The 1 Minute Declutter Trick

Happy Playing Kids + Dog = Clutter. Photo © Liesl Clark

Happy Playing Kids + Dog = Clutter. Photo © Liesl Clark

According to The Story of Stuff, we consume twice as many material goods today as we did 50 years ago. An independent study in the UK revealed the average 10 year old owns 238 toys, but only plays with 12. We’re drowning in our stuff.

Is the clutter and chaos in your house getting you down? Have an unexpected visitor arriving in 1-minute? Here’s a quick fix that’ll solve your clutter calamaties:

A box.

Have clutter troubles? Think inside the box. Photo © Liesl Clark

When I’m overwhelmed by accumulated surface clutter atop counters and other furnishings in our house, I find the nearest empty box and quickly fill it with the items covering my table tops and horizontal surfaces. Even the children’s floordrobes get the box treatment. The items in question have been sitting there, I oft realize, because there’s just no obvious place to put them. A box is as likely a place as any.

The clutter box. Photo © Liesl Clark

And where does the box go? In our storage room (husband’s gear room, our workbench, and small storage space for things in transition) for a few weeks to see if anyone missed any of the items in said box. If the items disappear without notice or family grumblings, GIVE THEM AWAY.

Don’t ask yourself whether the items bring you joy.

Think of the joy you felt when they were off your counters, no longer between you and the front door. No, get rid of them quickly, but thoughtfully, without throwing them away. Feel the joy in giving them to another loving person before you change your mind and bring them back into your house to start the colossal closed-loop clutter cycle all over again.

This clutter-free surface is brought to you by "the clutter box." Photo © Liesl Clark

And you can thank me in the comments below.