There is a reason that the isles of all the superstores are lined with plastic bins and file cabinets come January 1st. Many people make the resolve to get their “stuff” in order and to cut the clutter before heading into the new year.
Other then moving, this is the perfect time to start over and regroup, the problem is that by the first of February, what we generally find are a bunch of empty purchased bins and files that we barely tackled, or a closet that we didn’t even make a dent out of. If you want to start the new year off right, it isn’t as much about organizing as it is about prioritizing. It doesn’t make much sense to purchase things to keep stuff you don’t need. Throwing good money after bad, the best way to organize your life is to minimize.
What most of us do when we take on any organization in our homes is to affix cost to items. When you do that, you end up with a whole lot of stuff that you no longer need, or want. It’s hard to let things go when you know that you wasted money purchasing them to begin with, but it makes very little sense to buy things to house your bad investment.
If you want to really clear out your house, the best way to do so is with an innovative approach. Look at objects without emotion or assigning cost if you want to truly live an unencumbered life. Follow the steps below to a chaos-free homestead.
The one year rule
Before going through your closet, you have to resolve to throw things out. It matters not if it was your favorite dress back in the day, or you were waiting to fit back into the jeans you haven’t worn in thirty years. It is time to start over. Many won’t let go of clothes because they feel as if they won’t have any options.
What they fail to see is that the closet becomes nothing but emotional baggage about losing your youth, or adding extra pounds. Enlist a friend to keep you honest and go through your closest using the “one year rule”. The one year rule entails donating or getting rid of anything that you have not worn in one year’s time.
Don’t fool yourself by using the qualifier of “have I tried it on in one year”. If you haven’t physically left the house with it on your person, it is time to let it go. Not only will it stop you from setting unrealistic goals about a size that you are probably not supposed to be anymore, it will allow you space to update your wardrobe and join us in 2016.
Sale by date is real
There are many who believe that sale by dates are just used to trick us into throwing out perfectly good food. They aren’t. They are dates that the manufacturers ascribe to a product to tell you how long the food will both be good for you, and taste good. Most of us have a pantry that is full of food that is expired, or where the date has long since gone. Go through your pantry and get rid of anything that is out of date.
If you haven’t ‘used it by the expiration date, chances are good you won’t ever anyway. Also, take a good long look at things that, may not have a date, but clearly have not been purchased within the past year. Things like flour and brown sugar don’t have an infinite time to be good either. The longer you let those things sit on the shelf, the more likely you are to have rodents come into your home too. If something is open and has not been used in a year, the one year rule applies here too.
Junk closets are called that for a reason
Finally, if you have packed up old toasters, small appliances, and broken pieces and parts assuming one day you would have them fixed, throw them out or donate them. Often it is way more expensive to have them fixed than just to buy new. It doesn’t matter that it was a very expensive appliance in the day, if you don’t use it, or it doesn’t work, it is nothing more than a skeleton taking up space in your closet.
To truly organize you have to first find space to do so. Clearing out the clutter is the only way to make room for real change and organization that will last until your next New Year’s resolution when you get to do it all over again.