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Susie Almaneih: 7 Ways To Clear Out Clutter That Can Benefit Your Whole Family
MAKING ROOM FOR
THE NEW YEAR:
7 WAYS TO CLEAR OUT
CLUTTER THAT CAN BENEFIT
YOUR WHOLE FAMILY
A little purification is a perfect way to
celebrate the end of one year, and the
arrival of another.
How many times
have you done a
cleaning, only to
turn around what
minutes later to
find that it is
once again a
If you are like
families, this is a
As we head into a new year, consider some
tricks that can affect long-term change to
keep the house in order.
Humans respond to order; it makes us
calmer, and when we are calm, we are
generally more productive, more
creative, and feel a little more confident.
All in one go.
A Japanese saying, ikki ni, essentially translates to “all in one go.”
In this context, it means that most people don’t push all the way
through the organization process and therefore, they end up tidying
If you put your house in thorough order, tidying then becomes
natural, even if you are usually disorganized. Buckle down and get
the whole crew in on the action. It’s a good feeling to tackle a big
project and see the tangible results.
Don’t store first and discard later.
Here is another perfect
example of how clutter
because we don’t want
to take the time. Toss
the hypotheticals that
you may put the thing to
use once day, make
some tough decisions
about those boxes of
college love letters, and
make friends with the
feeling of letting old
symbols go. It really
feels good to have less.
Don’t keep anything out of guilt.
Stop and think about all the items in your house that
you keep out of some misplaced obligation. Even though
it’s not in the forefront of your mind all the time,
collectively these things represent a lot of mental
energy. You really understand this when you move.
Ditch that stuff; it’s weighing you down.
If it takes less than five
minutes, don’t put it off.
It is so easy to procrastinate by putting little tasks off,
telling ourselves that whatever it is will take too long. The
problem is that those tasks mount and suddenly there are
40 five-minute tasks. Tick that stuff off your list as you pass
by, and you may surprise yourself with the results.
A different approach to toys.
Educator Kim John Payne says that kids with too much stuff
in their lives are actually more likely to be overwhelmed and
anxious. In a world where we have so many choices, we can
often feel overwhelmed, and that is just as true with kids.
Payne recommends that we choose toys our children
can have an evolving relationship, like musical
instruments, art supplies, and construction.
The less clutter, the more likely kids are to evolve and
get creative with the things they do own.
A place for everything.
You’ve heard this before, but it really does work: when you
use the right criteria for keeping things, such as their
practical use and their meaning, you are essentially
prioritizing for these things by making a permanent place for
them. You are then laying the groundwork for reflexively
replacing these things in their own “home” and making it way
easier for everyone in your household to do the same.
TOYS ART CLEANING
Emphasize the intangibles.
We place such a high premium on owning things in our
culture, that we often miss another, more meaningful
opportunity: experience. The next time you are considering
another purchase, consider the following questions: is this
something you will utilize and/or cherish for a long time?
Will it benefit everyone?
Is there a performance, trip, or other experience
that will give you more lasting satisfaction?
We could all use less stuff and more open space,
more clarity, more calm.
The New Year is an ideal time to reframe,
reorganize, and retrain your entire family’s
habits to keep things simple.