As we begin a new year, many of us like to start off with a clean slate. We decide we’re going to eat better, exercise more and and purge the clutter in our lives. To some reducing clutter may mean something as big as ending toxic relationships, to others it may be a less daunting task like cleaning out your closets. Not to say that cleaning out your closet isn’t a daunting task!
Reducing clutter from our homes is not scary or overwhelming if we tackle them one task at a time. The easiest and least time consuming way to start is to set aside at least 30 minutes to tackle each item on the list. You can take on one thing a day or one thing a week, either way it’s a step towards reducing clutter. I’ve come up with a list of a few items you can start with.
You’ve probably already decided that you were going to start off the year by eating healthy. This is the perfect time to take inventory of what food you have in your kitchen and pantry. While you’re tossing out the ring dings and other junk food, take the time to empty everything out and throw out the expired and unused items. I just recently went through all of my spices myself and I realized that a lot of them were expired, so in the trash they went!
I think this is something that is often neglected. Check expiration dates and throw out all of the expired items.
Toss old magazines and newspapers. Let’s be honest, most likely you’re never going to read them again. And if you are just holding on to a magazine for one article or recipe, tear it out and create a file for a later date. But be realistic! If the recipe is elaborate, with a million ingredients that you, as a busy parent, really don’t have the time to make...toss it! Besides, I’m sure you can find it online somewhere when you are ready.
A good rule of thumb for discarding clothes is if it doesn’t fit, you haven’t worn it in two years, or it doesn’t bring you joy - get rid of it. Simple as that. And you don’t need to feel guilty about getting rid of your old clothes because there are plenty of places that you can donate old clothing, such as the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or even local churches. If you know you’re items are of significant value you should consider bringing them to a consignment shop and get some money for your discarded clothing. There are even online consignment shops such as thredUP and Poshmark where you can just request a bag for your donation. Then you fill the bag, send it to them and if they sell anything of yours you get paid. Anything they don’t think they can sell, they will donate for you, which saves you from driving around with bags of unwanted clothes in your car for the next month.
I’ve heard that you’re supposed to get rid of makeup after six months. That seems a little drastic to me, but you should definitely go through your makeup and get rid of the things you rarely or never use. If you purchased a pallet to create the smokey eye look, watched YouTube tutorials on how to do it, yet still can’t seem to get the look down...throw it out!
Your Purse or Wallet
Because I change out my purse pretty frequently, my purse is very organized. I have a few small bags/pouches with all of my miscellaneous items in them. My phone cord/charger, earbuds etc. are in one small pouch and my lip gloss, nail file, medication, dental floss, etc. are in another. If when you dump out your purse it looks like Ally Sheedy’s character from the Breakfast Club’s purse, then it’s time to do some purging! If you’re a mom and you need to have a plethora of snacks on hand at all times, throw them all in a ziplock before your toss them in your purse. Not only will cleaning out your purse make it easier to find what you’re looking for, but it will also help relieve some shoulder and back pain...man, those things can get heavy!
Once you tackle these small things, you can slowly work on bigger tasks like that jam packed closet. But for now, just take it bit by bit.
Cheers to a clutter free new year!