Learn how to use a donation box to help you declutter more often and keep your home more organized.
I have a secret. Well, it’s not much of a secret because I shout it from the rooftops at least once a week. You ready? A running donation box will change your life. Yep, I said it. A recycled cardboard box is life-changing. If you’re asking me what a running donation box is right now, I’m guessing you don’t have one yet. And if you do have one, don’t run off yet, because I’ll share some practices to make it work better for you, too. Ready to get your home less cluttered? Read on!
What’s A Running Donation Box?
You know the scene: you decide to spend a whole weekend scouring the house for things to donate once or twice a year because you’re fed up with all the clutter.
You go on a binge-spree throwing all kinds of random clothes and household items into trash bags, fill up your car, run the load to the donation center, and wait for stuff to pile up again so you run this course next year. There is a better way!
By saving a big cardboard box from the trash and storing it somewhere in your home, you can drop things that need to be donated as soon as you come across them. No full weekend purge-fest, no “I’ll get to it later”.
A running donation box saves you SO much time and energy, and it takes 2 minutes to make, and 1 minute to use.
How To Make A Running Donation Box
Here’s your supply list…get ready, it’s a doozy. Kidding! All you need is a large cardboard box and a marker.
Take your marker and write DONATE on the box, fold the top flaps inward so the box is wide open, and put it in a central location of your house.
Seriously, it’s that easy to be a more organized person with a less cluttered home.
How To Use Your Donation Box
The process is super simple and becomes a habit really quickly. When you come across something you don’t need or want anymore, take the items straight to the donation box and drop it in. Then go back to your day.
Getting ready in the morning and put on a shirt that looks horrible on you? Instead of scoffing in the mirror, taking it off, and putting it back on the hanger, pick a different shirt and run that unflattering one right to the box. Not later, but right now. That walk across the house takes less than a minute, and you’re never having to set aside time to declutter.
Once the box is full, put the box in your trunk and replace it with another box. Next time you pass by the donation center, make a pit stop and drop off the box.
Why Use A Cardboard Box Instead Of A Plastic Tote Bin?
I’m all about saving time here. If you use a plastic bin, you’ll have to empty the contents into a box or trash bag later, which takes time and energy you probably don’t have.
You’re less likely to actually take it all to the center and more likely to let it pile up until the contents spews out onto the floor. By saving yourself the extra step of emptying the bin, you’re making it easier on your future self.
Where To Store Your Running Donation Box
Aim to keep the box in an easily accessible place of the house that the entire family can get to. I keep mine in the guest bedroom of my house, stashed in a corner right out in the open. Of course, I put it away if we have overnight guests, but I find it helpful to not have to open doors to closets or go downstairs to the garage just to add an item to it.
The easier your box is to get to, the less time it takes to add to it. And the less time it takes to add to it, the more likely you are to keep using it.
I suggest finding a central location, like a guest bedroom, pantry, laundry room, or garage (but only if the garage is on the same level as your main living area) to store your donation box. And make sure the rest of the family knows about it, too.
The Challenge Is On!
I’m officially challenging you to set up a donation box somewhere in your house today. And if you already have one, I’m challenging you to find a better and more accessible place for yours.
Once you’ve got your box all set up, snap a pic and send it to me on Instagram. I’d love to see where you’re storing yours and hear how you think it will help you and your family keep your home tidier.
Written June 2021, Updated July 2023