Nothing like a brand new year to get organized, purge, clean, sell, donate, etc. Maybe it's the effort of putting away all the holiday decorations that motivate us to make that additional step to organize other things in our homes. I have to say, Container Store must do a bang-up business in January. But before you go all crazy buying up every size bin and box, we have some tips for surviving and actually completing your New Year Purge so you come out on the other side refreshed and organized. Not pulling your hair out and frustrated.
1. Have an Exit Strategy. Before you even start purging, decide what you are going to do with everything you want to get rid of. The three common options are sell, donate, and trash. Being somewhat conscious of overflowing landfills, trash should be your last resort. Selling can be profitable, but time consuming so keep in mind that you might have to wait a while for your final "exit". If you are considering donating large items, the Salvation Army will come pick it up, but scheduling is usually a couple weeks out so do that first. Plus it'll motivate you to get everything done by that date. Otherwise, Goodwill takes donations during regular business hours.
2. Start Anywhere. Go big or start small. Either way, once you accomplish one project, say, your pantry, it'll give you the energy to go big, like the garage. Plus there are no emotional connections with anything in the pantry. If you won't eat it, or it's expired, or you don't honestly know what it is, time to go. For a great pantry purge resource, click here.
3. Going big. Getting rid of big stuff like furniture, lawn mowers, sports equipment, strollers, etc makes a huge impact in the space you are cleaning. If you haven't used it in at least a year, it's time to let go. Be careful about "just in case" items. Yes, you still may use that treadmill, but really. Walking around the block is free and gives you way less anxiety than looking at that damn thing you spent way too much money on every day.
4. Put a Pause on Shopping. Wow! I cleaned out my closet and got rid of 6 pairs of shoes so time to go shopping right? Hold on, partner. As much as I love shoes, part of the beauty of purging is to pare your belongings down to just those things you need and love. Therefore, shopping should follow the same rules. Do you need it? Or do you love it? If the answer to either is yes, then bang on, go for it. But buying just to fill a space or because it's on sale may put you right back in the same spot next year.
5. Love your stuff. At the end of the day, your home should be full of the things you need AND the things you love. For some of us, that's a lot of stuff. For other minimalistic types, it's very little. There is no right or wrong, just what is right for you and your family. If you walk in to a room and it makes you happy, then that is what matters.