It’s finally a new year, which means we all survived the madness of the holidays. If you’re anything like us, you may feel like you escaped 2016 by the skin of your teeth. Between hosting family dinners and travelling far and wide to spread cheer, the festive season can take a lot out of us. But we’re not the only ones to suffer.
Sometime between putting up the decorations and singing ‘Old Lang Syne’, seasonal clutter snuck in and took over. With all of your obligations during the holidays, you simply didn’t have the time to tackle household chores like you would normally. As a result, the disorganized state of your living spaces is making it hard to relax in the New Year.
When all you want to do is unwind and revel in the fact that your social calendar is completely clear (for the time being at least), it’s hard to find the gumption to tackle your clutter. But we have you covered. Keep reading our favourite organizational tips and life hacks so you can make 2017 clutter free.
Take Your Time
We know it can feel like you need to get everything done right away, but this mindset will only set you up for failure. If clutter is strewn from attic to basement, you simply can’t get everything done in a day. By the time exhaustion sets in and you have to stop, you can feel discouraged to realize you didn’t meet your goal — however unrealistic it was.
Think about how you make other New Year’s resolutions. You know losing those last 10 pounds or quitting smoking won’t happen in a day, a week, or even a month. Give yourself the same benefit of the doubt with cleaning up your spaces.
Follow A Plan
Making use of lists can help you keep your goal on track. Break things down into easily achievable projects by focusing on a single task or limiting yourself to one room. When you put pen to paper, you’re approaching your chores more logically, so you’re less likely to miss something you’d overlook in the heat of the moment. Stop once you tick off a chore and take a break, but don’t stop working until you’ve completed each task in its entirety.
Some areas of our homes are hard to de-clutter because of sentimental reasons. Closets full of old clothes and bookshelves teeming with untouched novels are examples of those places that we tend to overlook in our tidying. There’s something called the 80/20 rule that applies to these things. We only use 20% of our belongings roughly 80% of the time. The remaining 80% of our belongings only get used if we’re lucky. When you recognize this pattern applies to your own habits, keeping those clothes that remind you of your Venice holiday or the books you keep telling yourself you’re going to read seems silly. Instead of letting them gather dust in your house, give them away to friends and charity.
Try Oprah’s Closet Hanger Experiment
This technique can make the fact that you wear only 20% of clothes very obvious. Rearrange your closet with all of the hangers facing the same way. After you’ve worn one item and returned it to the closet, make sure the hanger is facing the opposite direction. Keep with it for 6 months, after which time you’ll see which hangers are still facing the original direction. If you haven’t worn something in half a year there’s not much of a chance you’ll ever wear it, so get rid of it!
If, by the end of these 6 months, you’ve worn most of your clothes, then you might struggle to get rid of certain items. In which case, remember there’s always space for seasonal clothing in one of our storage units. By using our secure storage facility, you can free up about half of your closet without saying goodbye to favourite pieces.
Know Your Local Charities
There’s nothing less appetizing than doing a huge overhaul to your home only to realize you have no idea where those items you no longer want should go. Before you start culling books, clothing, and other belongings, make sure you know where you can drop off you unwanted stuff. For those without access to a car, the Canadian Diabetes Association has a convenient pick-up service you can coordinate in your neighbourhood.
If transportation poses no issue, there are local chapters of the Salvation Army and Value Village that are always looking for gently used items. You can also check out the Treasures Charity Thrift Store and Once Upon A Child, two charities based out of Richmond Hill. The Richmond Hill Humane Society is another charity that’s often overlooked, but they always need more towels to help bathe their animals.
Though simple, these tips can streamline your approach to de-cluttering your home, which means you don’t have to expend quite as much energy getting your house in order this year. It’s already hard enough, so give yourself a break. Eventually, you’ll arrive at a nice and tidy home that can become your relaxing refuge in the upcoming year.
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