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10 Tips For A Midyear Decluttering

Cat Coluccio July 2023

Declutter To Reinvent: Cat Coluccio

Are you feeling overwhelmed by clutter in your home or office?

There’s no need to panic or feel like the wheels have completely fallen off the clutter-free resolution you made six months ago for the new year!

July is the perfect month to refresh and reorganize your surroundings. Helping you create order and space before you kick into fall and the new academic year in the northern hemisphere. Or emerge from your winter hibernation into spring and the run up to the holiday season in the southern hemisphere.

“Having a prioritized list of tasks can make the mission feel less overwhelming.”

Whether your goal is an organized living room, a more efficient workspace, less time wasted on your device, or a decluttered and peaceful mind, this month’s ten tips will help you embark on a midyear decluttering adventure that will help you regain your space and your sanity!

10 Tips for Midyear Decluttering:

1. Formulate a Plan: Try to resist just plunging in and take the time to plan. Consider what time and effort can be allocated towards this endeavour as well as what areas will need the most attention in your home. Having a prioritized list of tasks can make the mission feel less overwhelming. And will make your sessions more productive.

2. Declutter in Stages: Instead of trying to tackle all aspects of decluttering all at once, break things into manageable tasks over a few weeks or months. For example, tackle one room or part of one at a time. Tackle that one area, before moving on to the next. This way you’ll be encouraged each time you complete an area, and motivated to keep going.

3. Consider the One-Year Rule: If an item hasn’t been used or worn in over one year, chances are you don’t really need it and it may be time to let go. This rule can apply to clothing, kitchen appliances, gadgets, books, toys and indeed anything that take up space that could be better utilized!

4. Utilize Storage Solutions: Creative storage solutions can make an enormous difference to a room’s aesthetics. Invest in stylish storage boxes, furniture with built-in storage solutions, and hanging shelves to optimize your spaces. These don’t need to be costly. There are fabulous inexpensive options these days, and with a creative touch. Not only will your space be tidy and decluttered, you’ll be updating the look of your space at the same time.

The Digital Era:

5. Welcome to the Digital Era: Paper documents no longer serve a useful purpose. Therefore, shred old bills, bank statements and files after scanning and securely back-up their digital copies. This exercise alone will make a huge difference. After all, there is nothing worse than walking in the door after a long day to be greeted by a huge pile of bills! As well, while you are on your various devices, what old files can be tossed, unused apps deleted and storage freed up?

6. Categorize Your Belongings: When decluttering, categorizing items can speed up the decluttering process. And make the decision-making process easier for you. When you pick up an item, immediately put it into one of three piles: ‘keep, donate, sell or throw away.”

“If you find yourself struggling with decisions, set a timer and challenge yourself.”

If you find yourself struggling with decisions, set a timer and challenge yourself. When you only have three minutes to decide whether to keep, donate or toss an item, you’ll find that you get quicker at identifying which things really mean something to you, and which things really don’t.

7. Make Decluttering a Part of Your Daily Routine: If you really don’t want to embark on a large bi-annual decluttering event every year, now is the time to plan a decluttering routine that you can easily maintain monthly, or even weekly. Regular habits such as creating a home for everything and putting it back in that home each day, or clearing your inbox every Friday will help you stay on top of clutter. This will make your bi-annual sessions less overwhelming.

Memories Can Get In The Way:

8. Manage Mementos: This is certainly one of my personal problem areas for clutter accumulation! Nostalgia can be a significant hurdle when it comes to decluttering, therefore, it’s essential that when making decisions regarding mementos, you do your best to do so objectively. After all, the last thing your grandmother or parents would want is for you to be overwhelmed with their stuff out of obligation.

Choose just a few special items to keep and maybe pass one or two on to your children now so they can hear the story behind it. All of those photos can be archived digitally, while extra sentimental items that you’re not yet ready to pass on can be stored in an appropriate “memory box.” Once this box is full, nothing new can be added!

9. Engage Family Members: Decluttering is an activity in which all family members should take part, from adults and children alike. Working as a team not only speeds up the process, but can make it more pleasurable as well.

Family not around to participate? Try plying some close girlfriends with a glass of wine and have fun cleaning your closet! My closest girlfriend, (who I dearly miss after she passed of cancer a few years ago) had a love of organising pantries, so I would have her visit for my annual pantry tidy and would love it when she took over!

Completing Your Midyear Decluttering Project:

10. Celebrate Your Achievements: It’s important to acknowledge your achievement of completing your midyear decluttering project! Celebrating after each completed room or task will be an excellent incentive to motivate you to keep going. Completing your entire midyear decluttering project is  an impressive accomplishment that should be rewarded. Just make sure that your reward isn’t new clutter!

“It’s important to acknowledge your achievement of completing your midyear decluttering project!”

As part of your reward, I have one final task for you – one that you will thank me for come the busy holiday season! Take out your planner, grab a coloured pencil and colour in your holidays, your date nights and your family get-togethers for the next six months.

Next, in another colour, add in any events that are important to attend. Around these, add in your work hours and your personal commitments, (gym, art or hobby classes etc.)

Now sit back and look at those blocks of colour over the next few months.

Already feeling overwhelmed? What can you remove?

Feeling good about your appointments and commitments? Then enjoy looking forward to them.

Decluttering Is So Much More:

Any appointments or invitations that come in can then be weighed against the commitments you already have. Should you start to feel anxious and scrambling for time, that’s a sign to sit back and declutter your schedule once again.

Decluttering is so much more than just clearing your physical space and your devices! When you commit to embarking on a midyear decluttering journey that includes your home, your office, your devices and culminates with your schedule, you’ll reap the rewards over the next six months. Enjoy having the space to appreciate the experiences and people you love, without the overwhelm of stuff in your home, on your devices or in your schedule!

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Cat Coluccio

About the Author:

Cat Coluccio is a qualified Educator, Personal Trainer and Life Coach – and a champion of midlife women. She is the host of the Rocking Midlife® Community and Podcast, and the author of a number of books, including 21 Hacks to ROCK your Midlife.  Join my FREE 30 Day Love your Home Decluttering Challenge for 30 days of email prompts to help you fall in love with your home once more!

Cat is passionate about helping midlife women create fulfilling and purposeful lives yet understands how challenging it can feel to consider reinvention when your world is already so incredibly full. Hence she firmly believes that the first step to building the life that you desire in your next season, is to declutter and create space right now – be that physically, mentally or digitally.

Don’t know where to start with your decluttering adventure? Make sure to register for my 30 Day Love your Home Decluttering Challenge! It’s FREE and you can work your way through the daily emailed prompts at your own pace! What have you got to lose other than your clutter? Register now at  www.loveyourhomedeclutteringchallenge.com