5 Organizing & Decluttering Tasks You Can Do Quickly (as featured in OSCAR newspaper-Feb 2024 edition

Holding on to items “is like taking a deep breath, then holding it and holding it,
refusing to exhale. If we won’t let go, we stop the natural flow of taking in
what we need right now and releasing what we don’t. And if we won’t let go,
we can’t make space for new breath.” (Peggy Fitzsimmons)

If you have decided that 2024 is the year you are going to tackle some organizing
and decluttering it is always best to do it in bite-size chunks. By doing so, you
avoid burning out or becoming overwhelmed by the process.
Here are 5 organizing and decluttering tasks with each of them being able to be
done in the space of a couple of hours:
● Do a closet audit:
Most of us wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. In order to get a better
idea of what you reach for regularly, try turning all your hangers around in
your closet and then each time you wear an item, flip that hanger around
the opposite way when you put the item back. At the end of the season
this technique allows you to quickly see what you didn’t wear (and then
donate, sell or gift them to someone else). For dresser drawers you can do
the same thing by putting those items you wear the most often always at
the front of the drawer.
● Expired items:
Expired items can be a variety of things including pantry items,
medications, makeup, spices, or unidentified items in your freezer, etc. Pick
one area and focus on it for 15-30 mins. On another day do a second area
and so on. (Note: check with your pharmacy to determine the proper
disposal of medications.)
● Set up a ‘maybe’ box:
Many people hang on to items because they aren’t sure if they’ll need
them again. Go around your home and put items that fit into this category
into a large box labeled ‘MAYBE’. Date the lid of the box for 3 months from
now and put a reminder in your calendar to check the items in this box on
that date. If there is an item you need before then, pull it out of the box
and find a place for it to live in your home and then shut the box back up
again. If after 3 months you didn’t need any of those items, put them in a
donation box and drop it off. Items to consider for the ‘maybe’ box:

cookbooks, DVD movies, music CD’s, socks with no mates, mystery keys,
jewelry, unknown cables and cords, etc
● Digital decluttering:
Similar to the 20/80% clothing rule, the same can usually be said about our
mobile devices in that most of us really don’t need, use or want the
majority of the apps, files, emails, contact info, photos etc on our devices.
By decluttering our devices we can gain more focus, more clarity and
reduce distractions thereby improving our productivity. Another benefit is
that your device will work more optimally due to increased storage space
and less battery drain. Items to declutter on your phone: blurry or duplicate
photos, unwanted subscription sign up emails, unused apps, duplicate
documents, old emails, outdated contacts, etc
● Keep the memory and let go of the guilt:
Throughout our lives we have all brought home items that we thought we’d
use but then for one reason or another, we did not. And that’s okay. What’s
not okay is holding onto these items because we feel guilty that we bought
them in the first place. Letting go of these items either by selling or
donating them will make you feel lighter because you’ll also be releasing
any regret, unmet expectations or sad feelings that surround them. Items
to consider letting go of: clothing that doesn’t fit or that we are constantly
passing over, unused exercise equipment, unused kitchen appliances or
gadgets, unused inherited items, etc.
The key to decluttering is to make space for the person you are today. By doing
so you’ll be more in alignment with the person you want to be now and going
forward. Decluttering is empowering and gives you the opportunity to review
those things in your life that are essential while letting go of those items that no
longer serve you. Take a big breath, let it out and move forwards into 2024 with
more energy, focus and calm.

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