Decluttering creates a sense of control in our lives, and it opens up a space to start fresh. This guide gives you a simple way to invite energy into your home in the new year.
– Space to focus your efforts
– Boxes or bins for sorting
– A good sense of humor about yourself!
– Start with WHERE to focus, taking only one space at a time
– Designate a box or bin to put the stuff you don’t want
– Set a timer to one hour
– Hold everything and ask if it’s a pick-me-up or let-me down (see below for what category an item falls into)
– Actually stop when the timer ends
– Sort/donate the stuff you don’t want
Sorting the Pick-Me-Ups from the Let-Me-Downs:
Clutter is anything that no longer serves a purpose in your life. Keeping something “just in case” you’ll need it in the future sends a subconscious message of scarcity and anxiety to your mind. It manifests in different forms, but there are a few examples that occur fairly frequently, and usually point to a blocked area in someone’s life. When you’re sorting through your stuff, hold each object and ask yourself it’s a pick-me-up or a let-me-down. Common drains include: things that need to be fixed, extras or multiples you don’t really need, gifts you don’t like but feel guilty getting rid of, stuff you’re just tired of seeing, stuff you’ve been hiding from yourself because you hate seeing it. Energizers are things you love and use: stuff you use almost every day because you love it so much or super-special stuff that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy when you hold it.
Figure Out Where to Focus
Pick a place that feels stuck, but not something that’s so big it feels overwhelming. You should be able to sort through it in one hour. No garages or basements or big projects like that; we’re starting small here.
1. Your Closet
Our closets reflect how we feel about ourselves and how we present ourselves to the rest of the world. When you’re sorting through things, hold each piece and ask yourself if you love it and feel good when you’re wearing it. If you don’t, let it go. When we hold onto stuff because of the future or the past, we’re not accepting ourselves in the present moment. It’s a total self-esteem-booster to open your closet and love everything in it.
2. Your Junk Drawer
Junk drawers are the places we put everything we don’t know what to do with. Start here if you’re feeling pulled in different directions and you need to find some focus. You’ll discover so much stuff you didn’t really need or want, and you’ll feel so much more centered afterwards.
3. Your Bookshelf
Bookshelves are tied to the ideas we live with, our interests and the things that excite us. People with cluttered bookshelves usually have a million ideas buzzing around in their heads, but they might have trouble focusing or picking top priorities. If you want to clear real head-space, start with your shelves.
4. Your Desk
Our desks usually represent our careers, since they contain paperwork and the practical things we need to sort through to get ‘back on track’ financially or within our jobs. Remember, you’re starting small here…don’t plan to file all your taxes from the last ten years. Just grab the recycling bin, take a handful of papers and start sorting. Files are great, but piles are fine, too — keep your categories broad and clip papers together to file later if you need to.
What to Do with Your Unwanted Stuff
Put everything you don’t want in a box, and put everything you do want back in its place. When you’re done decluttering, sort through the box. For anything you can donate, put it in a box and put it either outside or just inside your front door (so you’ll see it and have to deal with it promptly). Either take it out and donate it now or schedule a date to drop it off or have it picked up.