It’s a new year people, time to clean out your home afresh

Living room

Properly stored items will maintain their condition and serve you better, for longer.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • There are items that are usable now and in the future, but don’t bring you any joy.
  • If you haven’t used it in the last six months, and it’s not a seasonal item, you don’t need it.

Hey there!

My name is Bett and I am a bit of a hoarder. Just a little bit. I like to hold on to items that I no longer have use for. I tell myself that broken items can be fixed or repurposed for something else. Heck, that they can be disassembled and the parts sold as spares.

Case in point: I bought our toddler one of those hand-woven papyrus baskets for her room to use as a laundry basket. She would squeeze herself into the basket when playing hide and seek with her friends. The basket would squeak. And stretch. And lose shape. Eventually the bottom fell through.

I didn’t have the stomach to discard the basket, I mean, it’s just too gorgeous! (And it can be hang upside down and repurposed as a lampshade!) I have already repurposed the fallen-out bottom as a wall hanging. Anyway, the basket is now sitting in our laundry, atop of other dusty waiting-to-be discarded items.

So that’s my confession. What’s yours, dear reader? We are at that time of year when hoarders like yours truly are forced to look into the mirror and confront this terrible habit – we are a few days into the new year and there is a collective ache to start off on the right foot. Ride on the high of this energy and go from room to room in your home.

Empty out spaces onto the floor and go through each item, asking yourself these three crucial questions, and in this order: Do I still use this item? Have I used it in the last six months? If not, why? Does it bring me joy?

Decluttering along these guidelines will land your items into one of the following three piles:


Keep items that you still use and that you have used in the last six months. Mind you, some items may be usable but will not have been used in the last six months because they are season-driven. Say accessories for swimming or decorations for the holidays.

Those that you choose keep, properly store them in the right place and in the right way. Properly stored items will maintain their condition and serve you better, for longer.


There are several ways to discard your items. Toss your unusable items into the trash. Unusable here means it is in such a state that it cannot be fixed to be used again. You can resell your usable items online. I have also encountered swap parties. A soirée where your entrance is an item you want to discard – you will go with your own item, you leave with someone else’s item. It’s a win-win for everyone.


There are some items in your home that are usable now and in the future, but don’t bring you any joy. The energy these items radiate is not on a positive frequency. They upset your chi. Say, a gorgeous rug from a manipulative landlord. A wall hanging from an abusive parent. A bed you shared with an ex.

Don’t keep items in your home that don’t bring you joy, donate them instead. Don’t sell them because that money won’t bring you any joy either. Let your items bring joy into someone else’s space and life. You may also have items which bring you immense joy but you have no use for. I usually donate my children’s outgrown clothes and shoes and books to a children’s home.

Pro tip: Donate items that answer no to two of the decluttering guidelines.


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