New Year, New You: Prepping for a New Year, unloading holiday gifts, and putting away holiday decorations.
It’s time for a New Year and a New You! Organizing your home is a great way to start the New Year out on the right foot and it is work worth doing. The best way to prep for a New Year is to start by sorting and purging unwanted items from your home. Work through each room throughout your home to get the space you’ve dreamt of.
Not sure where to begin?
Ask yourself this: What room is causing you the most stress on a day-to-day basis or which area are you the least likely to tackle on your own? Whichever space in your home you thought of first is where you should begin. From there, work on the room next door to it until that entire floor of the house is organized then move on to the next floor, working through each level to get Utterly Uncluttered.
Now, how to do it! Prepping for the New Year, unloading holiday gifts, and putting away holiday decorations can all be accomplished through this 3 Phase Process. It’s repeatable and the same way you’ll maintain the space too.
Phase 1: Sort & Purge
You’ll be making a lot of decisions in this phase and you’ll want to remember to keep only what you Need, Use, or Love. Start on the floor of the room you’re working in closest to the door. Work your way around the room going one item at a time deciding what to keep and what to get rid of until the floor is clear. The things you want to keep you’ll need to decide do they belong in this room or another room in the house. If you stay in this room sort it like-with-like (so, by category), and if you move to another room in the house, create a redistribution container to put that stuff away later. I recommend having a redistribution container for each floor of your home. If it's full of items that you want to get rid of, decide to donate, recycle, throw away or give to someone you know (but only if they want it!). Create a container for each category. Decide where the donations are headed and schedule yourself to drop them off. Once the floor is clear, go through everything around the perimeter of the room and then anything in the center of the room (an island in the kitchen, a desk in an office, etc). Empty every drawer, every cabinet, every nook, and cranny. Make a decision on each item sorting the things you’re keeping, like-with-like as you go. You may also come across things you want to keep but that involves an errand, for example, dry cleaning. You’ll create a container for that as well as calendaring yourself to take care of it. After "Phase 1" is complete every item should have been touched and had a decision made. Sometimes it’s helpful to sort the items into a nearby hallway or room, other times it makes sense to sort within the room, it just depends on the space.
Phase 2: Reorganization
Once everything is sorted and purged this is where you put the space back together again. You will want to organize like items together, so all pens together, all pencils together, for example. The frequency of use will also determine where items belong. Use something daily? It needs to be in an easy-to-grab location. Use it once a month? Can go in a harder-to-reach spot in a cabinet. If a space in the room doesn’t hold all of one category you’ll want to regroup and either purge more or choose a different location in the room for that category. Remember, if the space is maxed out it’s time to get rid of more. Categorizing often takes up more space than just cramming stuff together in a disorganized fashion does so be diligent about keeping only what you Need, Use, or Love. If you do this in an honest way you just might end up with "empty" space, what a gift! Remember to bring in the new gifts you’ve received this holiday season. Putting away holiday décor should happen in your basement storage room so it’s key to make sure the space is organized so you can put them away.
Phase 3: The Walk-Through
This is when you show everyone in your family where everything ended up. A lot of people complain that their families don’t put things away but also haven’t taken the time to show them where things go. Be clear and logical as you explain why things are where they are (like-with-like, frequency of use, volume, and size) to help the system stick in their memories. Now it’s time to label! This is a must for any space, especially one being used by more than one person. Avoid using "miscellaneous" and "assorted" as labels and categories as much as possible. Get specific and make sure you’ve categorized when you were sorting, purging, and reorganizing.
By doing this 3-Phase process in every room and closet in your home you’ll be Utterly Uncluttered and will achieve a New You this New Year. Imagine your space as a blank slate just waiting to have exactly what you Need, Use or Love in it. It is worth doing at the start of the year so you can head into the following months organized, clutter-free, and with the peace of mind that you know exactly what’s in your home. Having new gifts to unload can be daunting but the key to enjoying the gifts is that we must have a good home for them. You’ll thank yourself next holiday season for putting away the holiday decorations in this fashion too. When in doubt, dig deep and be honest with yourself about whether or not the item you’re stuck on is truly benefiting your life. If you have room for a thousand pairs of shoes then keep a thousand, but if you only have room for 10 pairs then keep 10.
The space we have determines the amount of stuff we can keep.
As you journey into this New Year, remember to be Utterly Uncluttered every step of the way!
Cheers to the New Year and the New You!
Helping feed your urge to purge clutter from your life!
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