FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

LIFE | New Year, New Lifestyle | Start 2015 Uncluttered

LIFE, SPACESLauren CaronComment

It's the new year and at this time there is often a focus on cleansing and uncluttering your life.  I'm one of those people that falls into that hole and creates goals about cleansing my life from my health to my home. I think a big reason for that may be because my birthday is on January 2 - so the new year has a major meaning to me. I've already purchased a 3-day refresh and PiYo kickstart challenge kit with workout DVDs that I will start on January 3rd (today if you're reading this on Monday). You can find information about that cleanse kit [here]. For anyone who is interested in how the 3-day refresh goes, send me an email on the 8th, I'd love to let you know!

For my home I plan to make a few slight changes that I'm hoping will help clear out the current clutter, cleanse the energy of our home to allow for positive energy to thrive and then I'm going to set a few things into practice to ensure that our home will remain uncluttered (to the best of my ability).

Image via T Magazine, photo by: Simon Watson

Image via T Magazine, photo by: Simon Watson

I have a deep love for minimalism however, I'm not much of a minimalist. I am a collector of clothes, furniture, fabric, artwork, shoes, accessories, ribbon, magazines, sketchbooks, pens, pencils, vessels, books, nail polish, textiles, etc. You name it I probably have several of it. Unfortunately, for my collecting habits, I live in an apartment that is under 700 square feet (with one other person and two dogs) so it's also really important that we don't live like hoarders with too much stuff. My motto is, if something doesn't fit, it doesn't belong. There are a few things I don't collect that I am constantly struggling with... junk mail is on the top of this list and I find it infuriatingly that I receive so much of it. Especially after I married my husband and changed my name - the amount has doubled. With that said, let's get down to it, first things first:  

DECLUTTER

I read about a ways to clear clutter from your home and I wanted to share my favorite techniques. 

  1. Fill one trash bag of stuff - Whenever you feel the need to declutter, just do this. It works. Channel that inner minimalist. Even better, set a timer - give yourself 15 mins to do this.
  2. Give/dispose of one item each day - This is an interesting concept and originated from the blog - 365 less things.  If you can remove one thing from your home each day, it will slowly and more easily help you in decluttering your life and your home, one object at a time.
  3. Give away 10 items in your closet right now -   10 items may seem like a lot, but it's not. I'm positive you have 10 things living in there that don't need to be. Try this once a month or every 3 months. You'll begin to see a difference in your closet. 
  4. The Hanger Technique - First of all, GENIUS. Turn all of your clothes hangers backwards in your closet. Each time you wear an item put it back the correct way. After 6 months you should have a clear idea of items you wear and items you don't, the ones you don't, donate or sell them. 
  5. The numbers method - Find 12 items to throw away, 12 items to give away, 12 items to keep and return to their correct location. Or spend 5 minutes, find 5 items to throw away, 5 items to donate, 5 items to return to reorganize.
  6. Donate any dishes, cups or bowls that are mismatched - Matched pieces stack easier in your cabinets and take up less space when put away.  Also, anything that is cracked or chipped - that's not personally or particularly valuable - throw them away.  This could probably work for anything that comes in pairs - socks. How many mismatched socks are you holding onto, hoping you'll find it's mate to? I have a ton. 
  7. Host a closet clearing party - I have been wanting to do this for a while. I have many friends with the same issue as me, we have a lot of clothes that we want to donate. Before we make the trip to Beacon's, why not throw a get-together. Everyone brings all the clothes they're planning to give away - hang them on a rolling rack and shop each other's closets. I'm sure there's a few ways you can organize the receiving process if there are a few covetable pieces. Pull from a hat, have an anonymous vote... and lots of wine! Whatever is left can be sold or donated. 

Another good list of things (116 to be exact) to throw away from your home is from Pop Sugar [here] (they suggested you make this little changes before the New Year, but it's never too late.)

CLEANSE

2014 was an intense year and along with the intensity came stress. That stress followed me home and I'm pretty sure created some pretty negative energy in our home. I'm not a super spiritual person, but I do believe in energy and that it can effect people. With that said, I'm planning for the first time ever to Sage our home.  

For those of you who aren't comfortable with this concept, other ways to cleanse the home - light sandalwood incense and I find it very refreshing to burn mint scented candles.  My absolute favorite -the Cire Trudon,  Abd El Kader (Morrocan Mint) candle. Totally worth the money. 

PUT IT TO PRACTICE

When you walk in the door, with your handful of mail,  the first thing you should do is recycle all of your junk mail immediately. An easy way to do that is to purchase two recycling bins for your home. One for plastic and glass, the other for paper. In my home I have two of the same garbage bins to maintain visual consistency, mine are the simple human ones from [here]. I'm planning to purchase a third one because I have always had the most trouble keeping my paper recyclables in check.  If you'd like, you can create labels for each bin, however, I like the look of them without better, and to keep track we always have the trash on the left and the bottles on the right. The paper will have to live in the middle from now on. Also to reduce the amount of junk mail, you can opt out by Registering online with the Direct Marketing Association. I just did.  

Another thing to do to maintain clutter is to be mindful of each item you're bringing home. I often struggle with the temptation of free samples we get throughout our lives, in the beauty department at stores I especially struggle with not bringing home all the samples I can fit in my handbag. I know I don't need thoses extra little bottles but free stuff sure is fun! Having the extra bottles of things I'll never use is just dumb. So I always think twice before I allow the sales associate to drop a few samples in the bag. 

If you're looking for a some "hacks" that will help you to simplify your life in 2015, check out a few of these [here]. I have to say the bread tag hack is so smart. 

Another favorite list, The 12 Golden Rules of Decluttering few of my favorite examples: 

1. Get rid of duplicates

4. Don't keep items out of guilt

8. Don't keep items you wouldn't buy now

Lastly, if you're a competitive sole, you can download this checklist and do a 30 day declutter challenge [here].

Hope these ideas were helpful. Thanks for reading and cheers to an uncluttered, organized and successful 2015!