New Year, Old Stuff


Ahh, the holidays are behind us!  We made it through the mad mall rushes, awkward family dinners, and uncomfortable office parties.  Now what?

Time for a fresh start, a new beginning, a cleansing…do you see where I’m going here?  There is no time of the year better than January to begin to de-clutter and simplify your life.  Here are some tips to ease the overwhelm:

Work on one area at a time – start in a linen closet or coat closet – something you know you can achieve in a 3-5 hour time span.  Take out all the mismatched and scraggly.  Donate anything usable to charity.  Once you’ve achieved this first project you will get the confidence to go one step bigger.

Keep, Toss, Donate, Store – Label tubs accordingly for a quick sort

Think of the displays in your favorite shop – This is what you want your closets to look like when you open them

Use the “touch once” rule – Once you pick up an item, decide where it’s going and carry it to the sort tub or straight to its final destination

Don’t reminisce – You have a job to do, so if you have items of memorabilia that you can’t part with, make a “memory tub” for those hard to say goodbye to items*

*What in the world do you do with paperwork generated by your children?  Preschool artwork – scan it into your computer and once it’s in digital format there are lots of creative projects for those images (once you are done with all your organizing projects of course).  Homework – We have “the box” which lasts for the entire school year.  Anything that the kids don’t think they need but are afraid to throw away goes in “the box”.  At the end of the year, browse through it for anything you may want to scan and recycle the rest.

Donate VS Sell – If you are pressed for time and really don’t need the extra cash, throw all your unwanted items directly into boxes/large trash bags in the trunk and immediately haul them to a donation site.  Thinking about a “someday garage sale” will only overwhelm you more and delay your project.  If you have large valuable items, take pics and post them on a neighborhood resale site in minutes.

Don’t forget to paint!  Nothing says “store display” like a fresh coat of paint behind all your possessions.  Choose a color that makes you feel happy, remember, no one will see this but YOU!  Of course, you will want to show off your pretty closet to everyone though…

May your journey into simplicity be easy, painless, and colorful!