I hope you had a lovely, and not too hectic, Christmas and a very joyful entry into the New Year. And that you had a relaxing break too. January has certainly been a mixed bag with the weather, and our gardens have had a jolly good watering. Despite the inclement weather though, I did get to most of the items on my list relating to my home; which included painting my kitchen, staining the patio trellis and buying new patio furniture, finally sorting through my books and magazines and taking a few hefty bags to my local Hospice, and since I had also painted the interior of my kitchen cupboards I took the opportunity to have a cull and reorganised everything so it now fits into the cupboards beautifully. Although I only had 2 weeks off, I’m very happy with what I managed to accomplish, and I had oodles of relax time as well.

At this time of the year many of us think about, create, and start working on new goals. Maybe even some New Year’s Resolutions… I relish the beginning of a new year because it feels like a brand new slate on which I can pretty much create what I like. No, that doesn’t mean huge goals or onerous resolutions. I think of it rather as creating new habits that are positive changes. Here are a couple of my new habits which I’m having fun with:

– Something that I had been thinking about for ages and finally got started on is a new weight training regime at my gym. With the help of a personal trainer I now have a programme which I’m not only enjoying, and sticking to, but also feel that it’s making a difference – already! So it is a habit now that I’ve been working on my programme at least 3 times a week for almost a month. I have been going to regular classes at the gym for some years, so this new routine is an add-on [rather than a new gym membership!]

– Secondly, I’ve started creating a menu plan each week which I shop for in one hit. This saves time and it’s also good to try out delicious new recipes with a focus on fresh and healthy products.

So you may say at this point, what has all this got to do with decluttering? Well I’m a firm believer that keeping the clutter at bay is about good habits. And what makes us stick with new habits is seeing and feeling the difference they make, much like me and my gym work outs and healthy meal regimes. Both activities make me feel better.

Creating your home as a clutter-free harmonious living space will make a huge difference to how you feel every day. Try these few easy steps for a week and notice how much easier life becomes:

– Rather than ‘dumping’ your jacket/sweater/bag over the back of a chair in the living areas, take a minute to walk them into your bedroom and put them away. It really does only take a minute. And ask the family to do the same.

– As paper comes into the house, in the form of mail, newspapers, magazines, TV Guides etc, make fast decisions as to whether it needs to be actioned, filed, or recycled, and do it right away. Paper is one of the worst clutter offenders of all.

– Tackle one small area a day, or every two days, that needs decluttering and organising. It often takes less than an hour to do a drawer or cupboard. This way you get to work through your decluttering in small bites and it’s no longer daunting, terrifying or overwhelming.

If you do get overwhelmed, stop! Take a breath and remember, don’t look at the whole room and think it has to get done all at once. That is an exhausting thought. You’re going to take it one small area at a time, and get the pleasure of seeing your home gradually transform.

I wish you a joyous month ahead – we have 2 long weekends to look forward to in February so enjoy.

In Joy!

Angella Gilbert

P: 09 410 4166
M: 027 224 8937
E: angella.gilbert@xtra.co.nz
W: www.gioia.net.nz

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