By Felicia Czochanski
It’s amazing to think 2023 is already here. There’s so much to look back on in the past year, and so much to look forward to in the months to come. The new year comes with an energy shift. Opportunities are endless, positive change feels ripe for the taking. Part of this is due to the clean slate of an empty calendar waiting to be filled up, and part of this comes with reflection.
One of my favorite rituals going into a new year is to carve out the time for a deep clean of my apartment. Not only is it the perfect time for a refresh, but cleaning, organizing, and decluttering has so many physical and mental benefits that can help you head into a prosperous new year. One of these is as simple as taking the time to reflect on the past year as you’re going through home items and clothing. Each physical item might hold a memory, whether it’s good or bad – a dress you wore to a funeral, or the fun sequin skirt you wore for your birthday. For the memories that you might not want to hold onto any longer, or the items that may have never been worn because there just hasn’t seemed to be the right occasion, set them aside in a pile. As you tackle each part of your home, the pile should grow. Eventually, you’ll have an amazing pile of things to donate to your local Goodwill, where they’ll be given new life by other people who will be excited to make their own memories with them.
In removing unwanted or unneeded items for your space, you’ll find that you are able to feel the benefits of letting go. It helps to know the items you set aside to donate will continue on their journeys to new people and families in your community through Goodwill stores and programs, and it helps when you have them out of your house and walk back into the decluttered transformation and feel like you can breathe a little easier. It’s been proven that decluttering helps reduce stress. It also makes room for new memories and opportunities that you’ll feel more ready for as they pop up.
My biggest tip for decluttering as we head into the new year? Don’t try to do it all at once. Decision-making fatigue is a real thing and trying to tackle too much can lead to an unfinished task. Plan a section of the home to tackle each day, or a smaller section to do first thing when you wake up or right before bed. It’s amazing to see what you can accomplish in just 15 or 20 minute increments, and how different your home will look and feel once you’re done. From the “before” photo to the “after” photo, to the photo of my donation pile below, it’s amazing how much a little motivation and just a few minutes each day can get done.
Are you taking the new year declutter challenge? Share your journey and donation piles with us on @goodwillintl for a chance to be featured in a future blog!