While any time of year is a great time to declutter your stuff, I find I am most motivated to declutter at the start of a new year. Below I’m sharing the benefits of taking the time to declutter and the 15 things I’m doing to declutter before the start of the new year.
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Benefits of Decluttering Your Space
I’ve read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and many other articles on the topic of decluttering. What I’ve learned from my research is that living or working in a cluttered space has a negative impact on our brains and the way we live and work in those spaces.
Our brains prefer order so living and working in a cluttered space actually increases feelings of anxiousness and stress making the brain less able to focus.
The benefits to having a decluttered organized space include:
- Increased feeling of calmness from reduced stress
- A space that is easier to clean
- Spending less time looking for items as everything will have it’s own place
- Less likely to have accumulation of clutter again
Some of my favourite experts on the topic are:
Declutter Your Front Entry
- Masks. Let’s face it, masks are still a big part of our lives. Now is a good time to inspect reusable masks for wear and tear and make sure they are clean. Get rid of used disposable masks. Take note of your inventory to make sure you have enough masks for your needs. For instance, I just upgraded my daughters masks to one that has a pocket for a disposal filter for when she returns to school after Christmas break (I am being hopeful schools with reopen).
- Front Hall Closet – go through your outerwear and shoes and get rid of anything you no longer use. Packup out of season items that you will use again and store elsewhere.
- Purse or Wallet – go through and discard any cards you no longer need (i.e. I still had my bus pass in my wallet and I work from home), old receipts and anything else that may be taking up space in your purse (i.e. old chapstick, empty hand santizer, old masks).
Declutter Your Kitchen
- Refridgerator/Freezer – Discard any expired food. Take note of the remaining food and be realistic if you will consume it. Only keep what you are likely to use.
- Pantry – Same with #3, check expiry dates and only keep what you think you will use. Donate foods you won’t use that haven’t expired.
- Medicine, Vitamins and First Aid Kit. Check expiry dates and discard expired medicines and vitamines. Remove all expired medicines and vitamins from their packaging, place in a plastic bag and drop off at your local pharmacy for proper disposal. Take inventory of your first aid kit and restock as required.
Declutter Your Bathroom
- Skin Care – go through your skin care and get rid of anything you don’t use. If unopened give awsay to friends and family or donate to shelters. I get a lot of free samples which to be honest I hardly ever try.
- Makeup – I don’t know about you, but my makeup routine has changed drastically since my job moved to remote at the start of the pandemic 2 years ago. Check the expiry of your makeup and discard the old stuff, especially liquids like mascara. I tend to keep powders longer as long as they still look and smell good.
Declutter Your Living Space
- Paper – time to go through that pile of papers and sort into a recycle, shred and keep pile. File away the keep pile.
- Subscription services – make a list of all the services you purchase and decide if they are still worth the cost (i.e. Netflicks, Amazon Prime, Disney+, FabFitFun or other subsctiption boxes)
- Hobbies – If at the start of the pandemic you tried taking up a new hobby (like knitting or sourdough) that you lost interest in, now is the time to get rid of that hobby gear. Try selling these items on Karrot, Kijiji or donate to your local thrift shop.
- Decor – as you undecorate your house from the holidays, go through and take note of the items that didn’t get put out this year and see if you still want them. Now would be a good time to donate them. Walk through the house and look at the decor you have up all year and remove anything that doesn’t fit your current style or that you no longer enjoy.
- Toys – both kid toys and pet toys. I’m sure they recently got a bunch of new stuff over the holidays. Now is a good time to donate older toys.
Declutter Your Digital Space
The last 2 things to declutter on my list I have a more detailed post on How to Declutter Your Digital Space that you can check out for even more tips.
- Email – unsubscribe from newsletters. I have a whole article on tips for decluttering your digital life.
- Phone Apps – remove apps you no longer use.