New Years resolution; the best time to declutter
Every year you set yourself resolutions, some you keep some you might not but if there is one resolution that should be attainable for everyone is the January de-clutter. In fact, there really is no better time to have a sort through, organize, and de-clutter than post-Christmas holidays. You and your family have no doubt accumulated an awful lot of new stuff and you need to make room for it. Don’t let your new belongings sit on top of the old ones, use this time to donate the stuff you no longer use or need and make room for your appreciately received new goodies.
Photo credit Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
How to start your New Year declutter
To successfully undertake a declutter you need to be organized with a plan and agenda, and you need to stick to it. Here are some ways to help you organize your decluttering.
- List your areas for decluttering; do not just wander aimlessly around your house opening random cupboard doors looking for inspiration. List where you want to declutter and start with the easiest area first or the area that bothers you the most.
- Have a deadline; decide on a time that you want each area decluttered by and give yourself sufficient time to do the work. It could be an hour, 10 minutes a day, or a full afternoon dedicated to one space. Whatever works for you.
- Develop a system; when it comes to going through all of your stuff put in place a system of what you are going to do with your items. A good place to start is by having four stations, donate/recycle, sell, trash, keep. Everything should go into one of these piles but your keep pile should be dramatically reduced. Remember if you haven’t used it in a year – donate it.
- Make sure everything has a place; if you are keeping it make sure it has a place to live and it stays there without causing mess or clutter. If it doesn’t have a place then make a place that is easily accessible and close to where you use it or don’t keep it.
Benefits of decluttering
If you still are not tempted to declutter, consider some of these benefits to help persuade you.
- Reduce stress and anxiety. Mess, clutter, and chaos in your home can have a negative impact on your stress and comfort levels. It can cause a sensory overload, you might feel embarrassed or stressed at the prospect of not knowing where things are.
- Easier to clean and tidy. With so much less stuff in the way, it will be easier to keep your home in order and keep things clean and tidy, which will inevitably make life easier when hosting and entertaining.
- Positive impact on selling your home. Having a clean, tidy, decluttered home will make selling your home easier. If listing your home is something you are considering doing a declutter is essential as all top realtors such as https://jenjewell.ca/ will conclude.
- Help to remove allergens. Dust, pet hair, and pollen can gather in all kinds of places and there is no better place than on tops of items sitting around taking up space and gathering dust. Getting rid of clutter should help to improve the airflow of your home and remove gathering dust and allergens.
If you need help with decluttering and organizing your home, purchase my online course, Create an organized home.
Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.
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This is perfect to read this time of year. January is a time for decluttering and for making promises that you’ll keep everything neat and tidy for the rest of the year. Taking it step by step keeps it from getting too overwhelming. Good ideas!
January can be a good time of year to start fresh. With lots of people doing the same thing, you can easily find an accountability partner to help you keep your promises. Any time of year is a good time to start decluttering.
I’m so glad you mentioned helping to reduce allergens as a benefit. Many people do not realize this, but indoor allergies have to have less stuff in their homes. We realized this when my kids were younger and removed several things off of surfaces so we can do wet cleaning easier.
When I am organizing I see a lot of dust and allergen on items. If there is less stuff it is easier to clean. I will recommend to clients to remove many small items and replace it with one larger item because it is easier to keep the space clean.
I was just talking with a virtual client about this the other day. She was saying she always likes to spend this time of year getting organized, and had lots of projects. As you suggest, we talked about being very specific about her goals, and adding some accountability to help them get completed.
Her first task will be a cluttered space in her guest bedroom (shelf in the closet). I told her to be sure to take “before” photos so she can celebrate when the project is finished!
Being specific about the organizing task you select to do makes it easier to prevent becoming distracted and starting many things at the same time thinking it is really the same project when it is not. Accountability is a good motivator, calling a friend, sending a picture of the progress, journaling, booking another appointment with you all help to keep the project moving forward.
It’s always a great time to declutter. However, as you said, there’s something about post-holidays and a New Year that provides us with some additional motivation. So why not take advantage of that?
There is something so energizing about letting go of those things that are weighing us down, we no longer use, and are taking up mental and physical space. I love all of your suggestions for making the process doable.
A clear start ( physical space) to a new year can help to lead to goal setting to build a clear start in other areas for your life.
I agree that the new year is a great time to declutter. Today I cleaned out my file drawer. It was pretty organized, but I hadn’t reviewed the contents for 2 years, so it was stuffed. It didn’t take me long to get through it and now it’s so much more usable, with lots of empty space. I even feel lighter!
Hi Janet I did that too this year. I went through the filing cabinet and got rid of a lot of stuff that was good in its time but I am not interested in moving my company in that direction anymore. The empty space makes it easier to look in the files I have that are useful.
Yes! The buildup of clutter from the holidays can add to stress–something we don’t need when the new year comes around!
I really enjoy decorating and adding colour to my home during the holidays. It energizes me. After the holiday clutter is put away there is a sense of calmness that comes over me as the visual stimulation is removed and more sedate colours (blues) of winter are used for the next few months.
And once again, it ate my comment. Luckily, I’ve started copying it before hitting “reply” just in case I have to paste it again. Here’s what I wrote:
People are always talking about spring cleaning, but New Year’s decluttering is the key to that (and so much more). By conquering these tasks in January and getting the excess out, it’ll make spring cleaning a breeze. I like all of your points, but am especially pleased you mentioned allergens. I think there’s so much “shmutz” in the air and in the house during the holidays, from glitter on holiday cards to all the various scented things, overhauling everything in January makes for a fresher, more inviting home. And of course, as you note, that makes everything calmer.
I think we enjoy the energizing holiday decorating. I agree that January allows us to remove the excess and focus on what is important in the New Year. Removing physical items and making space in your home can lead to making space in your mind for the new situations in the new year. In some homes, the windows are shut for some months of the year and organizing, decluttering and simplifying makes it easier to keep the space clean.