The Organization Method That Will Revolutionize The Way Your Declutter Your Home

There are a ton of strategies for decluttering your home, which can feel overwhelming. Although we're not here to slam any method (all of them can be beneficial), you have to do what works for you. So if you went in deep with Marie Kondo but have since found your clutter slowly returning, you'll want to pay attention. 

Meet the organization solution called "the boundary method," created by Erica Lucas, an organization and decluttering expert. The boundary method only uses physical boundaries, like dresser drawers or containers. Translation: Ditch emotional boundaries, like only keeping things that bring you joy. Doing so might just be the secret sauce to finally live clutter-free and organize your home for good.

So what's the thought process behind this trend? When it comes to personal items, whether that is our vast collection of blue jeans or large number of paper-back novels, we often get attached emotionally, making it extra hard to get rid of them. And do we really have the time to emotionally ping pong between feelings when it comes to tidying up? If you answered no, this boundary method is for you.

Breaking down the boundary method

"If you are trying to live with less, the boundary method will guide you to face the truth about what you have versus what you want," Erica Lucas says on her blog. "To own less, you have to want less." Wise words, but it's not always that simple. So philosophy aside, let's face get honest: Some experts argue easiest way to keep an organized home is to try and clean up daily, but if you are too far gone and have drawers overflowing and bookshelves stuffed to the edges, you need to fix that issue first. 

The good news? The boundary method is very easy. Step 1: Find a boundary, like a dresser drawer, toy bin, or a cabinet in your kitchen. Step 2: Take out everything that is currently in the boundary and declutter it, fixing it into piles that you want to keep, donate, or toss. Step 3: Once you have your "keep" pile, put it back into the boundary, only returning what will fit comfortably (don't stuff things in!). Yep, that's it!

If you still have items that don't fit in your boundary, declutter even further. All items in that boundary should be in the same category, leaving any miscellaneous items that you want to keep out for a different area of your home. Easy peasy. 

The boundary method's one exception

The boundary method can be used throughout your home, but Erica Lucas has one key recommendation before you go on a boundary spree. "The boundary method works best for the quickly cluttered categories, like toys, board games, and books," she writes on her blog. "These categories tend to re-populate with birthdays and holidays in our home because we have three kids." Makes sense, but not so much for emotional items. As Lucas advises, "Emotional processing is a different aspect of decluttering." So if you try to use this boundary method on clutter that borders on meaningful, you might face indecision and frustration. 

Still, even regular decluttering can be tough so start small — one boundary at a time. And if you are struggling to toss items, whether that means purging or donating, Lucas says it's okay to find a new boundary for those items until you are ready to get rid of them completely. Give it some time, and revisit that boundary when you're ready and more experienced in this whole organization thing.

So is the boundary method right for you? We can't answer that, but we do know the boundary method simplifies things and allows you to declutter at your own pace, making that dream of a clutter-free home that much more attainable.