Kicking the Clutter: Your New Year’s resolution

Would getting organized be on your New Year’s resolution list?

Kicking the clutter and getting organized is usually the number-two resolution on people’s lists; losing weight is commonly the number-one item.

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By becoming more aware of the way we live, and also the way we shop, is a recipe for a simple and more rewarding life. If you shop until you drop, clutter is the price you will pay: always rummaging for the items you need, or finding space to store your stuff is time and energy consuming.

It’s estimated we lose one hour per day looking for the things we need. Procrastinating and not be able to start the chores you need to do is another time-eating machine. The average person loses 20 per cent of their annual budget because they are disorganized.

At times we all might have a tendency to become emotionally attached to our belongings. The unused and unwanted items we keep might remind us of the life we once had, relationships that didn’t work out for us, or unfinished projects we lost interest in.

By getting organized, and staying that way, we can enjoy more time with our family and friends, have less stress and a healthy feeling of accomplishment.

Five simple tips to help resolve your clutter problem:

1. Choose the space that needs to be organized. Start with a room that bothers you the most. If you can’t cook in your cluttered kitchen, start there.

2. Assign the time and be specific. Saturday at noon is good enough. Write it on your calendar. For extra reinforcement, put the red sticker beside the time you have chosen.

3. Get tools: Big and sturdy garbage bags, a recycling box, packing tape, boxes and permanent markers. No excuse, you already have everything in your home to start.

4. Remove the garbage first from the chosen room. The second time around, get rid of items you don’t need or want.

5. Clean and categorize items you are keeping. Group similar items together. Example: Tea, coffee, sugar, honey and hot chocolate go together. Contain the small items. Label for easy identification. Before you go on your shopping extravaganza to buy containers, boxes or baskets to contain your wanted stuff, walk through your home or office and find out what you already have.

Let’s start a New Year’s resolution by kicking the clutter to the curb. Shopping addiction is just like any other addiction, it feels good for a while and then reality checks in. This is your chance to start a new year with a different mindset than the one you had last year, or for the last 20 years.

You know the saying by Henry Ford: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Getting organized will help you and your family to live a healthy, simple and productive life. The life you crave, you can create!

Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in Powell River and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to

Copyright © Powell River Peak


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