May 31st, 2013

The Ongoing Outgoing Basket

The Good Will BasketOne of the hardest things about keeping down the ever-combative tide of junk in my house is making the decision to give something away. The *second* hardest is *sticking* to that decision…or rather, it *used* to be.

Enter the “Ongoing Outgoing Basket” concept.

It used to be that I would go on a “give-away” rampages and make a pile of stuff I no longer wanted. And then the pile would sit. And sit. And sit…until on an equally intense rampage  caused by that this *PILE* being  *in my way*, that I would start tossing things back into drawers, closets, living room, whatever, only to get all mad at myself all again and start the cycle again

I realized that *once* I made a decision to divest myself of something, the sooner it went out the door, the better. But sometimes getting immediately to the Good Will is not a option. But I don’t want to look and said item and get re-attached.

Now I keep a permanent “OUTGOING” green wicker hamper right by the front door (bought at Good Will,  BTW! And When I make a decision to rid myself of something, it goes directly into the hamper. When the hamper is FULL, I make the  trip to the Good Will.

This method allows me to quickly separate out the outgoing items in a pile, but *not* sit and stare at that pile. and start to want them back. They are in the basket. But  I *do* see the *hamper* as I go in and out and I *notice* when it is FULL. Plus, knowing that the hamper is only to be used for outgoing things,  I don’t put those things back.

It is sort of a Feng-Shui thing: the front door area symbolizes coming and going. So I am visually triggered in the right way to take stuff OUT of the house that I no longer want or need rather than hang on to it.  It works for me much better than having a Good Will pile in the basement or attic where the pile would never move.

(FYI- the *little* basket is the incoming basket-I use to dump mail, etc. Notice the size difference. Can’t fill the little guy up very much…and that is deliberate!)

Where do you put your outgoing piles? Do you have a special place?