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New year, same you, but let’s face it – 2020 was nothing short of an eventful year! From the global COVID-19 pandemic, quirky Netflix shows like Tiger King and Love is Blind, trends like baking bread and the never-ending Zoom video meetings – this year is one for the books! Many folks have been spending a lot more time indoors at home. As many are experiencing this, it means our homes are being utilized at full capacity! More dishes, more cooking, more mess, and more happening during the day! For many, the home has also turned into school, work, and daycare, all-in-one. That is a major change to adjust to.
Resolutions are resolutions for a reason. It’s an acknowledgment that something along the way has not gone as great as you’ve hoped and it’s a conscious decision to move forward in a new and different direction. By addressing your surroundings, your environment, and the immediate space that you live in, you will be better able to tackle your new New Year’s resolutions for 2021.
Tips&tricks from a professional organizer
To begin, let’s start with some questions to ask yourself when decluttering include:
- When was the last time I used this?
- Why don’t I use it more often?
- Does it have sentimental value?
- Do I love it?
- If I keep it, where should it go?
As a professional organizer, I witness the immense relief that comes with decluttering and organizing our home. I often deliver those donations to charities and organizations such as Furniture Bank, which helps families have furnished homes.
Since the start of the lockdowns in March, you may have noticed unfinished projects in your home, maybe you are unsure where to begin, or maybe the amount of clutter building up seems endless! Fortunately, there are solutions. You deserve a fresh start and a home to feel comfortable in. Start by sorting, move onto decluttering, and finally begin organizing the items. Then, maintain and repeat. You do not need to organize your entire home in a day (in fact, I strongly recommend you start small!). Begin with one area or room in your home. Keep in mind, if you feel motivated to declutter during a lockdown that means certain charity drop-offs will be closed. Fortunately, Furniture Bank remains open through its safe pick-up option. Simply head to https://www.furniturebank.org/request-a-pick-up/ to request a donation pick-up.
Remember, quality over quantity! It is much better to have a few memorable possessions that you love and always use than to have many things that weigh you down or clutter that creates unnecessary stress in your daily life- our lives are stressful enough! If you are worried about items being wasted, you can rest assured knowing that your household items will be put to good use! “Over half a million Canadians live in social or affordable housing, with a waitlist of nearly 300,000. When people living in poverty do find housing, they often have no beds to sleep on, places to sit, desks to study at, or pots and pans to cook with” (Furniture Bank, 2020).
Decluttering is an effective way to practice self-care as it helps you take control of your home, your life, and your “stuff” to improve your overall well-being and sense of wellness.
Benefits of decluttering
These are only some of the benefits of donating your unused/unwanted household items:
- More space in your home gives the perception of a larger living space
- Less stuff to maintain and tidy up
- It can improve your mental health by reducing stress or overwhelm
- It can improve your quality of sleep
- Reduce the chances of purchasing items you already have
- Reduce the effects of allergens in your home due to dust build-up
- You can better see what you already have
- Increase your ability to focus
- You are turning your clutter into something positive by donating your unwanted or used goods
- Your unused household items will be greatly appreciated by someone in the community
- Decluttering can serve as a fresh start!
It is so beneficial to declutter as you transform any area in your home. It’s beneficial for your living environment, your mental health, and so much more! Consider donating to a local registered charity such as Furniture Bank. Organizations like Furniture Bank are striving to uplift the community by providing essential household items. According to Furniture Bank, each person moving into an empty apartment requires a minimum of $4000 in available funds to turn empty housing into homes. Furniture Bank is actively working towards ending furniture poverty and supporting communities and families that need the most help.
As we move into a new year, we can’t help but reflect on everything that has transpired this year. It’s okay to let yourself feel sad when you need to, to feel disappointed, or even to be nervous. You are in charge of where you direct your energy. We cannot control how other people behave or act. Take it day by day – we are only human, after all. You are in control of your decisions. You are in control of how you treat others and yourself. You are in control of what items come and go into your home. And if you live with multiple people, have a conversation about clutter management. Channel these worries and anxiety into writing, a 5-minute vent with a loved one can go a long way, or take the day to rest. Whatever scenario applies or realistic to you. During a time where many of us feel a lack of control, this is an excellent reminder that we do have control over the stuff in our home. And, we can support our community all while transforming our home.