Cleaning your space can clear your path to success. You’re making space for your goals and a new you. We’ve gone into the archives and pulled up expert advice on what to declutter if you want to eat better, lose weight, spend more time with family, get out of debt and more.
by Aby Garvey
I don’t know about you, but every January I get the itch to declutter. Do you get this itch, too? Maybe it’s the fact that our homes are overstuffed with new things, or maybe it’s just a nice way to welcome in the New Year-with a cleaner slate and a bit of breathing room. Regardless of the motivator, decluttering is a terrific way to welcome the year, especially when you declutter with intention and purpose. In other words, when you identify something new that you want to create in the year ahead and let go of something old to support your desire, you create space for change. You also solidify your intention to make it happen.
As you think about your goals and resolutions for the New Year, consider what you can let go of to make space for the new. Here are some examples to get your creative juices flowing:
If you want to eat healthier, declutter your kitchen. Donate foods that represent your old eating habits to your local food pantry. Let go of items like your deep fryer or cookbooks that aren’t in sync with the new healthy eating habits you intend to create. When you declutter any item that symbolizes or enables unhealthy eating habits, you are creating space for new, healthier eating habits to come into your home and life.
If you want to lose weight, declutter your closet. Let go of a few items in the size you are right now and thereby create space in your closet for the size you intend to become. Of course, don’t let go of everything in your current size; just a few items will be enough to remind you that you intend to lose weight and fill your closet with items in a smaller size.
If you want to spend more time with your family, declutter your calendar.Take a hard look at your current commitments and decide to let go of one activity that no longer energizes or inspires you. Or, look for a routine task such as house cleaning or doing the dinner dishes that you can delegate to someone else-either for pay or simply because they’re a member of your family. It’s easier to have these conversations-to tell someone you’re no longer going to chair the volunteer committee or that you want to hire a cleaning service-when you’re specifically aware of what you’re creating space for-the important people in your life who currently aren’t getting as much of your time as you’d like.
If you want new clients or exciting new projects at work, declutter the files in your office. Pull a recycle bin or a shredder into your office, and watch your energy shift as you let go of old projects and paperwork. If you have items such as old client files that you must hold onto for legal or archive reasons, move these items to a file cabinet or file box away from your active files. When you create open space in your active project and client drawers, you create space for the new clients and projects to come in.
If you want to get out of debt or get more financially organized, declutter your wallet and purse. When you clear clutter from your wallet and purse, set the intention to be more financially organized. Set up a collection spot for receipts and bills that’s close to where you hang up your purse each night. Put a small envelope in your purse to collect receipts, and write an inspiring message on the outside of the envelope to remind you of your intention to get out of debt or improve your financial situation.
Decluttering something old is always a terrific way to create space for something new. But when you declutter intentionally by deciding what you want to let in, and then take steps to let go of something old to make space for this new thing, decluttering is an even more empowering experience.
This article orginially appeared in the GO Community on January 4, 2012.