I’ve given up on the whole “New Year, New Me” resolutions. Instead, I go for what I now call “New Year, New Space.” It’s far more attainable, largely due to the fact that the goal is to declutter my home, and I’m not talking about a few drawers. I want to declutter everything.
Over the years of “New Year, New Space,” I’ve learned a few tricks along the way that might be helpful to you:
- Make a game of it. I start with a couple trash bags — one for donation, the other for trash. Then, I try to see how quickly I can fill them up. You’d be surprised how fast you can fill a garbage bag when you’re racing against the clock. Making a game out of it also forces me not to linger too long on any specific item. Trust me, a little thought can easily convince you to keep almost anything. Plus, going relatively fast makes you use your gut, which normally means you’ll keep the stuff you really want to keep.
- Try the long play. Have you every played the closet hanger trick? At the beginning of the year, flip all of your hangers the wrong way. As you wear each article of clothing, flip the hanger back the other way. If in 6 months you haven’t flipped the hanger back around, it’s time to get rid of that piece of clothing.
- Declutter by category. When I declutter my home room by room, I end up carrying items back and forth from one room to the next. But if I tackle the process by category, such as clothes, kid’s toys, paper products, etc., I get much farther faster. You’ll also end up getting rid of things rather than moving them around the house.
Just remember that purging feels good. There’s always a certain sense of satisfaction when looking at your closet, cabinets, and drawers with all that new space you didn’t have before. I always feel accomplished after I’ve done some decluttering because I feel like I have just doubled my space — be it in the living room, basement, or bedroom. Keep that feeling in your head as you’re working through your things, and enjoy your accomplishment. You’ve earned it.