Downsizing: One Box at a Time

A Guest Post by Adrianne Gordon
Once a year or so, we begin to feel like we have too much stuff, like the ‘things’ in our home have multiplied and are beginning to crowd us out.  Fall is a great time to clear out the clutter before the season of family gatherings, decorating and (yes, I am going to say it!) Christmas gets underway.  But where to begin? Try filling just one box.
Pick-up an empty box at your neighborhood grocery or liquor store (hey, no judgment here!) one that is two or three times the size of a milk carton.  Then choose a room. Any room will do – living room, kitchen, or a bedroom.  Your goal is simply to fill the box with things you no longer use, need or love.  Don’t get side tracked by that pile of laundry that needs to be put away or the things that belong somewhere else.  Make a mental note of them if you want, but stay focused on the task at hand.
If you aren’t sure you want to part with something, set it aside.  You can create a pile for these items and if you don’t find yourself using or missing them in a few weeks, go ahead and send them on to Goodwill.
Once you’ve filled your box, make an immediate plan to drop it off at your nearest donation center.  Don’t fret over which charity to give it to, just go wherever is close and let your clutter become someone else’s treasure (and provide funding for a charity). Dropping it off quickly will prevent the box from becoming part of your clutter again.
You might find yourself ready for another box and before you know it, you’ll have more space for your family to enjoy the things you use and love most.  Happy decluttering!

Adrianne Gordon lives in Asheville, NC and recently married her partner of 14 years.  She fills her days as a full-time University staff member, mom to a fun two year-old (she swears there is such a thing), birth doula and coupon clipper.  My oldest cousin on my mom’s side, she was the flower girl in my parent’s wedding and taught me to tie my shoes.


8 thoughts on “Downsizing: One Box at a Time

  1. I found you at the modestmomblog link up party. This decluttering is something ongoing at my house. Just as soon as I get through it is time to start all over. I really like the concept of doing it one box at a time!


  2. Great post! I would only add one thing. I work at a thrift store, processing donations from the public. Please, before you donate something, make sure it is re-sellable. We get so many items that could never be re-sold. Textbooks from the 80's, chipped drinking glasses, clothes that are stained and torn. It puts a huge financial strain on thrift stores to pay to discard the donations that can't be sold.

    Thanks for donating quality items – thrift stores are truly grateful!


  3. I have been having fun decluttering too. I went through the blanket cupboard today and filled a bag with baby blankets and sheets to give to a friend who is expecting. It is fun to lighten up our house and still bless others. We also lately went through our bookshelves and then I took a couple boxes of books to give away to our last homeschool co-op. They didn't all go so the next stop will be a book store in town that will give me something for them.


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