I saw a news clip recently about a woman who bought a vase at a Goodwill store for $3.99, and ended up selling it for over a hundred thousand dollars after discovering it was a rare and valuable piece by a famous Italian designer.

That’s one of the reasons I have a hard time getting rid of things. Because you never know. Then there’s the fact that I may discover I desperately need something as soon as I give it away or throw it away. That’s actually happened to me a few times. Not the “desperately” part, but realizing within a week or so of getting rid of something that I really could have used it, and wishing I still had it. And that doesn’t even begin to touch on the sentimental aspect of things.

What all this is leading up to is my New Year’s Resolution for 2024, which is to declutter. To clean up, clear out, and get rid of things that are taking up space in my home. It’s not going to be easy, because of the reasons I just listed, plus the fact that organizing—along with all related activities—doesn’t come easily or naturally to me. So I need to work in some incentives, motivations, tips and tricks to get—and keep—me going.

One thing that usually works for me is making projects into a game or challenge—something I can count down, or check off on a calendar. This works especially well if I have to go back to Square One and start counting all over again if I miss a day. That’s how I’ve gotten to Day 190 on my Duolingo Spanish lessons. And when I resolved years ago to try a new recipe every week—since I was much better at collecting recipes than actually making them—a little pocket calendar on the kitchen desk helped me keep track and stay motivated.

So here’s the plan. I’ve picked 12 areas that I want to declutter—one main area for each month of the year. My goal will be to eliminate at least 30/31 items—one for every day of the month—and to keep track of the total on a small pocket calendar. If I reach that goal before the end of the month—and I certainly hope I will—I’ll keep working in that area until it’s time to move on to the next one.

I hope that just getting started on this New Year’s Resolution will build momentum, that the challenge of a monthly quota will keep me motivated, and that moving to a new area each month will keep it fresh. If it works out that way, I’ll end the year with an orderly, uncluttered home, a healthy, new habit, and a sense of satisfaction for having kept it going all year long.

And someone on the receiving end of a church, charity, or Goodwill donation may end up with a rare and valuable antique. I doubt that will really happen, but you never know.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2024
©Betty Liedtke, 2024

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