Happy New Year!
As my first blog of the new year I hadn’t intended to write about clutter, but I read a great article recently and I decided I’d share my thoughts on it. I was looking forward to the holidays because that is usually when I can have some solid time off to catch up on some projects and get needed rest without the usual demands. I enjoy Christmas holidays, but the Christmas planning at work starts in October. By the time Christmas rolls around I’m exhausted. So I enjoy the downtime.
I started decluttering the first days of the holiday break so when I came across this great article I decided to read it. If you’d like to read it- here it is. I sent it to a few friends and family because no matter who you are there’s always something you can get rid of.
Decluttering is great for creating a fresh mind, home and work space. It’s a wonderful way to start the new year. I sometimes struggle to get rid of things because of sentimental value. Have you ever had something so old and cozy and worn out that you know needs to go, it’s not broken or ripped but it’s too old to give away? Ya, I can’t help you with that. Sometimes you just need to throw it in the trash as painful as it seems. Or donate it and let them throw it in the trash if you’re not sure.
When I moved a few years ago into a smaller apartment I was worried all of my stuff wouldn’t fit, but it really was a blessing in disguise. I sold my furniture and downsized as much as I could to what I needed and I can honestly say that I haven’t had one day where I thought about something I left behind. I got rid of everything bulky that took up space. I traded my large kitchen grater for a small hand held one and got some mason jar tops that could double as spice shakers or graters. I got rid of all the extra pots and pans and only kept the essentials. I bought things that had a double purpose as often as I could. Now I’m a little obsessed with tiny homes and minimalist documentaries. I don’t think I’ll ever become an extreme minimalist but it’s been a fun journey for me to discover what I really need. Maybe you don’t want to downsize and you’re thinking you don’t need to declutter but I promise it’s a great feeling. Here are a few things you can try:
I bought a spice rack years ago and after years of not using half the spices I decided to dump them and fill them with spices I actually used.
Challenge yourself to use up non-perishable food in your cupboards. If you have cans of food you haven’t used in years or some oatmeal in the back you forgot about, look up recipes for meals you can incorporate them into.
A side note on food- try to only buy food you have a plan for. If you’re trying to be healthy by buying things you don’t normally buy, look up recipes in order to avoid it rotting in your fridge and going straight from the grocery store to the trash bin. Try to plan and cook food in advance and freeze it if you’re not ready to eat it.
I love journals and will always accept them as gifts but there is such a thing as having too many journals. Somewhere along the way I realized I didn’t need new journals as often. If you’re like me and you have a few journals or diaries that are half used, try repurposing them. Copy loose leaf recipes and put them all in one notebook. Make a habit tracker or use it for a grocery list. If you are ok with throwing away old journals do it!
Get rid of them before they become sentimental. Make a habit of donating clothes when you buy new clothes. Give away clothes that are easy to repair if you know you will never sit down to fix those rips and tears. Why hang on to it when someone else might really want it?
Make it seasonal
At the end of the season take time to evaluate what you’re not using anymore. I usually declutter after every season if I can. This year I started decluttering in the spring and decided to keep some summer clothes that I thought I might want on the odd occasion. Another summer passed without me wearing them and so I decided it was time to give them up.
There are lots of benefits to decluttering your home. Your home will be easier to clean, you will inadvertently save money as you find and start using things like clothing or small gadgets that you forgot about. Let me say it… you don’t need the latest workout course or gadget, you just need to be consistent with the ones collecting dust at home. Lastly, this is that sign and reminder you’ve been waiting for to read that book you bought last year! Let’s go on this journey together! Happy decluttering!