The beginning of every year is a great time to take an inventory of all your possessions. Once you’ve done so, you need to consider what you should keep, store, or get rid of for good! If you stored anything over the holidays for extra room, this means you already started decluttering. Clearing clutter for the New Year is a perfect way to start off with a clean closet!
Think about whether it might be a good idea to keep some items in storage. Renting a self-storage unit can free up space that can be used for other things like holiday decorations, seasonal tools, heirlooms, and anything else you don’t use regularly, but also don’t want to get rid of either.
This concept sounds simple in theory, but how do you decide on what goes into storage? One rule of thumb is to separate your items into several main categories: Things to Toss or Donate; Things to Keep; Priceless Papers; and Seasonal Saves.
Tips for Decluttering for the New Year
1. Things to Toss or Donate
Get rid of all broken items; things you never use; clothes you no longer wear; old or unused office equipment or kitchen gadgets; and old magazines, newspapers, and books. Figure out whether you want to discard, sell, or donate these items.
2. Things to Keep
Besides items that you use on a daily, regular basis, hold onto memories and mementos that include any important photo albums, family heirlooms, priceless collectibles, antiques, or valuable furniture. These are items you don’t use every day, but that, have sentimental value of some sort.
3. Priceless Papers
Priceless papers are important documents you need to keep. They include things like taxes, investments, credit card statements, and loans. Home or vehicle documents, such as mortgage files, insurance policies, and appliance manuals should be always kept, while tax records should be kept for a minimum of seven years, and bank statements can be tossed after only a year. Always shred the documents you no longer need. Consider using a fire-proof safe for your current documents, and store the rest.
4. Seasonal Saves
Seasonal items you should save and store include a wide range of items such as clothing, holiday decor, lawn equipment, sporting gear, and outdoor equipment. These items generally take up space when they’re not being used. With a storage unit, you can pull out what you need, only when you need it, and store it for the rest of the year.
Once you have decided what to do with everything you aren’t keeping — get rid of it right away! Don’t let bags for charity or boxes for friends sit around in your home for weeks on end, or constantly say you’ll deliver them later. It’s better to get it out of sight and out of mind completely, and as soon as possible.