Out with the Old and In with the New: Decluttering and Organizing the New Year

“A clean space creates a clean mind.” ~Anonymous

The new year brings fresh starts and hopes for healthy habits. One way to set yourself up for success when creating these healthy habits (and sticking to them) is by creating an environment that is conducive to health, growth, and clarity. A good way to start this is through decluttering and organizing your space. 

A clean and clear space that brings you joy can help in reducing stress. By organizing your home, you may also find it easier to maintain proper medication regimens and healthy habits. Additionally, ticking items off of your yearly to-do list can bring a sense of pride and accomplishment, thus uplifting spirits and contributing to a healthier mindset. These can contribute to a more relaxed state and reduced blood pressure. Listed below are some tips and tricks to help you create a clean, organized environment to set yourself up for success in the new year. 

Tips and tricks:

  1. Donate Items:
    1. Turn your hangers around at the start of the year. This idea helps to clear out your closet by showing you what clothes you  don’t wear. At the end of the year (or your personal time frame), any clothes still hanging backward should be donated. 
    2. Ask yourself “Does this bring me joy?” Don’t think too long or ponder too hard. This should be an instant reaction. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, donate it.
  2. Clean in Increments:
    1. Looking at your whole list can be daunting. Take 15-30 minutes per day to tackle one section at a time. 
    2. Do an end of day tidy. Clean off your table and counters, pack your breakfast/lunch for the next day, and set out any medications or monitors needed for the morning. Take some time before bed to set yourself up for success in the morning.
  3. Take out the Trash and Recycling:
    1. Go through your fridge and pantry and clear out any spoiled or expired food.
    2. Properly dispose of any expired medications.
    3. Throw away any and all trash and break down boxes for recycling that may be sitting around. 
  4. Find a planner or organization system that works for you.
    1. Whether it be a paper planner, whiteboard calendar, phone calendar/reminders, or a digital planner/journal, find a way to organize your thoughts, to-do lists, and goals. Writing it down can help make it final and create accountability. 

Places to Donate/Sell Items after Decluttering:

Salvation Army


Hospice Stores

Habitat for Humanity (HabiJax)

Hubbard House

Consignment shops

Resources to Help You Get Started:

  1. Find or create a planner that suits your personal needs:
    1. Amy Knapp’s The Very Busy Planner
    2. Day Designer 
    3. SoTypicalMe
    4. Erin Condren
  2. Read about it:
    1. A Year to Clear by Stephanie Bennett Vogt
    2. Declutter and Organize Your Home in 15 Minutes a Day by Madelyn Baker
    3. Life Changing Magic of Tidying By Marie Konde
    4. Popular Cleaning and Organizing Books on GoodReads

While this may seem like a daunting task and too overwhelming to tackle; take a step back and break it down. Start small and work your way through piece by piece. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself grace as you learn what works best for you. 

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