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HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME FAST USING THE FOUR BOX DECLUTTERING METHOD

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Sick of wading through a sea of clutter in your home? Want to know how to declutter your home fast?

Well, look no further. I’m going to introduce you to the best method to use to declutter your home quickly.

It’s called the Four Box Decluttering Method and I think it’s hands down the best of the quick decluttering hacks.

There are four simple steps to the Four Box Decluttering Method and I am going to walk you through them. 

By the time you’ve finished reading this post you will be feeling empowered to make a start on decluttering your home, safe in the knowledge that this will be the fastest, most successful declutter you’ve ever done. 

And the bonus of using this four-step decluttering method is that step four will help you ensure you never find yourself googling the fastest way to declutter your home ever again, because you will have totally nailed how to keep it clutter free. Bliss! 

Ready to get started? Read on. 

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How to declutter your home fast!

WHY THE FOUR BOX DECLUTTERING METHOD REALLY DOES WORK 

In my experience, lack of time is one of the biggest issues when it comes to decluttering.

The fantasy of having a beautiful, clutter-free home is quickly eroded by the thought of having to spend hours and hours wading through the clutter that has built up. 

Another problem is that it is very easy to find yourself getting caught up in your clutter, having moments of nostalgia or mentally clinging onto things that it would make more sense to recycle, give away or sell rather than focusing on decluttering. 

Related: 12 Benefits of decluttering your home

This is why I absolutely love the Four Box Decluttering Method, because it’s a really practical, straight-forward way to get on and quickly declutter your home effectively. 

This method will give you a clear plan, a simple process, a laser focus and a defined end goal. 

You will find yourself decluttering fast and without distraction until you have a home that is free from clutter. 

Ready to know just how to declutter your home super fast?

Well here are the four steps that will take you to clutter-free nirvana. 

HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME FAST USING THE FOUR BOX DECLUTTERING METHOD

STEP 1. MAKE A QUICK PLAN

Planning is everything!

This is how you will ensure that you stay on track and motivated to finish your declutter. 

The best way to ensure that your decluttering efforts succeed is to plan to declutter in stages. 

Take a few minutes to assess the clutter situation in your home to enable you to work out where your focus is most needed. 

Prioritise the rooms in your home in order of how important it is to declutter them. So that you can start with the room where decluttering will have the biggest impact.

This is not just a practical way of planning your decluttering. Starting with the room that is most in need of a declutter first will also give you a big emotional boost, which will in turn motivate you to keep decluttering the rest of your home. 

Give yourself a deadline to finish your declutter. This is a great way to focus your mind and to ensure that you really do declutter quickly and efficiently. 

Your deadline needs to be a realistic one, based on the number of rooms that need decluttering and the amount of time you have to dedicate to decluttering. 

Remember though, this is all about decluttering your home fast. So it’s worth putting the pressure on a little bit so that you don’t feel tempted to linger. 

Your completed decluttering plan should include a list of the rooms or zones that need decluttering, the order in which you are going to declutter them in, the amount of time you are giving yourself to declutter and your deadline. 

Once you have your plan you can move onto step two.

Related: 9 Brilliant tips to speed up decluttering your home

STEP 2. ARM YOURSELF WITH FOUR BOXES

You will need to arm yourself with four boxes. These four boxes form the cornerstones of your decluttering. 

I should add that although I am talking in terms of four boxes, you may well need several of each of the four types of box. It just depends on how much stuff you have to get through. 

BOX 1.  THROW AWAY

You need your bin box to get rid of anything that is broken, has missing pieces or is old and past its best. Anything that can’t be recycled.

This box will be going straight out for the next refuse collection. 

Out of the house. 

Gone!

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Recycle as much clutter as possible

BOX 2. RECYCLE

Get yourself a nice big box that you can fill with everything that can be recycled. 

The things that you will likely be sending off for recycling are the things that can’t be sold on the likes of eBay or Depop or aren’t suitable to take to the charity shop.

If you have a recycling collection from your home you might want to turn this into a box for every type of recycling if it needs to be separated for collection.

BOX 3. DONATE/SELL

First thing to state here is that it is super important not to dump a load of old tat at your local charity shop, because all that does is make more work for the volunteers and it will likely just end up as landfill. 

Fill the donate/sell box with things that are in good enough condition to be taken to a charity shop. 

Plus also pop in things that you think you can sell on eBay, Depop or through a Facebook group or other local website. 

My biggest piece of advice when assessing whether you might try selling something is to be realistic with yourself about whether you’ll get round to doing the selling and whether the amount you’ll get will be worth your time and effort.

I’ve got a really popular post on ways to sell clutter that actually make you money that goes into more detail about how to work out what really is worth your time selling and what actually isn’t. 

BOX 4. PUT AWAY

The put away box – make it a big one – is for all the stuff that belongs somewhere other than the room it is in. 

This includes things that are destined for storage in the attic or wherever you store things you no longer need everyday. 

A quick note on storing stuff in the attic or loft… do ensure you don’t end up stuffing loads of stuff in either of these places that it would actually be more sensible to simply get rid of during your declutter. 

It can be quite an emotional journey doing a big declutter, but if you are honest with yourself about the reality of ever using something again versus the time and effort it takes to move it around in endless decluttering sessions, you will hopefully find it in you to simply purge what you no longer need. 

Now you are armed with your four boxes you are ready to make a start decluttering so that you’ve got rid of all the clutter ahead of your deadline. 

Choose your first room or zone and declutter it!

STEP 3. DEAL WITH THE FULL BOXES IMMEDIATELY

Once you have finished a decluttering session you need to deal with the contents of the four boxes straight away.

This is important, because if you just set them aside to deal with them another time, you know and I know that this time is unlikely to come. 

So all you will have achieved is to box up your clutter and leave it cluttering up a room in boxes instead of spread out.

So take the throw away box straight out to the rubbish bin. 

Do the same with the recycling box, get its contents straight into the recycling bins, whether you have them at home or whether you need to take them to a local recycling point or centre.

Now it’s time to go through the box of stuff to donate or sell. The reason that this is all in one box is because you might need to spend a little time working out if something really is worth selling.

As I mentioned above, you can read my post on the best way to sell clutter and make good money from it. There’s a guide to the different things you can sell and the places to sell them.

In short, take a look at the stuff and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have the time to sell this within the next month?
  • Will the money I make be worth the time spent organising the sale?
  • Is it better all round if I donate this thing to charity? 

Set aside anything that you are planning to try selling and schedule in some time in your calendar to actually sit down and get it listed. Give yourself a deadline to have the whole lot sold and shipped by. If you smash through this deadline it’s time to simply pack the stuff up and take it to the charity shop.

Anything that doesn’t make the grade for selling can go back into the box, ready to be taken to the charity shop.

Put the box by the front door and take it to the charity shop as soon as possible. If you can’t do it straight away, check your calendar and schedule a time that you can do it. Then stick to it. Do not allow those boxes to sit in your hallway for weeks on end.

Finally, grab the laundry box that’s full of stuff that needs redistributing and set about doing just that. Distribute everything back to the room it actually belongs in.

You can then decide to purge another room straight away or tackle it another day. 

Don’t forget, if you have a partner or older kids you can set them up with the Four Box method!

Once you’ve purged all the clutter you can focus on the fourth step of the method. 

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Prepare to keep your home clutter free

4. PREPARE TO KEEP YOUR HOME CLUTTER FREE

Now you’ve purged your home of clutter you need to keep your home as clutter-free as possible. 

Here are some simple things to focus on to help you and your family keep clutter at bay. 

  • Get your home some clutter baskets – pop one in each room and use it to stick clutter into ready for sorting once per week
  • Sort out your household storage  – it’s much easier to keep on top of clutter if there is enough of the right storage
  • Take some time to show your family around their newly clutter-free home and set them some ground rules for putting stuff away after it has been used
  • Read my post on 12 benefits of decluttering your home to keep you inspired and motivated to stick with having a clutter free home

Well there you have it, you now know how to declutter your home fast, using a clever decluttering method that really will help you get the job done quickly.

Related: Five best ways to make your declutter last

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Declutter your home fast with this must know declutter hack that will give you a clutter free home super fast. It's a super easy decluttering tip that you can use room by room for when you are feeling overwhelmed with clutter and feel like you have no time to do anything about it. #declutter #organize #simplify #minimalist #clutterfree #decluttering #clutterfreehome #declutteringtips #declutteringahouse

san

Saturday 12th of December 2020

This is valuable advice and I feel the title is a bit misleading .... now after I realised it is "how to purge fast" I appreciate it very much. Will browse some more, I'm glad I discovered your site, Thank you.

ima tiered

Wednesday 22nd of October 2014

I love your simple tips! I am a Messy Jessie and have read all the organizing and decluttering books, and all starts out well, but quickly becomes back to my old ways. I have now come up with one that works for me-15 minutes on something everyday (empty a box, sort a drawer, do 1 shelf. etc.). I love your identify the stuff you can live with and work on the ones you can't! Presently, I am doing my office, which was stacked to the ceiling (I know, very BAD!) with boxes of paper and office supplies! When I am in a mood, I go thru as many boxes, shred, file or group together. I have a rolling file cart, a nice little shredder and a number of paper holders I got from Targets $1 spot. I have managed to clear out bins full of useless, unneeded paper, filed important paperwork and accumulate a few bins of useful office supplies, now in a large box, waiting to be utilized! I think we all have to spend a little time identifying what ails us and then, like you advise, tackle some easy dos with big impact. It helps to set you up for success, instead of failure! I love the clutter basket also! I think I can use that very well, too!

Alice Emma Thompson

Thursday 23rd of October 2014

Oh well done on the paperwork Ima, sounds like a big breakthrough. I did yet more clothes yesterday but still need to do another big purge before Christmas.

Amanda Taylor

Thursday 15th of May 2014

I need a clutter basket! First, I would need to decide a home for it though. Lol.

Unknown

Sunday 30th of March 2014

Me and my family have to much clutter around our home too. I have been trying to finich every task with following every item to it's 'home', doing this have made me realize that many things was lacking a "home" and that's where we're at now. So the biggest task is in front of us - what can stay and have a home and must move out...Thanks for your tips!

Outside the Box Mom

Friday 21st of March 2014

Your matrix makes so much sense! When you see it on paper that a really big nuisance takes 5 minutes to fix, it really makes procrastination seem silly.

One of my biggest problems is shuffling clutter around the room OR from room to room. If I make a donation box (and actually take it), it instantly creates more space in my house.