Tackling the clutter in your home can be extremely overwhelming after years of buildup and avoidance. We are all guilty of it, the knick-knacks collecting dust in the closet, the overflowing filing cabinet. The New Year is a great time to grab the bull by the horns in this department, and attack your clutter head on. When you find yourself avoiding, just remember that external chaos is directly died to internal chaos! A clean, organized space is more conducive to productivity, and also creates a much more calm and serene environment. Having trouble deciding where to begin? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Write it all down.
To begin, make a list of areas in your home that you feel could use a little attention. Lists are SO crucial in staying organized, as those passing thoughts and ideas we always think we’ll remember have a way of disappearing into the oblivion. A good way to catch these flyaway thoughts is to keep sticky notes handy. Have some by the office, by the kitchen, even by the bed! They’re small and tuck away easily, making them perfect for those quick little notes and reminders. Keeping a stationery drawer in your basement or home office (with some fabulous personalized stationery in it) is a great way to motivate yourself to stay organized. Always keep a notepad for lists, and some personalized stationery for teacher’s notes or just a quick thank you. Keeping an Agenda is also a great way to organize all your thoughts and obligations in one place, so maybe start a new one for 2016!
Don’t Try to Do it All at Once.
Once you’ve made your list, start by targeting a specific area that needs decluttering. Set goals for yourself, for instance tackling the basement for an hour. If you have the tendency to get sucked into a project and not want to walk away until it’s finished, it might be helpful to set a timer for yourself so the task doesn’t take over your day. Once you hear that alarm, it’s time to move on! You can come back to it tomorrow. Organizing should be an ongoing process rather than one exhausting attempt so that you don’t burn out and fall behind on all your other responsibilities!
Be Honest With Yourself.
Most of us have a tendency to hang onto unused items or trinkets simply because they hold some kind of sentimental value. A good rule to follow is the one year rule. If the item has been sitting in a closet or unused for a year or more, it’s time to get rid of it. This obviously excludes family heirlooms and other mementos of this nature, just use your judgement. Ask yourself, will I really miss it?
Don’t Skip the Office and the Dreaded Filing Cabinet
The office is one area that, when left for too long, can seem really daunting. Set an annual reminder to go through any files and documentation you’re storing in your home, and get rid of those that are no longer relevant or needed. The New Year is always a good time to tackle the files, as a year has just ended and chances are there will be a few items that can go to the trash. If it’s been a while since you’ve organized the office, the first year may be a big one. Just remember to attack it in phases, and if you continue the tradition of decluttering annually, it will become much more manageable in the future!
It can be hard letting go of the things we love, so knowing that our belongings are going to find a home and that someone will actually get use out of them makes the process a little bit easier. No one wants to see their beloved teddy bear sitting in the trash bin!
Now that you’re all organized, you can start the New Year with your best foot forward, and give yourself a proper fresh start! Wishing you all the best in 2016.