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The year of decluttering

While 2020 quarantine may have kick-started some home deep-cleaning, if you're anything like us, the flame burned out pretty quickly. The year hurriedly became focused on adapting to working from home and, possibly, navigating a homeschool curriculum for your now virtual little learners. Trust us, we weren't meant to homeschool either, which has made the year pretty tough. You're balancing a lot at once, so chances are, keeping the house tidy has taken a backseat.

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First, breathe.

As we rapidly approach 2021, it's time to (hopefully) take a breath and reassess. Do a body scan. What are the things that most overwhelm you? Is it the stress of work? The thought of uncertainty when it comes to keeping your family healthy?


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One way to clear your mind is by clearing your physical space. The internet abounds with strategies for decluttering; experts give advice, blogs offer ideas, but it's difficult, at times, to see through the noise for a true solution.

So, where do we begin?


Diving in or dipping your toes

There are two primary lenses through which to look when it comes to decluttering. Are you ready to take the all-in plunge and purge a great deal from the very beginning? Or, are you the one-object-at-a-time type? We're not judging, but it is important that you're honest with yourself in answering this question before beginning the process. If you go all-in but find yourself overwhelmed right from the onset, it's possible that you may need to re-trace your steps, breathe deep, and be okay with starting once again from the beginning. Remember, this is your process. You have to be okay with the changes you're about to make from the very beginning.

Diving in

If you're ready for the plunge, we recommend you start with clothing. Most of us have an abundance; closets overflow, leading to what seems like endless laundry. Hampers fill and, by the time laundry day comes around, we've racked up multiple loads. Our household average was five loads each laundry day, and, unfortunately, this did not include towels and sheets.

But, it doesn't have to be this way. Imagine a closet where everything is your favorite, picking an outfit each day isn't a daunting task, and piles of laundry don't haunt you.


A capsule closet may just be the answer. If you're not familiar with this concept, the overall premise is to downsize clothing to a set number of pieces (typically between 35-50) that create mix-and-match ensembles. One blouse, for example, can be worn with jeans or a maxi skirt, with a blazer or on its own. Pieces intermingle, creating an abundance of options with just a few core pieces.


The absolute biggest benefit to a capsule wardrobe, or any minimized wardrobe for that matter? You no longer have to brace yourself for an avalanche when opening your closet doors and the once-dreaded laundry day becomes less threatening with smaller, more frequent loads.

Toes first

If you're looking for a slower start, consider Becoming Minimalist's 12-12-12 Challenge. Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist defines this rule in his article "How to Declutter Your Home: 10 Creative Decluttering Tips." The concept is quite simple and definitely a great way to ease into the difficult task of downsizing items in your home. To take the challenge, you simply, "locate 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to be returned to their proper home."


My suggestion for this slow start would be to begin in the room in which you spend the most time. If your comfort zone is your couch like me, take a look around the living room and tackle your 12. What are 12 things you could throw away right now? And donate? What about 12 items you've let pile up on the coffee table that need to once again find their proper home? This could be something as simple as a magazine or as difficult as letting go of the abundance of throw pillows. I used to think I needed that many pillows, too, but they're really not doing you any favors.


Avoid the sentimental

No matter how you decide to start, it's probably best to avoid the sentimental. At least at first.


In her blog 'Project Simplicity,' Laura Noelle offers down-to-earth suggestions for first-time purgers and veterans alike. No matter how many times you've attempted (or succeeded) at purging, sentimental items are always the most difficult. Whether or not you use the items, they mean something to you. Whether they be photo albums or heirloom china, a deep personal connection is felt, making it near impossible to shed the guilt associated with abandonment.

However, Laura reminds us, "You don’t need the physical item to maintain a memory, but taking a picture or putting the item to use can honor the very special people in our lives."

She urges us to provide ourselves grace. Purging is not an easy process and it may never be. Be sure to give yourself the room to fail and try again. Allow yourself to take steps back and be okay with not letting everything go. In the end, this journey is about you and giving yourself space in your home to breathe.


The most difficult item for me to hurdle will undoubtedly be the unused sets of china safely stored in my basement. One belonged to my grandfather who brought the set back from Korea after serving. Each piece in the set was carefully packaged and traveled overseas, still beautifully intact.


The second set belonged to my great-grandmother, delicate blue flowers dusting each white, silver-edged plate. Unfortunately, I have only used this set twice, and, admittedly, have never used my grandfather's set. I find myself asking if I am truly honoring the pride each of my relatives took in caring for the pieces through decades.


And sets such as these aren't exactly something coveted these days. Engaged couples no longer register for china as the norm once was and it is now typically only something handed down through generations.


This may be the case, but it doesn't mean I am ready to pass the sets off to someone else. So, two options stand before me, taking an emotional hit of potential future regret or succumbing to the fact that I am going to keep them. I choose keep. However, if the sets mean so much to me, why wouldn't I just begin using them? Would it really be so terrible if I used the plates I covet so much as my everyday dishes? Something to think about.


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In the end

Applaud yourself for each step you take. Take pride in each item you are able to let go.


Decluttering gets easier, and, the more you are able to let go, the freer you will feel in the end, able to enjoy your space surrounded by the items that truly mean something to you as they take center stage in your home.


Not sure if you're doing this 'right?'

Check out my video for a few tips to an easy start and make sure you're truly letting things go not simply shuffling them about the house with no purpose but to sit and collect dust until next New Year's!

 

#twinpowergroup #declutter #kickstart2021 #organizeyourlife #clutter #organize #storagespace #cleanitup #homehappy #happyhouse #selfcare #homecare #thereisnorightway


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