Cardboard box surface declutter (3)

The 1 Box Decluttering Hack You Need To Try

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Are you ready to get rid of surface clutter in under 10 minutes? All you need is a cardboard box for this quick decluttering hack that helps you control the amount of stuff coming into your home by creating a regular routine to reduce clutter! Keep the balance in your home with this one box declutter method!

We all know an organised home makes for a more organised life. But when you’ve let things get a little (or a lot) out of control with clutter and disorganisation, suddenly the task to simplify your life becomes a really daunting one.

So when trying to fit in all the things into your busy week you need an express decluttering hack! One cardboard box at a time!

The One Box Method To Declutter Your Home

This surface decluttering habit was one that happened accidentally. I had a cardboard box sitting near the kitchen for a few days. It needed to go into the recycling, but instead, we just ignored it for a few days more. I have always had this strange habit of hoarding boxes… just in case. It drives my husband crazy!

Then late one night, I got a burst of motivation to not only get rid of the box but load it up with unwanted junk while I was at it.

The plan – to load up the cardboard box with surface clutter, junk and broken things that simply needed to go. And the best thing about this is that you can do it every single time you find yourself with an empty cardboard box.

Lady with a cardboard box filled with unwanted clutter

The One Box Declutter Process

Chances are you have areas of your home that could use a cleanup.

Old paperwork that needs sorting, random rubbish that hasn’t made its way to the bin or clothes that aren’t worth keeping. Broken toys. Out of date cosmetics. There are plenty of areas that could use a declutter and cull.

  • Grab an empty box that you were planning to throw out. In the absence of a box, plastic shopping bags work too.
  • Pick an area that needs decluttering and start sorting, throwing all your unwanted items in the box.
  • Keep going until you fill the box.
  • If your box isn’t full after you declutter that area, move to a different area of your house.
  • Throw the box in the bin with your unwanted items
  • Congrats! You just decluttered an area of your home in just a few minutes.

Do this every time you have a spare box sitting around until you have every corner of your home, garage, backyard and car, completely decluttered.

TIP: If you want to get started, but don’t have a cardboard box spare, use your laundry basket (don’t throw it out) or a garbage bag instead!

Surface Declutter VS Deep Decluttering

The best thing about this express declutter hack is the fact that it works equally well for clearing surface clutter as it does for deep decluttering.

Use this technique to clear visible rubbish from your surfaces – junk mail, unwanted mail, magazines, toilet paper rolls, empty tissue boxes, empty toiletries. Those are a few ideas of surface clutter you can eliminate fast!

And instantly see a difference in how tidy your home looks.

As for deep decluttering, you can also use this method just as well for really culling an area of your home thoroughly. For example, declutter your bathroom cabinet of out of date medications, broken hair accessories and whatever else needs to go.

Or go through your kid’s closets and find all the clothes that no longer fit or wear.

You can go deep with a small area of your home every time you have a spare box on hand. And you can gradually minimise the excess of ‘stuff’ in your home that you no longer need. Without feeling overwhelmed by the task of a full house declutter.

For an alternative way to declutter your house without feeling overwhelmed, try the 5 minute daily declutter habit – and gradually declutter your entire house in a few minutes a day!


Related Reading:

35 ways to declutter your home
cleaning hacks everyone should know
Things you forgot to clean

Something In And Something Out

Even after your decluttering is done, the home collects random items over time. We buy new items to replace the old, or just because we want them, receive gifts, have mail coming into the house all the time. Magazines, kids outgrowing their toys and clothes.

This is what I love most about the one box method. You can use it to keep the balance in your home by getting rid of things you no longer want or need, as you have new items coming into your home. This is such an easy way to stay on top of household clutter, especially when you have kids!

This is also a painless way to declutter your home if you can only spare 5 minutes here or there and not have the time or energy to do your entire home in one session!

The one box method to declutter your home

What If It isn’t Trash?

After your initial surface declutter, getting rid of obvious rubbish, broken items and unnecessary clutter, you may find most of the times you no longer need still have value to someone else.

Don’t throw it in the bin. Turn your trash box declutter into a donate box declutter. Or fill a box with items you can sell and earn a few dollars back.

If you have more than one box, this is a great way to organise your clutter into separate categories – rubbish, donate, sell.

Pretty easy, huh? Even for us procrastinating folk who hate cleaning and decluttering.


For more tips to declutter your home, check out these things you can declutter quick and if you’re having a little trouble getting started, even with this simple one box method, check out my tips for getting past those feelings of overwhelm.

If you need to amplify your decluttering action, jump on over to the Simplify My Life challenge page and check out a whole year worth of organising, simplifying and decluttering tips I have put together to help you simplify your life, with lots of printables to help you along the way.

Do you have any tips to declutter your home?

One Box Declutter method - decluttering hack

14 thoughts on “The 1 Box Decluttering Hack You Need To Try”

  1. Haha, what a cute little helper you have! Did you find anything that you thought you should throw away, but didn’t because it had sentimental value or you just couldn’t bear the thought of throwing away? Nothing wrong with being a hoarder…sometimes when you need something, you know you’ve got it stashed somewhere around the house ;)

    You’re not the only one. I like cleaning my house on Friday nights. Especially the closet!

  2. I wasn’t vacuuming last night – but I do go on cleaning/decluttering “binges” where I tell myself I have a half hour and that I’ll “get as far as I get”. Or if I stand up, I say I have to pick up 10 things before sitting down. I figure it’s little things that make a difference overtime without making cleaning feel overwhelming.

    The box idea is a good one!

  3. Vanessa @ 26 Years and Counting

    I am generally terrible at decluttering…but even since I’ve started to, it just replaces itself! HOW? We don’t need to look for alien life, we just need to look at how supposedly inanimate objects reproduce…

    1. Haha yes, I’m guilty of this too… Which makes the box concept great as there’d always a new box in my house. I just really like stuff ;)

  4. De cluttering makes me feel clensed and organised (at least a little bit more organised… Its important! Great post :)

  5. graceinthelittlethings

    Thanks for linking up with us on Wallet Watching Wednesday!!

    I love this tip. I have a particular room in my house that’s a junk room at the moment, I should really grab a box and do this!
    Also, I’ve definitely vacuumed at 8pm before, you’re most certainly not alone :P

    1. Thanks for visiting and for holding the linky party. Great theme. I think we all have one of ‘those’ rooms hehe Good luck!

    1. Hope you manage to fill that box with lots of unnecessary stuff and feel good after. I have actually got a recent thrifty post to share on the latest linky. Popping over there now :)

  6. Julie V. (Somebody's Dinner)

    Holly, that sounds so reasonable and easy :)
    I’m one of those people who tries to do too much: I am doing yoga and notice the floor needs vacuuming. When I’m done, I figure I should dust before I vacuum, so that any dust will fall on the ground and can be vacuumed up. And when I dust and vacuum, I straighten first, and then I realize I need to empty the bagless chamber, and since I’m taking out trash, I might as well take out all the trashes . . .
    And suddenly the afternoon is gone and the floor still hasn’t been vacuumed.
    So yes, I’ll focus on decluttering 1 box at a time.
    Thanks for sharing at the Retro Re-Pin Party. I hope to see you there next week starting Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.

    1. Haha simple sounds like a good option then. Keeping it focused although it doesn’t get the floor vacuumed. Another day ;)

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