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Reframe • Be Present

January is ripe for decluttering. Our homes need it, and so do we. Clean and tidy spaces tend to help most of us feel better and be more productive. That’s why you’ll see a deluge of “How to Declutter” articles this time of the year. However, I’m suggesting that you try a different approach. Instead of pressuring yourself to reorganize the entire house, reframe.

What if instead of allocating hours at a time to rummage through closets, sorting what gets trashed, what goes to Goodwill, and what remains, you took another approach? For the next week try clearing one small area each day. Perhaps it is one bin of your childhood memorabilia. Or maybe it’s the pile of shoes at the bottom of your closet. Today I think I am going to tackle my jewelry drawer. You know, decide what costume jewelry is no longer in style (Goodwill), detangle chains, and reevaluate what is important to me. It won’t take long, but it will be meaningful. And one more thing. Try to be present while doing this. My tendency when clearing was to divert my brain with television or music, not really paying attention to what I was doing. Now, I’m going to really think about what stays and what goes.

Do I need it? If I don’t, can someone else benefit from it? Or, is it so old/worn/out of style, that it’s lived a useful life and it’s not time to say goodbye?

So, grab a cup of your favorite warm beverage and begin clearing. Start small. Give yourself permission to linger and recall the memories associated with various items. Then, if it is time, let it go. (Tip - I’ve been taking pictures of things that have meaning but I no longer want to store. That way, I won’t forget.)


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