Getting ready for next year
This message can be relevant now just as it was 12 months ago. It’s a recurring issue, even if we have successfully removed most of the excess items from our homes. However, this is not the case with the majority of people. We want to age in place – to spend our remaining years in our current home, but the items we have collected to remind us of past events might be getting out of hand and taking over our living space.
There may come a time in many homes when they simply are too cluttered to live in comfortably and safely. We will have accumulated so much stuff from our journey through life that our ability to use our home effectively may come into question.
This is the perfect time to begin culling that large amount of stuff that has accumulated – not to discard all of it, but to simply organize and manage it. We may find that much of what we thought was extremely valuable to us or potentially others at the time has faded in importance.
Packing lighter for the new year
If we think of entering the new year as taking a trip that we have been planning, we want to pack wisely for it. We can only take so much. No one would show up at the airport with dozens of boxes or suitcases.
Using the same idea, what makes sense to take with us on our journey into 2022? Put another way, what did we add to our homes in 2021 that we didn’t have a year ago, and what did we discard or relocate to make room for those additional items?
If we just keep adding to our total, we are never going to get a grasp on all of our stuff. It could potentially take over our homes and actually make us adapt and adjust to it rather than being in control of it.
A net-zero concept
Beginning on January 1st (everyone gets a 2-week grace period), let’s vow to only bring into our homes (not counting groceries and other necessary items such as toiletries and cleaning supplies) items that we can identify a ready place for them to live. This likely means removing something else and donating, selling, or saying goodbye to it.
When we commit to only saving keepsakes, instructions to appliances, warranty information, magazines, certificates, books, awards, last season’s clothing, and so much else that we feel reasonably confident we will use or need again, we can find a place to store them. It’s those marginal items that we can’t really justify keeping or remember why we decided to retain them that can begin going away.
Our homes can begin a slim-down regimen for the coming year.