At the beginning of 2016, I attended a yoga class where the instructor invited us to set an intention or goal for the new year. One thing she suggested was to choose a word or two to represent that intention. From that class, I came out with two words: Simplify and Beautify.
My children are now both in their early 20’s (one still living with me), and I have been living with my partner in his home for 2 years. Prior to combining households, I sold my condo quickly so I didn’t have enough time (as so many of us don’t) to downsize consciously and clearly. At that time my kids were also transitioning from high school to college, and we weren’t sure what we would need to keep or let go of. Not knowing, we moved many things with the knowledge that we would eventually need to review and make further decisions. I also started two new careers during the year of the move, leaving additional things left over from my previous 17 years in HR that I also wasn’t sure if I would need going forward. Finally, since my partner and I were blending two well-established households, we had many duplicates items, especially in the kitchen!
What I Knew
I knew I wanted to declutter and simplify, especially given my growing skills as an organizer. I wanted to beautify my surroundings so that I could feel more settled into my space. I wanted to hold those two lovely concepts of simplify and beautify in my head as a guide and to add context to what I wanted to accomplish even if I didn’t have it all planned out and the how’s weren’t all determined yet. I knew that a year was a very reasonable length of time to be successful, so I set up my SMART goals, pretty much in the same way we do with clients. I also knew without any doubt after going through the organizing process with my mom and through working with clients, that I don’t want my children to have to make decisions on years of accumulated items that in reality, have no value to anyone but me. Okay, let’s be honest, not even to me anymore in many cases!
What I Accomplished
By the end of 2016, I had decluttered my wardrobe , taught myself to prune most of the trees in our yard (a big accomplishment for a person that has lived in condos and apartments for years), cleaned out the attic, pared down mine and my kids sentimental items (this is still in progress but I am down to 1 box for each of them and about 4 for me!). I organized our video collection, donated a little over $1K in clothes, furniture & housewares and drum roll please …. my partner and I stripped all the wallpaper in our good-sized master bedroom and painted, top to bottom. We just finished putting up artwork throughout the room! I am proud of the work we have done so far. Some of it wasn’t easy or quick, but I can visibly see the results, and it inspires me to keep going for 2017!
Is there anything you can Simplify or Beautify in your world for 2017? Do you choose a word of the year? If so, how can your intention this year enhance your organizing endeavors? Tell us about it below so we can get the conversation started!