by Emily Barrieau | Published February 11, 2019
My outbox is constantly full.
Now this isn’t the typical outbox that organizes our emails. My outbox is in fact, a box. An attractive box to say the least, since it sits on the floor by my front door. And it contains a random selection of tidbits from any given day.
When I first learned about the concept of an outbox I thought “genius.” Let me explain.
The outbox is the home for everything that isn’t meant to stay.
Somebody leave their jacket after your gathering? Library books you need to return? Shoes you don’t think match your style anymore? Dress pants you need to get tailored?
The contents of this magical box could be endless.
Now for this system to work at its best, there are a few important things to consider.
Keep the box near the door.
When we store things out of sight, we forget about them. Period. That’s one of the nasty side effects of hidden storage. So, keep this box in a place where you won’t forget about it. It doesn’t have to be in your front hallway, it could be in the front closet, or tucked in the corner of a living room or in that empty space under your end table. Just keep it accessible.
Choose the right sized box.
My box is about 35cm squared (reference size to…a box of oranges or something). And as I mentioned earlier, it’s always full. It’s important to find a size that can fit things like pants or shoes or bags or books. And the beauty of not having an oversized box is that we are forced to revisit it and actually deal with our to-do’s!
Use the box as a physical to-do list.
No one likes that daunting feeling when the mind is reminded of something you have to get done, or more realistically—a heap of things you have to get done. That pesky brain loves to sneak those up on you and make you feel all those bad feelings until you get overwhelmed and give up until the next resurfacing.
Well fear not! With this lovely little box (or basket, or tub), you can feel reassured that you’ve already taken the first step to get those to-do’s organized in one place. So as long as your not digging in that box on the daily—you will only be reminded of those to-do’s at the most appropriate time—when you are intentionally getting in there to get that shit done.
Option: “When you are looking to check off your to-do list.”
Remind yourself of what’s inside.
About once a week I like to have a peek inside and remind myself of what’s in there. Because yes, even when it’s in plain sight, things get forgotten.