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Johnson County

Research-based Information You Can Trust — Localized for your needs

Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax
jo@listserv.ksu.edu

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Four Container Cleaning System

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As Spring approaches, we begin to think about de-cluttering and cleaning. An excellent strategy is to use the “Four Container” system.

  • Use a trash bag or other container for broken, ripped, worn, or stained items to be thrown away.
  • Use a Put Away box for items that you want to keep, but have strayed from their designated spot in your home, and need to be returned to a more appropriate location.
  • Use a Give Away/Sell box or other container to designate items that can be sold at your next garage sale or through a consignment store. You could also donate these items.
  • Use more permanent storage containers such as plastic tubs or vacuum seal bags to store out of season clothes or other items.

Start small with this system. Try it out in a small closet first, before tackling an entire room. Set a timer, and work in short time increments, so that you don’t get overwhelmed or overly tired. Allow time for clean-up and putting away in this exercise.

Involve family members in your cleaning and de-cluttering projects, so they have some ownership in what is thrown away, given away, or will be sold.

Then, when your task is completed, remind everyone that a little bit of cleaning and de-cluttering needs to be done every day. It’s every family member’s job to keep items picked up and put away.

More information can be found in the K-State Research and Extension publication “Cut the Clutter and Get Organized” http://bookstore.ksre.k-state.edu/pubs/mf2879.pdf.

Contact Us

Denise Dias
Family and Consumer Sciences Agent
Denise.Dias@jocogov.org