Time to declutter? Clutter is a problem that many people face. It can be caused by a variety of factors, but the most common one is emotion. The feeling of clutter can be triggered by many different emotions, such as sadness, anger, or even happiness. We tend to think that having more stuff or holding on to things that we are attached to will make us feel good. Start your New Year stronger by decluttering your home.
The festive season traditionally symbolizes the coming of the end of the year. What better time is there to reassess what you have and whether you really need it than before the new year kicks off? Devoting time to sorting and organizing before you officially start your year off is also great emotionally speaking.
You are physically and mentally clearing out the old and moving to embrace the ‘new’.
When is the best time to do it?
Obviously, this is going to differ from person to person but ideally, by or just after Christmas, you should have at least started your decluttering mission. It can seem challenging and, particularly for those of us that have a tendency to collect unnecessary things, never-ending. It’s worth remembering that ultimately, it’ll be worth it to have a clean and clear house. The real reason that experts recommend decluttering over the holidays is that it’s a relatively quiet time. Finally, the phone stops ringing for a while and you have a little peace and quiet.
With work a much less pressing issue, the festive season is the perfect time to address the almost inevitable build-up of clutter. Doing this after Christmas itself has passed will also allow you to have a look at what gifts you have received and whether they perhaps replace something you have.
Getting organized and decluttering
The most important thing to remember is that organization is personal to every single person. What works for somebody else may well not work for you. Cynthia Ewer, the Washington state-based editor of OrganizedHome.com explains that “there are different personality types”. And for each different personality type, there is a different way to organize for the best. Ewer says that there are some people ‘filers’ that love to file whilst others ‘pilers’ keep piles of papers and like to be able to see them.
Thus, the best tactic is to analyze what works best for you. Instead of thinking in terms of what it will look like, think in terms of whether or not it will work for you.
Declutter for your wallet
When you go through all of your clutter and ascertain what is necessary and of value and what isn’t, you might well find some hidden gems. Finding things that might be worth something to somebody else means that you can sell them if you want to. With the cost of living crisis in a post-pandemic world, getting a little extra cash is likely an enticing prospect. If you don’t think the item is worth the trouble of selling, or simply prefer not to, you can also always opt to donate. Non-profit organizations and charities are always a good option, especially around the festive season.
Interestingly when you give to others it is good for you. Research shows that giving actually promotes longevity.
The other thing worth noting is that you may well find things you do actually need whilst you sort through the clutter. If you know you have it and can find it, you won’t end up wasting money by re-purchasing.
Also good to remember is that January is generally a particularly difficult month financially. If people do need to buy something, they might well opt for a secondhand, cheaper option instead.
This is great news for those of us that need to get rid of appliances and tech that are in good working order but that we no longer need to keep. Storage solutions like boxes and crates also tend to be on sale during January which makes putting things away properly a lot more affordable.
So, how should I go about it?
- Set a specific date and time to start: Remember that you don’t have to do everything in one day. Setting specific goals and targets by date will assist you in actually getting around to doing it
- Assess any new gifts or purchases: If you’re sorting out after Christmas, you may well have some new items that need a home. Really think about these items and whether they might be replacing an older version or a similar thing. If so, it’s time to let go of the old and welcome the new. If your old item is still in working order, try selling or donating it so that it doesn’t affect the planet by going straight to a trash heap.
- A good time to deep clean: Whilst you’re getting everything out to assess whether or not you need it, it’s best to give those usually untouched areas a thorough clean. The back of your cupboard or even garage shelves. Get more ‘bang for your buck’ by combining these tasks.
- Recycle: If there are things that can’t be sold or donated, make sure that you send them for recycling if possible. Of course, not everything is suitable but make sure to do your due diligence rather than just sticking your unwanted items into your bin.