Monday, January 14, 2019

Things to Declutter This Month

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Even though I have a really minimal home, I still find things to declutter.  I don't have huge, KonMari style decluttering sessions anymore, but the task is never really done because there's always new things coming in and things that are getting worn out or broken that need to leave.  But whether you're motivated by the new Netflix series and plan to tackle big projects or would rather move along slowly through the process, here's some things you can cleanse from your life in January:

1. Anything that got a Christmas upgrade.  I think this happens a lot - people gift items that they know the person needs an upgrade for.  New socks or shirts or toys, something that replaces an older, worn out, or broken version.  And yet, we let the old version hang around, unused.  Time for it to go.  Personally, I got new socks and underwear so the old ones are leaving.

2. Anything broken or unused from the holidays.  Never pack away any Christmas decor that was broken or otherwise not functioning.  And if you didn't even use it this year, chances are you won't be using it next year either.  Time to let it go, your future self unpacking these boxes in December will thank you.

3. Christmas cards.  Assuming you haven't already, go ahead and recycle any Christmas cards you received in the mail.  You don't need to keep them, really.

4. Leftovers.  You're doing your new year's goals zero favors by keeping the Christmas chocolates around.  Get rid of them.  Take them to your office if you need to.  Just remove the temptations.  And clear out the rest of the leftovers too, if you still have frozen Christmas ham or the like.

5. Kitchenware you didn't use.  December is the time for baking and hosting and generally getting use of every damn kitchen utensil you own, all at once.  So if there's something in the cabinet you didn't even touch, like old pans, extra cookie sheets, or 20 measuring cups, it's highly likely you're never actually going to make use of them.  Donate them.

6. Last year's versions.  I mainly mean calendars, but it can apply to anything distinctly 2018.  The calendar has flipped, time to let go of the 2018 planner, the 2018 registrations (mine are my lawyer registration and health insurance info), anything that doesn't transfer over to 2019.

7. Documents you don't need for taxes.  Eventually the government will be back up and running, supposedly, and at that point you're going to need to file 2018's taxes.  Don't bring your tax preparer every document and receipt you collected over the year.  Take the time to sort through everything and dispose of what's unnecessary.  Take note of what you keep, and set up a system for this year to keep those things organized, so you don't need to do this ever again.

8. Your purse.  I carry a bigger purse in the winter because I have my gloves, scarf, and hat to think of.  Which generally means that I can stick more things in there and go a longer time without having to clear it out.  A frustrating problem.  But cleaning out your purse will take just a couple of minutes, really.  While you're switching out your health insurance card and whatever else changed for the year, go ahead and get rid of receipts and candy and tissues and the 12 chapsticks you didn't even know were in there.

9. Events from your calendar.  At the end of each year, I try to look ahead to the next and plan out any big events like travel, weddings, or holidays.  If it seems like too much, especially in one particular month, I go ahead and remove anything unnecessary.  Busy is not a badge of honor so if you're thinking you won't have free time in 2019, go ahead and declutter any plans that you're not thoroughly excited about.

What will you be decluttering this month?  What's one thing you can remove from your 2019 calendar?

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