So many of us make new year resolutions that we simply do not keep! Rather than wait until the first day of the new year to overhaul new habits, why not try making incremental changes, daily? Messing up one day does not have to mean giving up completely. If you don’t hit a goal one day, just try again the next day! This can be a more effective approach than waiting until the new year – to try and try again!
If you’re like me, “Be Organized” and “De-Clutter” has topped your list of New Year’s resolutions for the past five years or so! And, what feels like starting off every year with the best of intentions ends up in the same cluttered mess! Despite your best intentions, you might have unrealistic expectations about how to get organized. You may even carry some emotional attachments that can make it feel difficult to let things go. In feng shui philosophy, free-flowing energy has been known to harness health, wealth, and overall plenty. Clutter is thought to stop that energy flow and create inactivity and even enervation.
Before even beginning to de-clutter, examine your motivations. It may help to write them down somewhere so you can refer to them when you need a little extra nudge! As you’re preparing your mindset for decluttering, also think about what might detour you from completing the task. You can use de-cluttering as a meditation: Each item has a story or is part of your story, so “thank” the item for the part in your story and move on.
Start by getting rid of things you’re not using. One of the biggest reasons people hold onto clutter is inertia. You think you’ll use the item one day, but you don’t know how to get rid of things you never end up using. If you’re not sure how often you use something, try tracking how often you do use it. This could be as simple as turning your hangers in your closet to face backwards. Then hanging them the right way after you wear a piece of clothing. After a few months, look at what has not been worn and let that item go! You can choose to donate that item to a charity or pass it along to family or friends.
Cleaning and decluttering are not my favorite tasks, but when it’s done, I really do love the result of having an organized and clean-living space. Decluttering isn’t just about throwing away things. It’s also about organizing your space so that you feel clarity and ease. Having standing energy in your home is like getting a train to move after it has stopped: That train requires a huge amount of mega force to get moving, again. Owing less may even have you craving fewer possessions: It can feel liberating turning towards collecting experiences rather than physical wants.
Cleaning can feel like a never-ending cycle, especially when you have a busy life. You can start with a weekly cleaning guideline and use it however it best fits your schedule and lifestyle. Housework doesn’t have to be complicated or use up your precious time and energy: You can tackle your housework in 30-minute increments per day. Pick a room or a particular task and set to it. Next, create a list or chart that lists all the rooms in your house. Go through each room, detailing what needs to be cleaned and when. Don’t forget to collect your cleaning supplies and keep them all in one place. Separate them out by room so that you can easily grab what you need.
Stick to non-toxic household cleaning products: Common commercial cleaners can be loaded with toxic and polluting substances. Try substituting vinegar and water to clean countertops and baking soda to cut grease rather than strong, toxic cleaners or look for cleansers filled with more natural ingredients. One of my favorite non-toxic DIY cleaning hacks is using lemons as my sponge. I take the lemons from my morning drink and throw them in the sink. It smells great and is easier on my hands when scrubbing!
If another one of your resolutions was to eat healthier: Remove foods from your kitchen and pantry that are not part of your healthy eating plan. When you clear away processed foods from your pantry and fridge, you create a space free of the temptations to indulge. You’re also removing triggers to negative emotions, habits, and distractions associated with food. Organize your kitchen and make your must-haves or daily needs readily available: It’s easier to prepare healthy meals in an orderly kitchen. Keep healthy snacks obtainable in your kitchen, always. When healthy food is near, it’s easy to forgo the salty and sweet cravings. I blend smoothies during the weekend and freeze them so I can pull one out of the freezer as a snack later in the day.
The Bottom Line: Agreements we make with ourselves are easy to break: Find someone to commit to your decluttering and organizing goal. Each of you should set an intention and hold each other accountable. Remember: There is absolutely NO downside to cleaning up your space. And that incredible surge of satisfaction you feel right after cleaning out your junk drawer is worth the effort! When you’re well-appointed with a recharged outlook that’s unwrapped with a clear space, it’s far easier to stay focused on your daily tasks. Adjusting your attitude toward cleaning and defining the cause of clutter will help maintain a more welcoming, joyful, and tidy home year-round.
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