"Happy New Decade"!!  Every January, ladies all over the world make plans to De-clutter their life. Somehow it appears that the older we get, the more stuff we seem to accumulate. Also, we tend to feel an unnecessary attachment toward everything. From your son's soccer trophies when he was ten, to a concert ticket from your early twenties, it’s always hard to part ways with our possessions - despite the fact that we hardly think twice about most of them anymore. When you’ve racked up years worth of belongings that you need to get rid of, it’s time to officially Marie Kondo your life.  Something doesn't spark joy?  Get rid of it!  And, let’s be real here - all of this stuff creates Clutter.

What is clutter? Clutter is anything you’re keeping around your house that doesn’t add value to your life. Why should you declutter? It relieves stress by providing a sense of control and accomplishment. Getting rid of the junk frees up a little extra space in the house that wasn’t there before. Some people may just need to purge before they move to a new house. Whatever your reason for decluttering your life and home, it inspires Freedom.
Do you actually need souvenir shot glasses from your girls trips decades ago, or those bridesmaid dresses collecting dust in the back of your closet? One word in big, bold letters. . NO!  Of course, there’s zero judgement for having any of this stuff on hand. Just reevaluate what you own versus what you actually need. Take all the time you need. . . a week, a month, a season, six months. . . Just do It!!
Before you get started, make a plan. No matter how many rooms or how much clutter you have to get through, starting with specific goals will reduce any frustration as you go. Pop in your favorite music, turn up the volume and dance around the room while you pack up the unnecessaries!
  • Old perfumes - We're all for an aesthetically pleasing perfume bottle display. But let's get real. . you've probably locked down your signature scent ages ago, so there's really no need to hold onto a handful of scented vials that are basically just for looks.
  • Multiple Remote Controls - If your coffee table is littered with remotes connected to the TV, DVD player, stereo, and who knows what else, it's time to consolidate to an all-in-one device.
  • Futon -  Nothing screams "college dorm room" more than this bed-couch hybrid. Pass this one on to your kids and make use of the leftover space with a new plant or art installment.
  • Old Phones  -  If you upgraded to a smartphone years ago and that Krzr is still sitting in your junk drawer, donate it to someone who can get more use out of it than you will. Contact your carrier to see if they work with any charities, or look into organizations like Cell Phones for Soldiers.
  • Old Greeting Cards  -  There comes a time in every adult's life when she should say adios to cousin Patsy's generic greeting card from 2013. Ditto for the one with the photo of her sweet kids and Santa - you can cherish that pic on Instagram, anyway.
  • Bras that Don't Fit -  If your girls are bulging out, your straps are digging into your shoulders, or your cups are gaping, it's time to give up on your old standby. Same goes for any bras that are really starting to show their age.
  •  Yellow Towels -  While washing your towels after every three uses and giving them a vinegar treatment will typically keep 'em fresh, if they're discolored, it's time to pony up for new ones.
  • "Skinny Jeans" -  Not referring to the style of your jeans, but rather those jeans you've held onto since you were 20, hoping they'd one day fit again.
  • Wire Hangers  - Those annoying things are always causing dents in your favorite dresses and getting tangled up in your freshly organized closet. Switch to wood or fabric and upcycle the wire ones into a whimsical craft.
  • Shoes that Hurt - No matter how cute they are or how perfectly they pair with your favorite Dress, if your heels hurt so much that you avoid wearing them - or worse, wear them and have to hobble all day. Add your kicks to the donation pile.
  • Makeup past its Prime  -  Concealers and liquid foundation can last for six months. After that you risk bacteria growing in the vile (yum!) while mascara should be chucked after three months. The good news is that your favorite lipstick and gloss can keep for two years.
  • Frameless Posters -  or basically any decor that looks like you bought it in your college bookstore. If it's a poster you love, frame it. Any inexpensive frame will do!
  • Orphan Socks -  We don't know why socks always run away after laundry sessions, but we do know that their fallen brethren aren't worth holding onto. Unless you're really into puppets.
  • Souvenir Shot Glasses  - If you can toss back a tipple in one of these and think back fondly on the trip you took, then by all means, keep one or two around for a wild game night. But if your collection is filled with unsentimental gifts, give something else the chance to gather dust.
  • Expired Spices  - The rule of thumb is that ground spices are good for about two to three years while whole spices can last up to four.
  • Smelly Tupperware  -  If it starts to permanently smell like leftovers, gets cracked or is discolored from too much time in the microwave, you should replace the plastic containers.
  • Business Cards  -  If you can no longer remember where you met the person whose card has been living in your wallet for two years, then say goodbye. However, if you happen to be holding onto a stash of contacts you want to network with, then use a rainy Sunday to digitize the good ones and recycle the duds.
  • Scattered Buttons  -  Unless of course you plan to use those abandoned buttons for a cute craft or have them prettily organized in a mason jar, those stray buttons lingering in old coat pockets aren't doing you any favors.
  • Paperback Books  -  If you have no interest in revisiting Rebecca (so eerie!) or other books you've read before, donate them to your local Goodwill or public library.
  • Broken Umbrella  - This one should go without saying, but why are they so hard to part with?
  • Old Craft Supplies Not Used  -  Tried to take up knitting but never got the hang? Thought you'd become a master scrapbooker but got bored after the first page? There's no shame, but there's also no reason to keep that stuff from a bygone impulse sitting around.
  • Your Child's Art  -  No, its not heartless and yes, you should most certainly keep the ones that bring a smile to your face; but you don't have to hold onto every bunny your little one ever drew.
Remember, you have options when it comes to getting rid of clutter, so you don’t have to feel guilty about putting everything in the trash. Mentally prepare yourself for decluttering your home and keep the following concepts in mind when you are struggling to part with something you haven’t used in a while:

1. The 80/20 rule: When it comes to clothing, we generally only wear 20 percent of the clothes we own 80 percent of the time. This rule tends to hold true for other things as well, such as video games, computer parts, books, DVDs, toys and more. Your mission is to get rid of the things you don’t use 80 percent of the time.
2. Get over sunk costs. In the world of economics, costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered are referred to as sunk costs. As you go through the items in your house, most things should be considered sunk costs (except for rare situations where an item may have increased in value). Since you cannot get the money back that you spent on that item, you should only think about the value that thing can add to your life in the future. Understanding this concept of sunk costs can help you make more rational decisions about what to keep and what you should toss.
3. Think of the last time you used it. If you haven’t used something you come across in the last six months, you should probably get rid of it. If you pulled the item out and said, “I’ve been wondering where this was!" you should probably get rid of it. And if you didn’t even know you still had the item in question, you should definitely get rid of it –you didn’t miss it enough to warrant keeping it.
4. Ask yourself if you love it. This may seem obvious, but sometimes we keep things we aren’t completely crazy about. Yes, sometimes we spend money on things we don’t love, and sometimes we don’t return them. But if you don’t love it, and you haven’t used it in more than 6 months, add it to the “Get Rid of It" bin.
5. Sleep on it. After you’ve made the decision to get rid of some of the clutter in your home, sleep on it. If there’s something you can’t live without, you’ll know in the morning. You can pull it out of the junk bin and put it away.
If it all seems too overwhelming, makes you anxious or upset! Before you commit to an entire room, start with a few small projects that will give you a sense of accomplishment when you’re done.  Believe me when I tell you, starting small is the way to go. . .  If you get stuck, Your Modern Family has a 30day DeClutter plan with a simple daily worksheet that could work for you.  No matter how careful you are with your money and how much you clean out the closet, there will always be something in your home to DeClutter.  Stuff just seem to grow overnight. . . .

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