The holidays are over, and as I cram the final box of decorations back into the closet, I am once again reminded of the desperate need to de-clutter post holidays. You may be feeling the same way. It can seem overwhelming to say the least. I had thought about de-cluttering before Thanksgiving, but there was too much to do and too little time for organizing, so I told myself that I’ll get to it next year. And now that I’ve picked all the New Year’s Eve confetti from my hair, and heard the last strains of “Auld Lang Syne” for yet another season, it is time to get serious and start making some major de-cluttering decisions. I’m ready to live a more fulfilling life, with fewer things in it. Are you?
Some people call it a Life Hack. Eliminating things you no longer need, discovering you can actually live a fulfilling life without them. Joshua Fields Millburn, in his book Minimalism: Essential Essays says:
“… Minimalism is not about deprivation: it’s about finding more value in the stuff you own. Minimalists do this by removing the superfluous, keeping only the possessions that serve a purpose or bring joy. Everything else goes by the wayside.”
Here are a few great ideas to help you get more organized, feel good about the space you live in, and reclaim the organization in your life.
Photo by Karen Roe
If something no longer functions properly or has fallen into disrepair, the item no longer serves its intended purpose, other than taking up space in your already overly cluttered world. Disposing of broken, ruined and irreparable items will not only make you feel great, but will also let you reclaim much needed space, while providing you a less stressful living environment.
Items that still have value and can be fixed, for example, shoes that can be resoled, furniture that can be recovered or leather goods that can be restored, should all be taken to professionals. You may be amazed to learn that most local dry cleaners offer tailoring services and can sew buttons on shirts, even fixing broken zippers.
However, if you don’t think you’ll be taking these items to get repaired anytime soon, it’s best to part ways now, placing them directly in the trash.
Photo by zieak
We tend to keep clothing, books, tote bags and shoes long after they have lost their usefulness to us. We like to think that someday we’ll suddenly fall in love once again with the clothes we gleefully shoved to the back of our closets to make room for all the new ones. Perhaps some day we even might decide to re-read one of the many books sitting on our bookshelves.
Chances are if you haven’t touched an item in at least six months, you aren’t likely to touch it ever again. So allocate enough time to carefully pack up the things that are in good condition, that you do not use, and donate them to a local charity.
This will not only help you feel good, by sharing useful items with others, it will also ease your guilty conscious after everything you just threw away by following the first suggestion. Remember, giving something away to be used by someone else is generosity personified and is de-cluttering with a purpose.
Photo by Neil Barnwell
Things that have a lot of meaning will be the hardest items to part with, because they hold the strongest emotional connections to your life. However, the memories attached to these objects last so much longer than the objects themselves.
You can take pictures of the things that you treasure, or write about them in a gratefulness journal. Old photos can be digitally scanned and stored on an external hard drive. Antiques and memorabilia will be more difficult, especially if other family members are involved in deciding what to do with them. Regardless, choose to save only the things that you and your family truly cherish, having the most emotional and sentimental value to everyone involved.
Having a full life does not mean having a house full of stuff! But it does mean having a house full of life. The two are clearly not the same. Which would you prefer? Make 2016 the year you focus on living a life with less clutter, less stuff and less stress, freeing up more space in both your house and your heart – to be filled with life.
Photo by Rubbermaid Products
Photo by sam_churchill
Tama Fulton is a creative media maven, on-air radio broadcaster, feature writer, live events host, keynote speaker and executive communications strategist. She co-founded Callisto Media Consulting (www.callistomediaconsulting.com) with her childhood friend and business partner, John Hudson Messerall, to harness their mutual talents, helping raise audience awareness in two key messaging areas, live event presentation and written content creation. Tama and John are also the hosts of the recently launched podcast series titled, “True North Story,” which focuses on inspiring, encouraging and motivating others to search for their own True North Story, by offering hope and engagement with the extraordinarily unique, yet distinctively different voices of their guests. Her passion for health and wellness also knows no bounds, as a triathlete, she has completed in several half marathons, participated in numerous cycling tours and is a certified yoga instructor who believes in the power of breath. Tama’s first grade teacher once accused her of being a daydreamer and she still owns this observation, claiming it to be her single greatest compliment! Born and raised in Chicago, she is a lover of all things “Windy City,” an Arizona State Sun Devil alum and a strong believer in irony, especially as a white-knuckle flyer who married a commercial airline pilot.
This article was quite refreshing and had hard hitting punchlines, Excellent work @TamaFulton !
D.M.A.W Style Editor – Bold