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Finish the Year With a Lighter Load

I know it’s a cliched thing to say but, Can you believe another year has almost gone?

What did the year hold for you? Were you thrown new challenges? Or new opportunities? Which doors closed for you? Or opened to you?

What made you proud? What brought joy to your heart? In what ways did you grow? What gave you hope?

What made you sit up and realise that life, even with all its challenges and difficulties, is a precious gift?

For me, the closing out of the year is a time to look inward and ask myself questions like these. It’s a time to look back and ponder, drawing lessons and conclusions. And it’s a time to lighten my load and jettison stuff: clothes I don’t wear, shoes that have seen better days, plans that didn’t work out, grand ideas that turned out to be not so grand, and mindsets and expectations that no longer reflect my current reality.

There’s a delicious irony to taking control of things and scaling back at a time of year that is particularly chaotic for most people.

So with just a few weeks of the year left, I thought I would offer you a platter of 10 suggestions to lighten your living space and ease your state of mind.

10 Simple Decluttering Tasks

We’re not scaling mountains here; each of these tasks can be done in 10 minutes or less. Do them all or do just a few. Relax… there are no rules!

  1. Kitchen Counters: Spend 10 minutes putting away any dishes, appliances, or other items that don’t belong on your kitchen counters.
  2. Magazines and Catalogues: Recycle anything that’s outdated or that you’re no longer interested in.
  3. Shoes: Take a quick look at your shoe collection and get rid of any pairs that are worn out, uncomfortable, or no longer fit properly.
  4. Bathroom Cabinets: Toss any empty bottles and expired or unused toiletries and cosmetics. Put away any toiletries or makeup that have been left out.
  5. Bookshelf: Donate or give away any books you’re not interested in anymore or won’t read again. Neatly organize the rest.
  6. Socks and Underwear: Toss any items that are worn out or have holes. Remove any lurking lone socks.
  7. Cables and Chargers: Organize your cables and chargers and get rid of any duplicates or broken ones.
  8. Organize your jewellery: Sort through your collection, untangling any necklaces and putting earrings back in pairs. Toss any that are broken. Sell, donate, or give away any pieces that you no longer wear.
  9. Purge your pantry: Toss out any expired items or food you won’t eat and organize the items you want to keep.
  10. Digital Clutter: Spend 10 minutes deleting any old emails, photos, or files that you no longer need on your computer. Delete any unused apps on your phone, clear out old messages, and organize your apps into folders.

If you feel really motivated, you could knock these tasks over in just 10 days if you tackle one a day. Or space them out if a more leisurely approach is a better fit. Whatever the pace, imagine how good it will be to start the new year feeling lighter and more centred, with space to breathe and room to grow.

Less Stuff = More Joy

Remember, simplifying isn’t about stripping your life to the bare bones; it’s about refining it to its essence. Every item you release is a step towards less stress and more joy.

If you are into journaling (or drawing or mind-mapping), here’s a prompt for you:

What do you want to leave behind this year?

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Self-Esteem

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Learn about 3 things you can ditch today for a lighter tomorrow (downloadable pdf).

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