Decluttering for a New Year
Christmas is over and the new year is upon us. I'm spending the rest of this week decluttering and simplifying my space and my mind in preparation for the new year. Entering 2018 with a fresh and peaceful space will bring refreshment to your soul and your creativity.
"A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think."
It was around this time last year that I began my first ever purge of things and simplifying my home. Since then, decluttering and simplifying is something I dedicate days to often. Although this is something that can be done anytime of the year, I feel like there's no better time than before the new year. Here are a few areas of my life I am decluttering and simplifying.
1. My digital space
This one is my least favorite thing to declutter, but it's the most rewarding. Although it's very time consuming, nothing feels better than a clear computer and an empty phone. These are a few ways I clean up my digital space.
Back up photos and documents. I store all my photos and documents on a hard drive, and then erase them from my computer and phone. I typically do this whenever a season is over. For example, now that Autumn and Christmas have passed, I won't be posting those photos anymore so now is a good time to make room on my phone for this season's photos. This way I have my photos and documents if I need them but they really don't need to be in my immediate space.
Unfriend/unfollow Unfriending or unfollowing on social media is something I include in my digital clean up as well. Now's the time to unfollow those accounts you're constantly comparing yourself to, accounts that bring you down, or simply unfollowing accounts that no longer inspire you. And don't feel guilty about it! An unfollow doesn't have to be personal. If we are using social media it should be a life giving space that inspires creativity and light. If something you see on your space isn't doing that- then get rid of it and don't think twice about it.
Deleting unnecessary social medias. Last year around this time I deleted Twitter and Snapchat, and this year I deleted Facebook. Every time I go on Facebook I would end up getting angry, annoyed, or sad about this world or animals. There's nothing life-giving about Facebook for me anymore and yet I kept scrolling. I decided it was time to part with it. If I'm living a simple life, that means I don't have time to keep up every social media under the sun.
Unsubscribing/deleting emails. All those pesky emails from companies that you no longer shop at or those newsletters from blogs you don't read (if that may be mine, that's okay too haha!) Take the extra few seconds to unsubscribe rather than just delete the email. It will save you more work in the long run. I like to do that and then go through and delete emails that I no longer need, and organize the ones I do need to keep into their own folders.
2. My closet
I try to go through my clothes once a month and each time I do, I find more things to get rid of. My style, needs, and wants are constantly changing. Sometimes it will take a little longer for me to decide to part with a piece, but I do eventually. By simplifying my closet, I have created space for pieces and a style that I truly love and feel good in. Although I am still defining my style and wardrobe, simplifying is making this easy. It is important to note that my closet is seasonal, and I only focus on the season that I am in while decluttering. I've found that if it's winter and I include my summer clothes in my decluttering process, I may get rid of something that I will want by the time summer comes. If you have your winter wardrobe going right now, I recommend focusing on that only, and once you get your summer clothes out, repeat this process again. These are a few ways I declutter my closet.
Go through clothes piece by piece. I take all my clothes out of my closet and go through each one piece by piece. If I have to try something on to decide if I truly like it, I will do so. Something I've been working on is getting rid of the pieces I don't feel good in. It may look cute, but if I don't feel good in it, it's never going to get worn and there's no use in keeping it.
Go through shoes piece by piece. Just as you would with clothes, go through your shoes each pair at a time. Try them on if need be. If you don't wear them, don't like them, or don't feel good in them, they go. Don't overthink this.
Go through accessories. I used to have tons and tons of earrings, necklaces and bracelets sitting in a box all tangled together, headbands I'd never wear, etc. It was pointless and just took up space. Now I only have 2 necklaces, 2 pairs of earrings, a few rings, and a few bandanas. It's freeing to have a few good quality pieces because I know what I like and I only own what I actually wear. Don't forget to do things like hats and purses too!
3. Bath and beauty products
I believe that a big part of simple living is simple ingredients. This is why I have not only simplified my belongings, but the food and products I put in and on my body. Maybe you've been feeling a call to do the same. (If so, please reach out! I'd love to help you get started.) Now is a great time to take inventory of what you have and what you'd like to begin switching out.
Makeup. Go through your makeup and throw out expired items, makeup you don't wear, empty makeup, etc. Maybe one of your goals for the new year is to switch to all natural makeup, so deciding what pieces to get rid of and to start buying natural would be a good thing to do.
Other products. Go through things like lotions, soaps, perfumes, etc and ditch what you don't use, things with harmful toxins, etc. Freeing yourself from chemicals that harm your health.
4. Storage areas
These are important areas to hit in the decluttering process because these are the spaces we don't see in plain view. Because of this, they tend to get a little messy and can often turn into the place we throw things that are not in use. Now's the time to really go through these things and toss what you don't use.
Storage closets. Cleaning closets, coat closets, shoe closets, whatever it may be, go through everything one by one and ask yourself if you really use it or need it, if not, get rid of it.
Cupboards. Kitchen cupboards with overflowing containers, stale snacks, mugs that aren't your style anymore, go through them! I plan to do a post in the future about applying simple living to your kitchen, but until then get rid of what you don't use or don't need.
Drawers. All drawers whether they be silverware drawers or junk drawers- should be gone through. Drawers tend to get pretty messy and collect receipts and tags and other junk that we really don't need to keep. Junk drawers are one of the worst things to organize (in my opinion) but you will feel so good once it's done.
Cabinets. We have two wooden cabinets in our house. One is where we keep our craft stuff and the other is where we keep our DVDs and other TV stuff. And all I know is that both get very messy. Cabinets and storage pieces like this are important to clean because although you may not use the things in them everyday, when you do need them, you will be able to find them without opening the doors and having the entire contents of the cupboard spilling out on your lap 😂
5. Your mind
One of my favorite parts about decluttering and living simply is that it means there is space left to think, grow, and just be. Take some time to truly think and organize what you want from yourself and your life in this upcoming new year.
Let go of a goal. Sometimes we have goals that we don't reach by the time we think we will. When we dwell on these, it hinders our ability to succeed in other areas. The idea of having to achieve a certain goal may actually cause more harm than good. Think of something that you've been hard on yourself about, and let it go. You did the best you could do, and now you have room for things that are truly meant for you.
Write down new goals. Take time to journal and reflect on what you want to do, see, or accomplish in 2018. This doesn't have to be set in stone or something you have to follow strictly, but it's encouraging and motivating to have intentions.
Write down things you want to leave in 2017. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that no year is a perfect year. We all have struggled in some way or another this past year. Maybe there's a toxic relationship, a toxic habit, a sin, sorrow, that needs to be left in 2017. Reflect on this and free yourself from it.
Reflect on the good that this year brought. Although it is important to acknowledge the bad and the hard times, we must not set up camp there. After you decide what it is you want to leave in 2017, reflect upon the good times and the success you had in 2017, and choose to bring those memories with you in the new year.
"You would think the year was resting too, it's work done. And I whispered to myself that I too would begin to rest."
If you decide to declutter and get rid of things you don't use, always donate or give away whatever you can, don't just throw it away. Local shelters or thrift stores will appreciate your donations! Praying these last few days of 2017 bring rest and reflection for you. See you all in 2018!