Conquer the Clutter in the New Year

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A new year has arrived, so now it’s time to set new goals and make this year the best yet. If you’ve already made your New Year’s resolutions, there’s one more you should consider adding to the top of your list: Conquer that clutter.

You’ve counted down to the New Year, reflected on your accomplishments, and now it’s time to start goal setting. For most, January is a time-honored occasion to determine dreams and possibilities for the new. And if you’re dreaming about clearing out clutter and getting organized in 2016, you’re in luck, as we’ve compiled some tips to help.

declutter and donate

Making lasting changes can be hard, but we’ve got good news: A study conducted by John C. Norcross of the University of Scranton found that at six months, people who have fulfilled New Year’s resolutions are more than 10 times as likely to keep them as people who don’t follow this annual tradition.

Now before you dive into that attic filled with dust-covered memories, having a plan and putting yourself in the right mindset can provide the best benefit to help you accomplish all of your goals throughout the year.

Get Organized and Declutter your Life with these 5 Tips:

  1. Reframe the process in a positive light: Just the thought of tackling clutter can throw you into a negative whirlwind of feeling overwhelmed, anxious and defeated. Set yourself up for success by taking guilt and shame out of the picture. Ask yourself: What is the positive result of this resolution? Instead of focusing on the mess, think of the eventual outcome.
  2. Focus on one room at a time and create a reward system: Write a list of areas you’d like to organize, and tackle the parts of your home that are easiest first. And don’t forget to reward yourself. The ideal reward would be purchasing something to help with the process such as shelving, bins or an organizing system.
  3. Find the items you want to keep: Most people get stuck in the rut of becoming overwhelmed because they are focused on losing their memories. Instead, reframe your thinking by focusing on what you want to keep. Look for those belongings that evoke good memories, smiles, laughs and happiness. Remind yourself that those are the things that ensure your life is richer. You can even incorporate those items into your decorations by displaying them to commemorate that time in your life.
  4. Incorporate the buddy system: Get your family members or housemates involved by having them take an area of the home. Involving others in this project will also help because you’ll be holding each other accountable. 
  5. Find a charity you like: Plenty of great organizations will accept your unneeded goods, but finding the charity that speaks to your heart will ensure you feel the benefits of giving to the less fortunate. Do your homework and call an organization you’re interested in supporting to see what kind of in-kind donations it could use.

While New Year’s resolutions can be fun to make, they are often difficult to keep. Try something new this year by starting the year with a simple resolution: Declutter and simplify your life. Follow these steps above, add your own tips below, and let us know how it goes!

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