January. I have to admit, I LOVE January and the new year in general. It always feels like a clean slate to me and it’s usually a great time to get organised, clear some physical, digital and mental space (both at home and at work) and to plan the year ahead.
You’ve probably already started something, whether it be a “dry” alcohol free January or quitting sugar for a month or some other health related resolution(s) BUT what about your space? Doesn’t it deserve a “cleanse” too? Just like our bodies, our homes also suffer from our busier and busier lives and end up with unsightly bumps and bulges where they shouldn’t be! So, it’s time to also give them a little attention and a quick clean up.
There are a lot of easy options or little things that you could start with so I thought I would start with what I’m doing right now…hopefully it gets you inspired – we’d love to hear your ideas of quick little things that have a big impact so comment away or even send us some pictures or your befores & afters.
My cleanse (besides reducing my sugar and dairy intake!) involves:
1. A Digitial Cleanse
– I am going through my (hundreds of – eek) photos and deciding what the best ones are and DELETING the rest.
– Old e-mails, files, bookmarks, text messages etc are being reviewed then deleted or, where necessary, archived.
– The last, but definitely not least, part of this is to BACK UP what you want to keep. An external storage device and/or something in the cloud is highly recommended!
2. A Physical Space Cleanse
– Just like your digital files, do the same with your physical ones … go through pieces of paper, do the filing that’s piled up across the year and THROW out items that are no longer relevant.
– If you’re like me and own your business, throw out any items that you no longer need to hold for tax purposes or are no longer relevant. If you’re not sure, usually it’s OK to scan and file some items digitally rather than hold on to paper.
– Usually this is a lot bigger than your office so you’ll have to devote more time to this. I like to get the whole family in on the action, so the kids have been involved in sorting their books and toys (we usually do this in early December, to make room for Santa to bring new things, otherwise he can’t – works like a charm … we’ll deal with the whole truth about Santa thing when they’re older, hehe), hubs is going through his “man” stuff (to be honest he has clothes and a teeny tiny cupboard) and well, the rest is for me. Most of our home is looking good but I seem to attract paper like moths to a flame so that’s where I’m focusing on for January.
I really have noticed that when things are organised that I achieve more and I’m much happier – and recent studies have actually shown this happiness link too.
The best way to approach a cleanse is to take it step by step or in small chunks. As we always say “Just start … with a corner” (or a table top, or drawer etc). Plan some uninterrupted time to devote to a small task and focus on that until it’s done (this is important – started but unfinished items all over the place will only make things worse, not better!). Work quickly and keep a “don’t know” pile to help you work quickly. For most things, you’ll know exactly what to do with them … the don’t know pile you can tackle at the end. Do what you need to spur you on, whether it’s great music to dance and clean to or catching up on some TV series while you delete your files (yes, that’s what I’m doing – love Netflix!).
Once you’ve removed all the unnecessary items, you may find that you need to rethink your storage. More on storage and making the most of every inch of your space in an upcoming post! In the interim, good luck and happy clean, tidy cleared spaces to you!