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Did you catch our recent article about decluttering that was featured in the Virginian-Pilot? Read it here...
Happy New Year! I think we were all ready to say “goodbye” to 2020 and “hello there, gorgeous” to 2021. There is something to be said for the peace of mind you feel when you start with a clean slate. The New Year is the perfect time to do some decluttering around your home and office — whether you’re moving or not — to lighten your load and give you that fresh start feeling we’re all craving these days.
When I meet a new client overwhelmed with clutter, they all seem to have a similar story. They don’t have the time, or they aren’t sure how it got so piled up to begin with, and even though they have tried to declutter, they just don’t seem to make a dent. Most of the time it’s because they are bouncing around from room to room, or they start with their junk room filled from floor to ceiling because that’s the room with glaring issues.
Decluttering can feel a little like losing weight. If you have a lot of extra weight you are carrying around, it can feel overwhelming when you think about all you must lose.
It’s the same with an overwhelming amount of stuff.
The key is to start early, start small and start with the easy. Of course, that’s not always an option with an unexpected move. However, when time allows, it makes for a much less stressful process. For instance, like with losing weight, you lose those first five pounds, you’re feeling good and inspired to keep going.
With clutter, if you start small or with an easy area, like cleaning out the expired foods in your pantry, or with the stacks of magazines piled in the corner, you’ll feel as if you’ve accomplished something and you’ll feel inspired to continue. And a less-cluttered space is visually appealing for potential buyers, too.
Other easy ways to lighten your load is to give back anything you have that is not yours to its rightful owner. If your adult children still have things at your house, box it up and drop it off, or give them a deadline to come pick it up.
Another priority is to get rid of anything that’s broken. If you’ve had that thingamajig sitting on a shelf for a year because “you’re going to fix it someday,” go ahead and let it go because the reality is, you’re probably not going to fix it.
In your closet, if you have clothes with tags still on them and you’ve had them for more than a few months, donate them to someone who will appreciate them, or sell on a resale site.
In your home office, box up last year’s paperwork, label the box and put it away in a convenient location as you will most likely need to refer to it at tax time. This is one of my favorite things to do as it feels so good to set up new clean and organized files for the New Year. Also, arrange to shred the documents you no longer need to hang on to.
Now that you’ve done some easy decluttering, be careful of the clutter creep. When those 50% off sale signs call your name, just say, “No thanks, I’m full.” Your existing home or your new home will thank you.
When your friends or family ask what you would like for your birthday or holiday, suggest an experience gift like dinner and a show, or a massage and pedicure.
Maybe 2021 is the year to try the “one in/one out rule.” If you are going to buy that new kitchen gadget you just can’t live without, get rid of one kitchen gadget you’ve used only twice.
Just remember, the goal is less clutter. Anytime you end up with less than you started with, you have succeeded, my friend.
If you're feeling overwhelmed with clutter and need help organizing, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.