On the first day of every year I wake up with a big urge to de-clutter. I want to go through every cupboard and shelf.
I don’t want to take any stuff we don’t use into the new year. It’s a great time to assess, chuck some stuff, and tidy. Like a fresh start. I don’t labour over this process, I just do it really fast. 5-10 minutes per shelf or drawer. Who wants to drag it out!
Another reason I get this urge in January is that December has seen a lot of cooking and eating and hosting and going out. There were end of year events for our kid’s school and at work. Then there was Christmas (we had four days of celebrating this year!) and then New Year’s Eve when some great friends came over. I also helped my mumsy after an operation. I didn’t bother to clean or tidy too much through this season.
By New Years Day I always feel like I have lost grip on my house and that is when it hits me. Cleaning fever! I suddenly long to really reconnect with my beloved home. ‘Hey house I am going to gut your cupboards and clean them out and put the stuff back tidy ok?!’
So I woke up on 1-1-2020 and began. I pulled everything out of the first cupboard and assessed, culled and then put it back all nice. What a difference!
January is a good time to give the inside of the home some love. In much of the world it’s either way too hot or too cld to do gardening or any outside jobs. Too hot in Australia, and too in the northern hemisphere. After all the socialising in December one can be forgiven for being a hermit for a few weeks too. So I put on some good music and get my house in order for the brand new year.
Some days I go hard and do a whole room in a day, and other days I only do a single category like coffee mugs or the board games. You might decide to just tackle one room and that is it.
Getting ones house in order or even just a room, is also such a boost to the confidence to tackle other New Year goals like eating healthier or doing a bit of exercise.
I had already done my clothes in November so this January I started in my kitchen, which is anyway the most topsy turvy after the festive season! I started with the coffee and tea cupboard and then moved on to the utensil drawers, and so on. I haven’t finished yet but I will continue all month, one category at time.
Here is the easiest way to de-clutter.
- Gather. Gather every single item of one category of things. e.g. all your coffee mugs, or, every t-shirt you own (even get the ones from the laundry) and put them all on a surface (table/floor/sofa). Be amazed how many there actually are!
- Have 2 things by your side. The rubbish bin and a bag or box for donations.
- Assess and sort into 3 piles. Grab each item one at a time. Does it bring joy or is it really necessary? If you don’t love it and it’s not super necessary it will likely just sit there unused for another year, crowding your cupboard and making housework harder. Every item is going one of three places. 1. Keep 2. Donate or 3. Bin. You may also have the odd item that needs to go to someone/somewhere else.
- Wipe. Once the sorting is done, wipe the empty drawer or shelf clean.
- Put back. Now put your beloved favourites back on the shelf or in the drawer neatly. This drawer or shelf will be easier to manage all 2020!
- Exit. Don’t forget this last step. Go out the bag of stuff you will donate in the boot of your car and put the trash out.
I encourage you to try at least one category this January. Excavate some new breathing space in your home. You can then enjoy it all year!