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How to Clear Space for the New Year

The New Year is one of my favorite times of the year! I love the feeling of knowing a new leaf is turning, new opportunities are on their way. It also gives me a place to begin a new chapter and to clear out what’s lingering from the past year. 

Physically

  1. Go through stuff at the house.

    1. Donate things that do not serve purpose in your life anymore. I have been collecting boxes of things to go to Goodwill and to sell all year, it’s time to get them out of the house! Take some down time to go through things in your home. Ask yourself, “is it going to bring value to your New Year?” If the answer is yes, then put it away in an organized place; if no, then add it to the donate pile.
    2. Go through clothes and accessories. I like to do this a few times a year but this is a great time to really power through your clothes and accessories. What image do you want to project in the New Year? Does this piece fit that image? Check out Power Tips for an Awesome Closet Clean Out for more tips and ideas.
    3. Go through paperwork and files. I am notorious for collecting information and being a bit old school, I tend to print out everything and take lots of notes so I end up with lots of piles and files full of paperwork. (I’m working on this – Evernote is a great resource for keeping digital notebooks instead of lots of paperfiles). Sit down and go through all your paperwork, what is dire to keep? What can be put into digital form? Take what you decide to keep and organize into a binder or notebook and tuck safely on an organized shelf.
    4. Clean out car. Grab a trash bag and clean out the water bottles that have piled up. Clean out the console that’s been collecting gadgets and stuff. Give your car a good wipe down and hit a car wash so it’s shiny and clean for the New Year!
    5. Go through make-up and beauty products. Check expiration dates, a good rule of thumb for make-up is that if it’s over three months old, it’s time to toss it. Clean your make-up brushes to remove any dirt and bacteria and toss the colors you’ve never used (you can donate if it’s never been opened). Go through your hair products too – what are using, what have you not touched in six months? 
  2. Clean out digital.

    1. Clean out inbox. Go through all the emails you’ve been hanging onto – either complete the task or more the email into a folder for reference later. Unsubscribe to the emails that aren’t serving purpose or the places you don’t shop. I have found unroll.me very helpful in managing my emails. Check out How to Keep Control of Your Inbox for more tips.
    2. Go through social media accounts. Go through your accounts, who are you following just to follow? Clear out Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. to only include people and accounts that are bringing your valuable information, information and inspiration that fits your goals and your path. Unfollow negativity.
    3. Clean out computer files. Clean out duplicates of photos, delete documents that are no longer relevant. Organize documents into proper files. 

Mentally

  1. Lingering thoughts and emotions.

    1. Journaling. Take some time to yourself and write it all out. What are you still holding onto from the past year? Journaling has proven to help us work through lingering emotions and feelings so that we can work through the process of letting them go. 
    2. Meditation. I find that adding some deep meditation sessions to my schedule at the end of the year is a good way for me to work through the experiences left on my mind from the year. It helps me separate the lessons learned from emotions of the experiences.
  2. Set goals and intentions for the New Year.

    1. Goal Planning. What do you want to accomplish in the new year? Separate your goals into categories – personal growth & development, tasks, business goals,etc. I start with a full list and then I will work them into categories and build steps to reach those goals. Break your goals into monthly goals and set deadlines to reach them. This helps you build a solid plan to reach those goals.
    2. Setting up my Planner and Calendars. My favorite part of the New Year! Use some of the breakthrough work you completed in your goal planning to build your planner and calendars for the new years. What adventures and experiences do you want to set on your calendar? What habits and routines do you need to build into your planner to help you reach your goals? I’m looking at the Commit30 Planner or The Desire Map Planner for this upcoming year. 

Every year we get another opportunity to work towards building the life we dream of and become more of who we want to be! Set yourself up for a successful New Year by clearing the space you need to grow into everything you dream of! Check out these other great resources for your New Year’s Planning:

Tidying Up for a New Year

New Year Planning & Making Goals – Planners, Notebooks, and Accessories to Set Up Your Planner

5 Top Goals to Get Focused on Self-Improvement

 

All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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How To Build A Better To-Do List

Ah the mighty to-do list.

I have a saying for myself that goes, “if it makes it to the to-do list it’ll get done, if it doesn’t then it gets lost.” I depend on my to-do list like a road map to my duties, so much that it can get a bit out of hand sometimes. I have been working on mastering the to-do list process for many months (okay, seriously years) and I think I’ve finally nailed down a process that is working for me. It might continue to evolve as I do but for now I think I’ve got a pretty good way to keep my mega to-do list organized.

1.) Pick up a notebook to keep all your lists and notes in. I find it so much easier to be able to keep all my scribbles together to reference when I need to. I have an 8×10 notebook with a golden pineapple on the front and lined pages that I absolutely love. I feel chic and organized lol. Here are some other great notebooks to grab: Beautiful Notebooks To Keep You Organized. 

2.) When writing out your to-do list try and group things together when possible. I can usually do pretty good with this when I’m initially writing out my list but I find things get a little scattered as I add more tasks so I color-code tasks also. For example, purple is for blog tasks, pink is for boutique launching tasks, turquoise is for paintings for upcoming shows, and black is for everything else.

3.) Highlight priority tasks. I currently have two levels of priority – yellow for high priority and pink for very near future.

4.) Review your calendar and note deadlines on your to-do list next to the corresponding task.

5.) Add some fun to-do’s like ‘schedule dinner with a friend’. This helps keep you engaged with your list, keeping it from turning into the mundane.

6.) Keep your Bucket List separate from your to-do list. You may include tasks that need to be completed to work towards setting up something for your bucket list though. For example, scheduling an appointment, booking a hotel, buying tickets, or picking up needed supplies.

7.) Use the box and cross-out method in conjunction. Check or ‘x’ the box when the task is started or in progress, cross out when complete.

8.) Re-write your list weekly, you’ll notice some things change. Some things are added, some things fall off. Keeping your to-do list up to date will help you manage the tasks and deadlines.

9.) Review your to-do list daily. I review mine three times a day – once in the morning, once mid-day and once in the evening. This helps me add things that come to mind and helps me manage what needs to be completed in that day or the next.

10.) Keep it close by. I take my notebook with me almost everywhere. If I am going somewhere I can’t take it, then I’ll write out a short list on a post it to stick in my pocket. This keeps my top priorities in front of me for the day. This also helps me to plan them into my day. For instance, if I’m going to the grocery store and need to ship I package I can map out passing a mailbox or a shipping center.

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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Power Tips For An Awesome Closet Clean Out

 

So as I journey towards Minimalism, I find myself in a constant battle over my wardrobe. I love clothes and style, after all I had a focus in Fashion Design & Merchandising for part of my schooling. Moving to a ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ (even though I do think they are a wonderful idea!) is just not something that is a realistic goal for me right now but that doesn’t mean I can’t slender my wardrobe down. Each season, I make time for a good closet clean-out and overhaul.

Minimalism isn’t about only owning the less stuff you possibly can, it’s about only holding onto things that bring joy and value to your life so some thoughts to keep in mind when you’re going through your clothes (really think hard into these questions too!):

1.) Does it fit well?

2.) Do I feel confident and fabulous in it? Does it add value to my day?

3.) Have I worn it or do I see myself wearing it in the near future (in season – within the next month; out of season – within the next 3-6 months depending on the piece of clothing)?

The Tedious Process of the Closet Clean-Out (but oh so necessary!!!):

1.) Take everything out of your closet.

2.) Hang back up the things you wear routinely or absolutely love and can’t live without.

*Organize by either type of clothing (i.e. work, play, going out wear) or by color.

3.) Start three piles:

First Pile – Donate

Second Pile – Try On/Keep if fits well

Third Pile – Sell

And a trash bag

4.) Start going through everything. Go through each piece of clothing and separate into each  pile, tossing anything that is mega worn, has holes or tears and doesn’t have any life left in it.

5.) Try on the clothes that are in that pile. Hang up what you have decided to keep. Quick Tip: Put your out-of season clothes in the back of your closet and then switch out when the season changes. The clothes you’ve decided not to keep, split up in the other piles accordingly (donate/sell).

6.) Pack up clothes for donation. After they’re all packed up, put them by the door or in the car so that you take them next time you go out. The key is to getting them out of the house as soon as possible so they don’t end up sneaking back into your closet! One of my favorite places to donate is Soles4Souls – they even hooked up with Zappos now and you can get free shipping labels to send your stuff in. They take both clothes and shoes!

7.) Take out the trash bag! 

8.) Prepare/Pack up clothes to sell. There are tons of places to sell your clothes nowadays. Here are a few of my favorites:

Ebay – The process to set up a listing on Ebay has become much easier than it used to be. The downside is that I’ve found I don’t sell my items for very much money here but it’s a great place to get items sold quickly.

Swap.com – I am loving this site! I pack up my stuff and ship it in and they take care of the rest – photos, listing on their site, pricing and shipping to the buyer. This is a newer site for me so I’m still waiting to see how I profit out of it but I really love the ease of it. You have three options to ship your clothes to them – Print a prepaid label and ship in your own box (which is a decent size box, up to 17 x 17 x 20 and up to 50 lbs.), request a label to be mailed to you, or request a shipping bag with prepaid label. They take the shipping cost out of your profits so there’s no upfront cost. I also like that they will take all seasons of clothing (of course, it may not sell as well if it’s out of season but still so nice to have the option to be able to ship it all out at once!) and they take women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing.

Poshmark – This is an app based site so you’ll have to download the app to your phone but it’s pretty simple to use. You can take pictures of your clothing within the app which makes it a pretty seamless process. Poshmark is more of a social selling platform in which members follow your “closet” and share your listings to their followers. I’ve been a Poshmark member for few years and I’ve made some sales here and there. Be ready to reply to comments and questions on your items, I’ve found it’s definitely more a conversational sale. They also have the opportunity for members to make an offer on your items and you can bargain back and forth for the sale a little bit.

Brick & Mortar Consignment Shops – These can be nice because they’re local but I find them to be more time consuming. Typically you’ll bring your items in for review, wait while they review them, and then they will review what they are going to take and what they will be pricing at them with you. You’ll have to head back to pick up any unsold items and they usually mail you a check for your commission. If you go this route, I recommend trying to find a shop that will offer you cash on the spot for the items they accept – it saves you some trips!

Yeah, I know the big, awesome closet clean-out can be a good day’s work but that aahhh feeling you have afterwards is so worth it and it pays off in the long run. Keeping a clean, organized closet helps relieve stress in the morning when you’re getting ready, helps ensure you have clothes that make you feel your best each day, and saves you money by keeping you up to date on what you already have (so you don’t end up with duplicates) and keeping basics on key for each season.

Get rid of the closet clutter! 

All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please reference my disclosure page.