At the beginning of a new year, many of us are inspired to make changes aimed at improving our lives, such as starting an exercise plan or searching for a new job. With both of those items already on my to-do list, I plan to take advantage of all this motivational energy that’s flowing around by cutting the amount of clutter in my home.
I’m big on starting projects, but not always so good at finishing them and I tend to leave my "works in progress" in small piles around the house. Feng shui experts tell us that household clutter is stale, stagnant energy that creates stress and confusion in the home. I completely agree (and so does my ever-patient husband). Plus, it’s awful to look at, makes things hard to find and is a constant reminder of a big chore that needs to be done.
Yet the thought of tackling an entire house — or even just one room — full of clutter can be overwhelming. Here are some tips I'm going to use to summon up my courage and set a plan, with the hopes of making my home a more visually-pleasing and relaxing environment.
1. Instead of trying to tackle an entire room, focus on one small area at a time, such as a closet or bookcase.
2. Don't expect to get it all done in one weekend. Plan to do a little bit each day over a period of time.
3. Designate a bag or large box for the following items and sort as you go: garbage, recycling, donations, yard sale and items you want to keep but need to store somewhere else. Afterwards, simply dispose of or attend to the items in each receptacle.
4. Use the following criteria to help you decide what to keep and what to toss:
a. How long has it been since I used (or wore) this?
b. Do I really like it or am I just keeping it for sentimental reasons?
c. Does it work (or fit) properly and, if not, is it worth fixing?
d. Do I have more of this type of item and, if so, do I need this one?
5. Be prepared to make more of a mess before things look better.
6. Get rid of all the excess before you think about organizing and storage.
7. Upon completion, reward yourself with something nice!