Home organizing secret weapon: January Cure


{ Assignment #4: The Outbox! }

The Outbox has helped me immensely with my behavior towards material goods, and has helped me with detachment.  I need to detach from things.  That’s for certain.  Detaching from things is good for me, good for my relationship with my husband, good for our small home, and good to keep greed and consumerism at bay.  I’m not living or aiming to live with nothing, but trying my best to understand the intrinsic value of material items and living in accordance with that understanding.  In other words, not having material items control my life.  The Outbox helps with this, especially for someone who has a hard time letting go of things.

The January Cure introduced the Outbox to me, and for the past four years I’ve used it.


What is an Outbox?

An Outbox is a box, or a designated area in your home that will contain items that may be donated, tossed out, or kept.  Apartment Therapy states that it’s a “halfway house where things go for their fate to be determined.  You should never be afraid of putting something in the outbox.”

Wow.  Let’s just take that in for a minute.  You should never be afraid of putting something in the outbox.  This is powerful for me and helps me with detachment.  The first time I did the Cure, I tested this out and put many things into the Outbox, and was surprised at the outcome.


What are the rules to the Outbox?

Apartment Therapy has the best pithy words,

1.  Anything can go in the Outbox
2.  The Outbox is allowed to get messy
3.  Everything must stay in the Outbox for at least one week
4.  After that time you have several choices:

  • Take anything back out
  • Leave anything you are undecided about for one more week
  • Dispose the rest by moving to the recycling bin or giveaway pile


These remarks from Pope Francis when he was in the Americas are helpful:

Resources are a good from God. But when these resources enter into the heart and begin to direct your life, then you’re lost.

Have you used an Outbox before?


Right from their website:

“Taking just one month and investing some effort (21 do-able assignments in total throughout January) toward a cleaner, more organized and more peaceful home. If you are ready to get your place back in shape (and reap the rewards for the whole rest of 2016) the very best way is one manageable step at a time, during our once-a-year-only January Cure. By the end of the month, you’ll be have a cleaner, fresher, more organized home, guaranteed!”

The best way is to sign up for the weekday emails from Apartment Therapy (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/collection/january-cure-2016-895). They will send you an email each morning with the task, with a click-thru to their website for more information.

Complete the activities, gain inspiration and motivation from others in this journey, and be sure to connect with others along the way.

Apartment Therapy (www.apartmenttherapy.com) is an amazing website to find resources and ideas, especially suited for small spaces or spaces that families need to consider form and function. They share real-life situations with funky wall sizes and lack of closet space. The real deal.

Connect with others through the daily January Cure prompts, and on social media using #thejanuarycure as the hashtag. Use #districtlight so that I can more easily find you and comment too. Come back to the blog and post your insights too!

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