How To Reduce Clutter: The Six Week Box

January 17, 2023
keep things simple
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

I am definitely still in my post-holiday organizing mode. My closet is looking good thanks to How To Organize Your Closet and Start 2023 Right. My problem still remains excess clutter. So how can I reduce clutter and start 2023 more organized? A few years ago, I came across a great solution:The Six Week Box. It worked for me then and I’m implementing it again this month. I like it. I think most of you will too.

The background: As most of you are aware, I own a large, home consignment shop in Wakefield, Rhode Island, Consignments Ltd. One thing I am continually amazed by is how quickly people forget about their stuff. Let me explain. We sell a lot of things at the store. As a matter-of-fact, we sell 93% of everything that comes in to the building (I know, it blows my mind too!). What we don’t sell, consignors can pick up or leave behind for donation. When people choose to pick up unsold things, it almost always happens that there is something, on their unsold items list, that they just can’t remember. They don’t know what it looks like – not even in the slightest. It’s theirs, but they haven’t seen it in 90 days, and it has gone completely and totally out of their minds. When I read about the Six Week Box on Apartmenttherapy.com, as a way to reduce clutter, the idea resonated. It’s because of this phenomenon that I witness on the daily at Consignments Ltd. that I know that this idea has legs.

“Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor – it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living.”

Peter Walsh
how to reduce clutter with 6 week box
Photo by Brandable Box on Unsplash

How To Reduce Clutter: The Six Week Box

So this is how it works…

  1. Go through your desk, your closet, a drawer or a room – wherever you are trying to reduce clutter.
  2. As you go through everything, put things into four piles: Keep, Donate, Toss and Unsure.
  3. The Six Week Box has to do with the unsure.
  4. Put all your unsure Items into a box, date it for 6 weeks in the future and SEAL THE BOX. This is very important. You want it to be difficult, but not impossible, to go back to the box.
  5. Put the box in an out-of-the-way location like the garage or basement.
  6. If you find that you are in need of anything in the box, go ahead and take it out ANY TIME during the six weeks and move it to the area designated for items you are keeping (like back on the desk or in the room, the closet or the drawer).
  7. In six weeks time, whatever you do not remove from the Six Week Box you must donate or toss – No Exceptions.
  8. That’s it. It’s that simple. It’s based on the same concept that is going on with consignors at Consignments Ltd. – OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND and that equals unnecessary clutter.

This idea makes a lot of sense to me given what I have seen at my store. It’s worked for me before, so I am giving this one the old college try again in 2023. I think it has merit and I hope you do too. Let me know how it goes, will you?

For more on reducing clutter, check out: 5 Ways To Declutter Sentimental Material and Objects.

And Now For a Little Music Before We Go….

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

Albert Einstein

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