Every year we hear it – all of those New Year’s resolutions about losing weight, making more money, and getting started on goals that we’ve “been meaning to do” for years..but we really mean it this year. Usually, we all start out with good intentions. But then, about a month or so into the year, something happens, we get busy, and then we tend to drop back into our old habits again.
Sometimes, though, all it takes is just a few simple changes in order to ensure that we get – and stay – on the right track. And, a big part of that will oftentimes just entail reducing a lot of our clutter so that we can focus.
In fact, it has been scientifically proven that clutter increases our stress level. So, by working to achieve a clutter-free home, you can help yourself to become more relaxed and in turn, become more focused on your goals, as well as achieve additional benefits such as feeling healthier and more relaxed.
First, to rid your home of its clutter, start with items that are on the floors. If an item has not been used – and it has no plans for being used in the future – either throw it away or donate it. Don’t over-think your decisions, either. While you may have a tendency to believe that you may use an item “someday,” chances are that may never happen.
Next, move on to the shelves, counters, and dressers. Here, use the same system – if items or articles have not been used or worn, then it may be time to move them along to somewhere else.
Once you’ve completed these areas, the closets should be your next area to tackle. A good rule of thumb for the closet area is that anything that you have not worn in the past six months should be tossed or donated. By donating items, you can actually benefit someone else, as well as obtain a nice tax deduction, so it can be a win-win scenario.
De-cluttering doesn’t have to stop with your tangible items. For example, the New Year is a great time to re-evaluate your schedule, your commitments, and your routines. In this area, if you feel that you are over committed – especially in areas that are not truly benefiting you, then it may be time to reduce some obligations and say No.
It can be helpful to write down all of your commitments, take a look at each, and from there decide which truly brings you joy and value and which does not. By eliminating the ones that are not really benefiting you, there will be more time for the ones that you love.
As the year progresses, if you find that your clutter – either physical or otherwise – is beginning to get out of control, simply take some time and go back through your de-cluttering exercises again. You will be amazed at how enlightening it can be to start fresh again.
If your new year includes a new home, give me a call. We will work together and make it a great year.