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Set Yourself Up for the New Year By Decluttering

Article by Dr. Wendy Thomson

The new year brings hope and often the opportunity for us to set goals for improvement. One of the greatest projects to start is decluttering. Both your space but also your spirit.

Decluttering your Space

  • Identify your “why” for decluttering your life.

  • Set some ground rules. Identify things you will NOT keep using the 3-second rule. If you cannot decide within 3 seconds, out it goes.

  • “Is this an item I’ve used in the past year?” If the answer was no, get rid of it.

  • Focus on one space at a time. It took years (even decades) to accumulate your stuff. It is not going to magically disappear overnight. Take your time and prevent overwhelm by focusing on one area at a time.

  • Sort your items into these four categories. Keep, Sell, Donate, and Throw Away. Use large dark garbage bags to put things in that are leaving your house. This prevents you seeing them in the bag and second-guessing if you should keep them. Once in the bag, it stays in the bag!

  • Set goals to hold yourself accountable and reward yourself when you finish a large task.

Decluttering your Spirit

  • Identify the “emotional rocks” that weigh you down. Where forgiveness is needed, what do I need to let go of history? You cannot move forward with one foot in the past!

  • Journal your thoughts. The act of writing down your thoughts takes them from your mind to your hand, to the paper. There is a therapeutic release when something leaves your mind, even if for a little while.

  • Walk it off. Just a short walk can boost your serotonin levels and give you clarity. Instead of scrolling through social media, get up and walk. Your heart and mind will thank you!

  • Ask for support. If you are struggling beyond these ways, our Support team is here for your family. UCP provides counseling for our families that is free and confidential. All our support staff hold Master's and Doctorate degrees in mental health and welcome the opportunity to help you. Ask your child’s teacher about it if you are considering reaching out for support.

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