The start of the new year is always exciting. Twelve new months stand before us, filled with plenty of opportunity ripe for the taking. The best way to make the most out of the new year is to look back over the previous year and clean out all the clutter you’ve accumulated over the last year. After all, that awesome laptop you got for Christmas will look much better without the office clutter surrounding it. So, how do you go from cramped and cluttered to spacious and sparkling? Below are three tips you can put into action today to start demolishing the clutter mountain in your home.
1) Get Rid of the Obvious Clutter
So much of the “clutter” we see in our homes is nothing but trash and junk we haven’t thrown out yet. Often, there’s a sea of old receipts, fast food wrappers, and other junk that really doesn’t serve a purpose anymore in your home. It’s OK not to save every salsa jar or butter tub for re-use — throw them away and free up space in your home instead!
Many cities and towns even have specified times of the year when they relax the weight limits to allow citizens to throw away more than usual without an additional charge. the times vary, so make sure to check your city’s guidelines on the subject.
2) Sort Out The Essentials
We all have things we can’t live without that we use all the time. Why not separate those things out and get them organized? This time of year often leads to sales on shelves, containers, and sturdy boxes. A few storage bins and a couple of free hours can drastically change a room. Sorting out what’s essential will also lead to having a better idea of what’s really providing value to you, and what you simply assume is essential. Often, we purchase something, use it, and then buy something else that handles the task of the first product more efficiently or effectively. However, instead of throwing out the obsolete product, we tend to let it go off in storage. Repeat this process over the course of a year and that leads to quite a bit of clutter taking up space in the house!
3) Get Rid of the “Someday” Items
Have you ever held back from throwing something away because you might have a use for it “someday”? That’s what we mean by a “someday” item. It starts out innocent enough, but can grow into a real problem if not checked into on a regular basis. Most people hold onto things under the assumption they have to throw it away. However, this is not the case. If the item still has value, giving it to a friend might be the answer. If your close friends don’t need anything, there are local groups that swap and give away free items. It’s called Freecycle, and is a great way to free up your space of unwanted items. You can also give the unwanted items to a charity group, which can even be tax-deductible. If you aren’t into giving the items away, perhaps you can create an eBay listing — there are plenty of shoppers looking for a bargain and people all over the world have benefited from the auction service. There is a small fee for listing the item, as well as a percentage-based fee if the item sells. For those that want to sell their items for free, there is a free online classified service called Craigslist that does not charge users to list their items for sale. This is a great time of year to donate as well, don’t hold off til spring to clean out your closets. Look through everything you had out for summer, is there something you didn’t wear last year but are still storing it? This year is about a progression forward. And if you are holding onto something because you are determined to fit in it again this year, get rid of it now and reward yourself with something new when you reach goals! Just one more way to keep your mindset thinking of the present and out of the past.
Overall, the feeling of a clean space is one that’s hard to beat. There’s nothing that says all of these tips have to be implemented at once. In fact, to avoid becoming overwhelmed and giving up, you should take it slowly instead of rushing through. If you go at a pace that’s comfortable for you and use these tips, you’ll have no trouble getting the clean, organized space you’ve always wanted!