I've worked my way through many different kinds of New Year's resolutions. I've tried yearly resolutions, monthly resolutions even daily resolutions. Some years I'll call them intentions in the hopes that this will somehow make them more achievable. I've had success but I've also had lots of failure.
This year I'm only doing one thing. I'm getting rid of stuff.
You know all those things that fill your cupboards and crowd your drawers and threaten to overtake your entryway. The chipped plates, one-off mug and cloudy glass vase that bring you no joy. The pieces of paper, takeout menus, non-working pens and broken stapler you never get around to throwing out. The kindly-given but not quite right presents that sit unused on a shelf or in a drawer. I'm getting rid of all of it. (And by getting rid of I mean donating, selling, passing along and probably, yes, tossing.)
I'm inspired by Marie Kondo's book, The Magical Art of Tidying up. I admit I haven't read the whole book yet but early pages tell me to only hold on to those things that bring you joy. She says the process of discarding can take up to six months. She is ruthless about discarding but she says once you have gone through this initial step all you need to do is find a place for everything that remains and your house will never be disorganized again.
There is something that totally appeals to me about only living with the things I love. I've already started going through my kitchen and I can't tell you how happy I felt after finally removing all the plastic plates and cups my kids have been using for years but no longer need. Also gone are all the one-off mugs that always made me shudder a bit when I opened the door. The teapot with the broken spout no longer greets me each morning reminding me of yet another project I have failed to get around to. (I was never going to fix that teapot.)
In its place is a cupboard with only the plates, bowls and glasses I love. It looks neat, orderly and clean. It doesn't make me anxious or feel guilty. Imagine how I'll feel once the whole house is done.