January seems like a great time to Declutter, fresh starts and all that! Visual clutter can be a source of great anxiety and stress, and remind you that there's also something that needs to be done around the home. Clear work space, clear mind, right? Sometimes it's really hard to let things go when you just get used to them being around - but its important to really think about, is this serving a purpose, do I need it, and even better - do I even want this in my space?
But this doesn't just apply to your home, how about spending some time this month decluttering the mind and body too? Here are some simple ways to apply decluttering to your entire life this New Year - and throughout the year;
1. Start with your wardrobe.
If you haven't worn it in a year, it's time for it to go. If it's too big, too small, or doesn't fit right, let it go. Is it damaged or broken? Either put it aside to fix, or repurpose, or let it go. And, make sure that it does get fixed - give yourself a time frame. If you haven't fixed or taken it to a tailor in a certain amount of time, are you ever going to? Let it go. Should you sell or donate? This comes down to a case of money versus time. If the stuff is stressing you out, and you know that you don't really have time to photograph it and list it on eBay, let it go. There are shops that will pay by the kilo for second hand clothing, but you get pennies. If possible, take it to a charity shop and let it find a new home.
2. The junk drawer.
Everyone has one of these. Again, if you've not used it in a year, let it go. If it's rubbish, let it go. You don't need to save takeaway menus when the information can easily be found online. If the stuff is useful, think about storage solutions. Maybe one of those draw trays would be useful? This is a quick job that can be done in less than half an hour, but if its in a place you see every day, can make a difference!
3. Sentimental items.
These can be a little harder. I try to find a way to display or store them in a way that protects them or highlights them. I have some drawings from my nieces framed in our spare room, and our place names from our wedding are on display in the lounge. If they can't be displayed, buy or find a pretty box to keep them in and make sure they don't get damaged. This works really well with photos - or find photo albums that you love, display the photos and put them on your bookshelf - you're much more likely to look and them regularly, and enjoy the memories.Also with photos, get rid of any blurry ones, or ones that bring back unpleasant memories - what's the point in keeping these?
4. Friendships that aren't serving you well.
This one is a little harder. It sounds harsh, but on Facebook there are notifications that come up highlighting your 'friends' birthdays each day. If a name comes up of someone I haven't spoken to in a while, and don't plan to, and aren't interesting it speaking to, I unfriend. (The person doesn't know that you've unfriended on their birthday!) There has even been a few occasions where names of people I don't even know comes up - do you want these people knowing about your daily life?
Take an honest look at your relationships and declutter them in the new year. This doesn't have to involve a dramatic breakup or ending a relationship entirely (although that can help too); this could also be a gentle easing away from someone who depletes you. Are you spending time with people that make you feel angry, unhappy, or drained? Time to step away, maybe just for a little while, and focus your time on people you truly enjoy being with. Life's too short.
5. Decluttering your diet.
I'm not one to advocate diets - diets don't work. But, take a long hard look at what you're eating on a daily basis - does it nourish you with health, nutrients and vitamins, or are you using it as a crutch? Could you find a healthier, fresher, less processed version? Also, what can you add into your diet. Focus on bringing in clean, fresh, tasty ingredients.
6. Let that shit go.
How about starting, or cultivating, a new habit for the New Year? Meditation can help you feel calmer and grounded. When you give your mind a break, you start to become the observer of your thoughts, and can determine between what really matters and what doesn't. It give you some 'me' time and a chance to be alone, be still, and reflect. I always end my yoga classes with a short meditation, and I would also definitely recommend creating a daily practice. I have some free guided meditations online here, or I recommend using the app Headspace.