For us, January is the month to start the year right. Not in a pressure-filled, resolution-keeping kind of way though, more like reflecting on what you’d like to achieve or change in the upcoming year.
Here’s what can be found on my list: making more time for myself, read more, go outside more often, etc. I also wrote down a note to keep being mindful about my belongings. I wish to only own items that are useful, ones that I appreciate and that represent my core values. It might sound simple, but it’s not an easy task to keep doing daily. We are all human here, and we live for our impulses, our desires. Plus, let’s be honest, there are some brilliant marketing campaigns out there, expertly designed to keep us wanting more. So it truly is a constant reflection to be made. This all might sound a bit heavy, maybe even demanding, but it’s nothing compared to the immense liberation the act of decluttering brings. Think about it: less cleaning and more space in your home! We could all get used to that!
First step is cleaning, obviously. There are many books written about the art of cleaning, guides to a clutter-free home etc. Marie Kondo wrote one that was quite successful, and in it she suggests going through each item owned and to ask yourself if it “sparks joy”. If the answer is yes, you keep it, if not then out it goes! If this sounds too drastic for you, like it does is for me, take this idea and adapt it to your needs (just like any piece of advice in life, ever). Maybe try it one room at a time, slowly. If there are items, or pieces of clothing you are torn about getting rid of, simply store them away in a box for two months. If you did not need it during that time, chances are you truly don’t need it around anymore, so you can pay it forward in peace. There are many charities where you can go drop off your belongings (Maison du Père, Centre de dons pour femmes, Renaissance, etc.) that will then be sold or distributed to those in need. Or maybe spread the word amongst your loved ones, you never know who could need that extra spatula or that shirt that you no longer want!
Go through your rooms one by one, at your own pace and declutter your life from items, clothes or products you don’t use anymore or that you keep because it was a gift from someone. Once you commit to a space, go all-out and clean it thoroughly in one sitting to not draw out the process and then give up half-way through. Go for that bathroom drawer filled with elastics and products or the one in your nightstand that is only used as a junk drawer anyways.
Once you’ve triaged everything and decided what to keep, re-organize your closets and cupboards. I personally like to organize my kitchen per meal or food type (breakfast items, flours etc.) find a system that works for your household and get creative with it. Being organized in your home has many benefits, such as being more efficient around the kitchen, assessing your inventory at a glance as well as getting ready a lot more quickly in the morning etc. Plus, when it comes to your decor, your space will be kept simple, minimal thus giving your carefully selected items the spotlight they deserve! Think of all the dusting and cleaning time you will save! Now that’s motivation! ;)
Now it should be noted that there’s no need to throw out your grand-parents keepsakes, or all your valuables, simply keep what is needed and donate what is not of true value (emotional or practical) around the house.
Once everything is cleared out, another thing to keep in mind is to not replenish your cupboards once there is more room! We are all conditioned to having many things, it’s all about abundance these days. So, your not-so-filled cupboards and shelves might seemed a bit weird at first, but remember, less is more!
Your next purchases can all be done in second-hand stores or even on Kijiji or LesPacs. You would be surprised what can be found and how much money can be saved!
Let’s sum it up:
- Pick a room.
- Triage everything. Set aside what you would like to keep, donate and make a box with what you are not yet sure of.
- Clean the room thoroughly.
- File and organize what was kept.
- Bring the items to donate in select stores (see list below).
- Shop in second-hand stores when you need “new” items.
- Live happily!
From this point on, keep in mind that collecting moments not things is best in the long run ;)
«Le zen enseigne que c'est à travers le ménage que l'on se purifie. Remettre un objet à sa place, ranger une pièce et refermer la porte sur un endroit absolument immaculé signifie dépoussiérer le monde. Le nettoyage met en valeur l'essence de l'homme et de la nature.» Dominique Loreau, L'art de la simplicité
Where to bring your: