Transcript of Recording
Hi Everyone! This past week I’ve been focused on New Year decluttering. I think it’s akin to spring-cleaning, but since I consider myself a chronic declutterer, really any time of the year works for me.
Most of my decluttering has been paring down more clothes, mainly from my kids wardrobes. My husband got into it too and got rid of a bunch of his dress shirts he hasn’t worn in a while, so that was nice.
I also went through random items like my collection of tablecloths, which had somehow grown to five when we only use two of them during the holidays.
Anyway, I wrote most of my decluttering thoughts below, and I hope you’ll check them out and implement any that you think could work for you.
Something else I’m excited about so far, granted it’s only 10 days into the New Year, is that I have yet to order anything from Amazon. I’m trying to limit my prime orders to two each month to force myself to create a more intentional household shopping list and really think through each item before purchasing. So far so good!
On a completely different note, I’ve been trying to find some new teas to drink in the morning, and I came across ZestTea. I ordered their sampler kit, and I really like it so far. My favorite is the Pomegranate Mojito. If you like tea, check out their flavors at ZestTea.com.
Alright, I think that’s about it for my update this time. I hope you enjoy the post and grab the free decluttering worksheet downloads. Have a great week!
Links to Resources:
What is it about a new year that makes us want to start fresh, clean house and get rid of all the ‘old’ stuff and clutter that is filling our home, or is even filling ourselves on an intimate level? Some of the specific decluttering I am going to be doing this year includes-
-Hiding a lot of my Facebook ‘friends’ so I can focus on interacting with those that I am really close to.
-Removing quite a few books from my Kindle device that are hanging around waiting for me to read them.
-Eliminating multiple errand days per week and consolidating everything outside of the house down to one, possibly two days each week.
-Cutting down my blog post expectations from multiple posts per week, to one longer, hyper-focused post each week.
-Reducing the number of things I try to get done in my morning routine so I can do a few things, better.
-Finishing up the digitizing of old letters and photos so I can get rid of extra piles of paper.
As I started creating my goals for 2016, I found it to be a nice change to my planning process by beginning with what I wanted to declutter from my life before adding more positive action to it.
When you stop to think about it, it makes a lot of sense. When you want to add anything to your home or life, it always makes sense to figure out where it will fit in, and to reduce other items or commitments first if needed.
If you need motivation and direction to get you started with the decluttering process, here are some resources for the coming week to help you on your way. Do a little each day and you’ll quickly start seeing big benefits-
Clear your home dumping ground.
You know, that area in your house where everything ‘goes’, until you find a place for it or a few minutes to put it away. It could be in your entryway, on the kitchen counter or table, or even in your bedroom on the spare chair.
Take time today to clear all of the clutter that has built up. Go through the mail, return items to their proper home, and if they don’t have one, find one, or perhaps think about giving them to a new home.
Once the area(s) is cleared, depending on what type of area it is (table, couch, box, etc.) consider moving it to a new home temporarily, or placing something large like a plant or photo on top to make it inconvenient for you and others to start a new pile.
Cultivate the habit throughout this coming week of putting things away immediately when you arrive home, or when you are done using them.
Create calm in your living space.
Where do you spend the most time in your home? Identify that main space, and take a close look. Does it give you a sense of calm, or a sense of unease and stress?
Many times the area in our home where we spend the most time is cluttered with things we need to ‘get to’, or it may even be filled with so many knickknacks and wall pictures it is causing a lot of visual clutter. Another culprit in this area is too much furniture, causing it to feel cramped instead of spacious and calm.
Today’s action is simple, and a good way to gauge the level of calm you feel in this space in your home. If you have more than 5-6 pictures on your wall, grab a box and remove the rest of them if possible.
Remove every knickknack that is sitting on top of a table or bookshelf. Place them in the box and set the box in the garage or in a bedroom for the rest of this week. Consider also removing a piece of extra furniture for the week.
At the end of this week, evaluate how the extra space affected your calm while spending time in this space in your home. Was it increased with fewer items around? Did you end up missing them and wishing they were there? Depending on your personal reaction, decide if they should be moved back to the room, or possibly given a new home.
Clear closet clutter.
Our closets love to attract clutter. Everything from new clothes and handbags, scarves, jewelry, luggage, extra boxes and wrapping paper, too many shoes, filing boxes and more, it all seems to end up in the closet. Once it gets to be overflowing, it’s extremely difficult to remember just what all we have in there, let alone use it.
Today we are going to do some work in there. Here area a few things I’d recommend doing to get a start on cutting your closet clutter-
-Give yourself permission to get rid of those clothes you have been holding on to until you lose weight, get around to sewing that tear, or selling them on eBay. If you haven’t done it yet, chances are pretty high you aren’t going to. Donate them to the nearest thrift store and get rid of that mental stress you may not even realize you are feeling with them hanging around.
-Make sure all of your shirts, pants, skirts, shorts, blouses, etc. are hanging up with the hangers facing in the same direction. As you wear and wash a piece of clothing, hang it back up with the hanger now facing in the opposite direction. You will quickly see over a month of time which clothes you wear the most and can start reducing the others.
-Use the same process as above for evaluating scarves, jewelry and purses. As you use a piece, move it to a different home so you can easily separate it out from what you don’t use.
-Remove items that don’t belong in the closet. Extra tools, water bottles, printer paper and glass mason jars don’t really belong in your clothing closet. Find a new home for these items.
Remember when decluttering it is best to keep ‘like with like’ so you can find things easily when you need them. Tools should stay altogether, all office supplies should be in the same spot by your desk, food and anything food related should be in the kitchen. If you have very little room, consider getting rid of those things you don’t use, or at the very least, have a designated area of the closet for those items.
Spend a good chunk of time today on your personal closet; you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the motivation it brings to continue on the path to decluttering your whole home.
Clearing kitchen counter clutter.
Our kitchen counters were one of the first areas in our home that I decluttered. Keeping the toaster, coffee maker, blender, mixer and cutting boards as well as plants on them took up so much space I would have to move things every time I cooked to have enough room; and when I moved them, I had to wipe up the nasty crumbs that would hide back there from the last meal! It all had to go.
Today I am challenging you to remove EVERYTHING on top of your kitchen counters except those items you use every single day. No cheating.
Find a place for them out of sight, in a cupboard, or if you don’t have room there, put them in a box and set them in the garage for a bit. You don’t use them that often anyway, right?
I can give almost a 100% guarantee that you will feel revived to cook something amazing for dinner, and spend a few extra minutes of your day just standing in the kitchen gazing at the new space and soaking in the Zen-like feeling it will give you. It’s up to you when, or if you decide to put all that stuff back, I never did.
Hitting decluttering roadblocks.
Hopefully with the bit of decluttering you’ve already done throughout this week, you’ve seen the beginning benefits of removing ‘stuff’ that just isn’t adding value to your life anymore. One of the early roadblocks people hit when starting to declutter is the actual ‘getting rid of’ the items that they no longer use or need.
Some common thoughts that hold people back from donating or actually getting rid of clutter include-
-I may need that some time.
-I paid a lot of money for it.
-It was a gift.
-It’s a family heirloom.
-I just need to fix it.
-I just forgot I had it.
-It brings back a memory.
If any of these reasons sound familiar to you, consider the following-
The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have the more free you are. -Mother Teresa
You may also want to consider reading this article that puts these reasons in perspective. Today or maybe throughout the weekend, take some time to continue decluttering other areas of your home.
Consider if you are keeping anything based on the reasons above. You don’t necessarily need to get rid of anything, but just reflect on your feelings towards your ‘stuff’.
Decluttering all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, even after my first main purge of donating over 30 bags of items, it still took me an additional two years of slower decluttering to get through our entire house, digitize our photo albums, part with books and more sentimental items.
Remember, decluttering is a continual process as well as a lifestyle choice. This week is a great start, but if you feel you’re ready for a more in-depth approach to getting rid of your stuff and paring down, feel free to check out the following courses that have been developed to help that I believe are well with the monetary cost.