New Year's Resolutions // Removing Clutter

Ah, January. Still has that New Year smell.

You know what else January smells like? Stale air and dust mites.

If you’re like most people, you haven’t done a deep cleaning since last spring – if even. I suggest planning a decluttering/cleaning session this month to give you a physical fresh start on the year ahead.

Try on rarely worn clothes. We all have a few articles of clothing that we rarely – if ever – wear. Maybe you bought it during a sale. Maybe it was done on a whim. Maybe it was under pressure from an unusually aggressive salesperson. Whatever the case, it does not improve your life to keep them. Try each piece on and really evaluate whether or not it is feasible to add to an outfit – or better yet, see if you still like it enough to incorporate into your daily attire. If not, maybe you should think about donating said item.

Toss out tattered clothing/undergarments. While you are in your closet, take a look at your most loved items. Are they tattered or just dingy from multiple uses? Maybe it’s time to upgrade. While I understand there are some pieces that get better with time, there are also pieces so worn, you associate them with home clothes. I generally stay away from labeling items “home” or “public” because it gives the connotation some pieces are more special than others – and end up limiting the amount of time I use them. This is something to avoid because part of the minimalist lifestyle is to have multi-purpose items.

Reevaluate unused kitchen gadgets. Take a look at what you have taking up space in your kitchen cabinets and think about the last time you used it. Do you still need that Crock Pot from 3 years ago now that you have an Instant Pot that doubles as both a slow cooker and a pressure cooker? What about that coffee maker that you’ve ignored ever since you bought a French press? And that toaster that you got a decade ago before you went bread free? Get rid of unused items by selling or donating them.

Wipe baseboards. To me, baseboards are part of the wall. No one goes around wiping down their walls, so they get forgotten. Take a look at your baseboards and notice the amount of dust and general grossness sitting on there. Take a Lysol wipe and just start gliding through.

Move one furniture at a time to vacuum/sweep underneath. This one takes more effort because it involves moving furniture – which is always the worst – but it’s very necessary! I recommend doing this every quarter, but at least do it once a year. Your allergies will thank me.

Review saved documents. You know the pile of papers you have in your – probably – Junk Drawer? Or, maybe you are crazy organized and have a filing cabinet. Dump everything you have and start sifting through all the old receipts and expired warranties. They provide no value to you taking up valuable breathing space.

Assess pantry items. It never occurred to me to review pantry items until a few months ago, but you won’t believe the amount of canned goods that have been forgotten and expired. Find something you didn’t realize you have that is still edible? Donate it. If you didn’t know you had it by now, you probably won’t use it any time soon.

Care for your furniture. There are some pieces that need extra attention. Leather chairs require conditioning every so often. Canvas couches require a spray of Scotch Gard once in a while. Wood coffee tables need cleaning. Take some time to give your furniture some TLC to extend their life.

There. Don’t you feel clean now?

Sincerely, Tania