Endless possibilities are open to you at the start of each New Year. You have the potential to make 2016 anything you want it to be. It’s thrilling and daunting all at once. Don’t end up like the 92% of people who don’t achieve their New Year’s resolutions. This year, instead of resolving to make a new you, resolve to get organised and make your home and workspace feel brand new! It’s a great way to recover from the holidays and to embrace a cleaner and simpler life.
To get you started on your de-cluttering path, grab our 2016 Jot It Down Diary and then begin your organisation work starting with the holidays.
Keep the New & Toss Two of the Old
During the holidays you probably received a multitude of new gifts. While all these new items are all well and good, they can quickly cause a problem when it comes to organisation and clutter. Do you really need five new DVDs or Blu-Rays on top of the 300 old movies you already own?
To make sure you don’t keep adding to your collection without pairing it down, follow our simple rule: for every gift you receive, toss out or donate two older items. If you received a few new books or your kids received a new pair of pajamas, instead of adding to your pile, take the opportunity to recycle, trash, or donate those items that you no longer use, need, or want.
Habit to cultivate: Every time you purchase or receive a new item, find at least one old item that you can throw out.
Put Your Holiday Boxes to Use
If you’re anything like us, your house is filled with empty holiday boxes. Don’t just toss the boxes in your recycle bin and call it a day. Take our holiday box challenge. It’s easy. Just fill up every empty box with unwanted household items that you would like to donate to charity.
And the challenge doesn’t have to be completed all at once. Keep the boxes in your garage and fill them throughout the year. Then, use your 2016 Jot It Down Diary to keep track of each donation for an end-of-the-year tax receipt. It’s a great way to get rid of your surplus while helping others.
Habit to cultivate: Whenever you find an item that you don’t want or need, add it to a donation box immediately and then move on.
Plan a Cleaning Week
Start 2016 the right way by planning a single week devoted to cleaning out your home and office. During this week, take the opportunity to empty every desk drawer, organise every closet, and clean inside every appliance. It might seem like a lot of work, but if you tackle it a little at a time over seven days, it shouldn’t be too overwhelming. A cleaning week won’t just get you organised, it will help you remove the dirt from the old year and begin the New Year with a clean state of mind.
Habit to cultivate: Take one weekend a month to deep clean and organise a particular room in your house or part of your office, so that by the end of the year, your life is still de-cluttered.
Organise Before You Stow
After the holidays, it’s too easy to just toss everything in a closet or bin as quickly as possible, but that’s the opposite of what you should do. When it comes to putting away your holiday decorations and new gifts, take a few moments to cut out the non-working, tattered, and the tired. Don’t pack away broken lights and ornaments and don’t add your new mixer to your kitchen cabinet without tossing out the old one.
Beyond only keeping what you want, make sure you pack your items in an organised and logical fashion. It will make it easier to grab your holiday decorations for the next year without boxes falling on your head or items getting lost.
Habit to cultivate: Before you stow anything, make sure you’ve thrown out the unneeded and organised what you’re saving.
Don’t Keep Every Gift
Be it a White Elephant gift or an unwanted sweater from your distant Aunt Mary, you don’t have to keep everything that you receive. If you get an item that you know you’ll never use, it’s time to send that gift on its way. You have a few options:
- Place “re-gifting” candidates in a box or in your gift closet. Then, scribble a note in your 2016 Jot It Down Diary to remember who gave you the gift, and keep it until the next holiday party or gift exchange.
- Plan a White Elephant exchange after the New Year. If you received quite a few stellar but useless gifts, plan a Chinese New Year party or Valentine’s Day celebration where you can exchange gifts and get rid of the excess.
- Add gifts to your holiday box challenge. If you’re not a fan of White Elephant gifts or “re-gifting,” grab all the gifts you don’t want and donate them to make someone else’s day a little bit brighter.
Habit to cultivate: Every time you receive a gift, decide whether you’ll use it or not, and then either stow it or get rid of it.
By changing just a few simple habits, you can make 2016 the year you live organised and clean all year long.