January, A Perfect Time to Make a Fresh Start

Time to put away the Christmas decorations

Via flickr.com; user mountain_doo2

I don’t know about you, but every year around about January 1, I start getting the itch to reorganize and reduce my STUFF! What is it about the holidays that gives us that feeling of “whew, that’s over, time to take stock and simplify?” Maybe it’s the fact that many of us spend so much time and energy preparing for and celebrating during December that we don’t have time to think about putting our lives back in order until the hubbub dies down. Perhaps the chaos of the season gives us a craving for order and a sense of routine.

Typically, the holiday decorations stay up into the first week of January at our house. We celebrate Christmas and the 12th day of Christmas is not until January 6, afterall. By that time, I am sufficiently tired of the decorations and happy to put them away till the next year. After they are safely in their storage place, it feels as if there is a clean slate to work with and I come to the realization that I can probably do without some of those things that were stored to make way for the Christmas décor.

Winter is such a good time to take stock of all the things in our living and working spaces and to start reducing those that are used infrequently. We typically spend more time indoors during winter months and spending more time with less clutter can be a good thing for your sanity and sense of wellbeing. Following are a few tips for organizing and simplifying your spaces:

  • Break tasks into small, manageable pieces to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Maybe begin with one room or even one part of a room.
  • Evaluate the true need for a particular object–how long has it been since it was used; how likely is it that you will use it again in the next few months?
  • Consider donating items you no longer use to a reputable charity for use by someone who truly has a need for it
  • Assign a place for everything and resolve to return items to their resting place promptly after each use
  • Resolve to purchase new items only after careful consideration of true need and how it fits into your budget
  • Consider collaborating with friends and neighbors to share seldom-used items–this will save money & give you a chance to interact with others on a regular basis

So, don’t delay. Get started with simplifying your living spaces. You will be glad you did when warmer weather arrives and you can spend your time outdoors instead of stuck inside with too much stuff!

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