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Wish your life had a little less clutter? Start dealing with it now!

Woman making a bed

Sure, decluttering might seem like the craziest thing we could suggest in the middle of making the holiday magic happen, but here’s the thing: maybe it could actually bring you a little more joy this holiday season.

According to Marie Kondo—author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up—getting rid of things that don’t bring you joy is an important first step to happiness. And heck, she’s gotten more than four million people to buy her book so maybe she’s on to something! We’ll let you decide what you think about Marie’s approach  to a decluttered life, but in the meantime, here’s ours!

Before you start your declutter mission, find four boxes or bags, label them—Donate, Sell, Toss, Keep—and prepare to sort! As you sort, keep the following in mind:

Haven’t used it in a year? Get rid of it. Unless you’re currently pregnant or recently had a baby, anything in your closet that you haven’t worn in the past year is probably something you’re never going to wear again (You know it’s true!). And the same goes for that waffle iron you got as a gift 10 years ago that you’ve never used. These things are just taking up closet space when they could be making someone else very happy.

Don’t give your junk to charity. They do not want or need the Monopoly game that’s missing half the pieces, your ratty sweatpants or the ski parka that was “so cute” in 2001. Charities have to pay to get rid of your garbage. Save them time and money and do it yourself.

Give yourself a time limit. The messy basement, the overflowing attic, your kid’s toy room. Don’t you feel tired just thinking about them? Instead of an all-or-nothing approach to decluttering, give yourself a set amount of time to clean. Successfully tidying up the junk drawer could energize you to clean something else!

Don’t second-guess yourself. Make a decision and stick with it.

Don’t buy storage bins until you’ve cleaned. There are way too many clever storage options out there. Don’t buy until you know exactly what you’re buying for. Extra storage can entice you to keep things you don’t need.

Get rid of your sorted items, pronto! Don’t let them sit around cluttering up your car or front hall. Take them to Goodwill, put them in the garbage or give them to a friend who truly wants and needs your hand-me-downs—today.

The special challenge of mementos. We’re not monsters! We know there are some things that are just too special and need to be kept. But that doesn’t mean EVERYTHING needs to be kept or that you have to keep it in its original form. Those special treasures your kids have made over the years? Take a picture and make yourself a nice (mini!) photo album. You’ll have all those lovely memories in one small space.

Go ahead! Give these ideas a try. And you’ll be on your way to owning a less cluttered 2017! Happy Holidays from your friends at Summit. 

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