What always tends to happen after a season of excess? We seek to trim back. Whether it’s our weight, the volume of household items, the plethora of candles we seem to have accumulated over the holiday season, January is all about cutting back and/or storing away for a rainy day. With that in mind, this month we offer some tips and tricks for trimming not just your waistline but perhaps your sight lines too!
With such a focus on health in January we can’t emphasize enough how important the simple act of de-cluttering can be. In terms of your mental well being, it’s just as important to your health as watching what you eat and exercise. Studies have been done and much has been written about the importance of cleaning away clutter as a valuable tool in helping to improve our state of mind. A clean, tidy and well-organized home makes other goals easier to achieve because you have freedom to move about with obstruction, to work without debris surrounding you and to clean around the house without clutter in the way. In the dark days of January, clean and clutter-free will help improve overall mood for sure!
Organizing isn’t simply a matter of shoving things in boxes however. You’ll just get frustrated when it’s time to unpack them again! If you are going to take the time to organize and refresh your space, take the time to do it right by employing some of these simple tricks:
- Start by purchasing organizing bins that neatly stack together when the lids are closed, creating “storage towers” that maximize your use of storage space.
- Neatly label each and every bin and be specific about what is in them. If you are packing away holiday décor for example, label bins by type of décor and room in which they were used rather than just labeling the box “Christmas.”
- Keep “like with like.” One box has all your dishes, another for all your keepsake ornaments and still another for your room specific décor items.
- Before placing an item in the box ask yourself some hard questions. Do I really like this item? Is this a treasured family heirloom? Will I use it again? If you’ve pulled out the same ornament, wreath or garland three years in a row, only to shove it back in the box haphazardly and unused – it’s time to trash, recycle or donate it.
- Many of us put some items away over the holidays to make room for the seasonal décor. Use the post holiday clean up as a time to de-clutter the whole home. Now it’s time to ask those hard questions in reverse. What really needs to be brought back out and put on display? After all the excess of the season, employ the “less is more” strategy and leave some open spaces on your shelves, tables and mantle. Clean lines are calming.
- Choose to “curate” your home. Like a museum, put out only your best pieces, the ones that hold the most cherished memories. Create a rotating storage system where you maintain a small “archive” of beautiful family photos for example and put them out on rotation – changing them up every couple of months, perhaps with the seasons. Think that sounds like a lot of work? Not if you’ve taken the time to create storage space that is labeled, stacked and easy to sort! Just like trimming our waistlines and many other things in life, a little bit of hard work up front will leave you reaping the rewards for many years to come.
January is often a time where we voluntarily hunker down indoors. Nights are dark and feel longer, it’s cold outside and the idea of a warm and toasty fireplace (real, gas or electric) is just too inviting to pass up. What’s more calming then cuddling up in a blanket with a hot cup of tea or cocoa and staring at the flickering flames? If what draws our eye is the flame and what gives us comfort is the blanket and the coziness of the room, we certainly don’t need to clutter up the mantle or table with a plethora of pictures or tchotchkes. Leave room on the table for the mug of hot chocolate and enjoy the peace and serenity of a space that is well used AND well utilized.