The Outbox

Oooo the outbox! One of organization's favorite tools and best friends. This guy will stick with you through thick and thin as long as you treat it right. The outbox is an in-between place for storing all of those things that you have to take care of and will soon make their way out of your home. Think: store returns, the shirt that you promised your friend you would give them, the pants that you've gotta take to the tailor. These things don't deserve a permanent home since they will soon be out the door. You don't want to forget to take care of them (heaven forbid!) and don't want to scramble around searching for them when it comes time to conquer their missions. Cue the outbox!

1) The outbox should be out of the way but still by the door. There are lots of different ways to fashion an outbox (the bottom shelf of a furniture unit in your foyer, a container in your front closet, hooks by your front door) but keep in mind its placement. You want the items in the outbox to be easily accessible when you're running out of the door. A quick grab, if I may. Choose a location that won't become an eye soar and anxiety provoking but is still handy and in good sight.

2) Separate the items you put in the outbox and have them exit-ready. You're way more likely to take care of what is in there if it's fully ready to go. For example, that scarf that you have to return should be placed in a bag with the receipt inside. The shirt that you're lending your friend should be in a separate bag with a love note thrown in if you're feeling kitschy.

3) Don't let the outbox become a home. If something is sitting in your outbox for a long time (say, more than three months), start to consider what's going on. Maybe this task isn't important and the item should be taken out of there and given a permanent spot in your home. Or if you just haven't gotten around to taking care of the errand, set a deadline and stick to it. If the outbox becomes a dumping ground for random household items, we're all in big trouble.

4) Take a deep breath. Remember: the outbox if your friend, not foe. Don't look at it with malice and let it overwhelm you. Think about all of the OPPORTUNITIES that lay in there and embrace them with open hearts and minds. Namaste.