The Three Box Strategy

Keep only what is beautiful, useful or loved” – Stephanie Denton (organizational expert)

In her book, The Organized Life, Stephanie provides tips, checklists and easy to follow guidelines for organizing not just your home but every part of your life as well. For controlling clutter, which she defines “whatever gets in your way”, she offers the three box strategy.


1. Label three boxes: “KEEP”, “NOT SURE”, “TOSS”.

2. Quickly sort items into appropriate boxes.

3. Whenever an item slows you down, that’s your cue it belongs in the “not sure” box.

4. When you finish this rapid sort, put the “Keep” items back where they belong.

5. Get rid of whatever landed in “Toss” – donate or sell.

6. Steer clear of this area for a week.

7. Return and repeat the process with the “Not Sure” items. You’ll find you’re mentally ready to put some of last week’s “Not Sure” into the “Toss” box.

8. Use this process as many times as necessary until you’re satisfied with the amount you’ve discarded.

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