Move through the following steps to effectively use the box technique when you have too much stuff.
- Gather Four Different Boxes and Properly Label Them
The first thing you need to do to successfully use the box technique is find boxes. You’ll want to have four separate boxes for this task to make things as efficient as possible. Label them with the following categories: keep, store, trash, and donate/sell.
- A Keep Box – if you’re trying to declutter your home, your keep box should end up having the least number of things inside. These are going to include things that you use regularly, things that have sentimental value, or things that simply fill you joy when you see them every day. Try to limit this box for the most effective results.
- A Storage Box – this box should include things that you absolutely can’t part with, but also don’t need in your home. Instead, you’ll move these items into a secure, climate controlled self storage unit that’s accessible whenever you need it. As you put things into this box, create an inventory to make the self storage process easier later on. Once you fill this box, sort the contents into new boxes that will go into your self storage unit. Try to pack similar items together (holiday décor, seasonal clothing, etc.) to make retrieval easier later on.
- A Trash Box – your trash box should contain anything that’s not salvageable. If you don’t want something but it’s still in good condition, donate it. However, if it’s falling apart or is too old then toss it in the trash box. If it’s damaged and can’t be fixed, it belongs in the trash. Don’t overload donation centers with items that other people can’t use.
- A Donate/Sell Box – if you don’t want something but it’s still in good condition, put it in the donate/sell box. You can realistically separate this box into two, but it’s easier to do that as a final step before going to your donation center. If you are getting rid of things that have a high value, sell them. If you think that the process of selling it isn’t worth the value, donate it. You can also try holding a garage sale or creating a post on social media and then donating anything that doesn’t sell.
- Go Through Your Home Room by Room
Once you’ve created your boxes and have a good understanding of what will go in each, it’s time to get started. Start by picking one room to conquer first and then divide that room into smaller sections. If you try to tackle a room that’s too large all at once, you’ll get overwhelmed and stop halfway through. Try focusing on a corner or a piece of furniture. Make sure that you give yourself enough time and don’t try to finish the entire house in one day. Go slow and take your time figuring out which box everything belongs in. Try to evaluate each of your items individually and focus on what they mean to you. If the item has a purpose, great. If not, consider putting it in either the trash or donation box. If you try to go too fast, you’ll end up with excess stuff in your keep or store box and not enough in the donate or trash box. You might also end up throwing away things that could be salvaged for donations or trash.
If you’re having trouble with this process, ask yourself a few questions about the item you’re evaluating. Think about how often you use it, whether or not it has a place in your house already, or if it adds to disorganization. If you didn’t already have what you’re holding, would you buy it? Take the Marie Kondo approach and ask yourself if each item sparks joy. If it does, great. If not, get rid of it.
- Be Rational
One thing that should be stressed during this entire process is that things are not the same as memories. While a lot of people have difficulty letting go of items they’re emotionally attached to, these items may be causing you more harm than good. Consider whether or not you really need each item and if there’s an emotional attachment that you just can’t part with, put it in your self storage unit. If you don’t continually think about the specific item, but still keep the memory alive, you might not be as attached to the item as you thought.
The same concept goes for things that you think you absolutely need. While there are hundreds of kitchen gadgets and products that claim to make your life easier, how often do you actually use them? Do you really need a plastic “avocado slicer” or can you get the job done with a basic butter knife? Be rational in what you keep. Chances are you’re actually over-complicating life and wasting money by purchasing these types of items. When you start to get rid of them, you’ll clear up space and find that life becomes more peaceful. Plus, you’ll stop wasting money on things you don’t need in the future.
Once you’ve gone through all of your products, head to your closet. Be rational on what you’re going to keep and what you should probably donate. If your clothes don’t fit, get rid of them. While smaller clothes can be motivational, you shouldn’t keep an entire wardrobe that you wore when you were three sizes smaller. Instead, donate them and reward yourself with a new wardrobe once you hit your goal. You’ll find yourself much happier with a closet full of clothes that actually fit.
- Empty Boxes and Repeat
Once you’ve filled up your boxes, empty them into their respective places and repeat the process. Remember to categorize your storage items so that like items are stored together. When your donation box is filled, decide whether or not you want to try and sell anything or simply head to your preferred donation center and drop off your items. For the things you’re going to keep, make sure that you find a place for them that won’t add to your home’s disorganization. If you can’t find a good place for them, consider moving them into your self storage location. Everything in the trash box should go straight into your trash cans.
To make sure that all of your things are kept safe, find a self storage facility that has good security and offers climate controlled units. The Lock Up Self Storage has storage locations in multiple states around the U.S. for your convenience. We offer flexible leasing options alongside a variety of storage options to fit everyone’s budget and varying needs. All of our units are temperature controlled and climate controlled to keep your things in the best condition possible. To give you even more peace of mind, all of our locations are equipped with top-of-the-line security features. Our secure self storage facilities feature security-controlled gate access, motion-sensitive lighting, 24-hour camera monitoring, and perimeter alarms. Many of our locations offer electronic coded access specific to each tenant. To find a self storage unit, contact one of the representatives at The Lock Up Self Storage. Give us a call at 1-866-327-LOCK or find a unit online today!