Who says decluttering isn’t fun?

December 27th, 2011

As the new year approaches, many of you may be putting together a list of resolutions. Even those of us who decline to fret about our less becoming habits have at least a passing thought about hitting the refresh button in January. There's something quite appealing and energizing about the calendar flip to the new year. “Ah, it's January,” we think. “Out with the old and in with the new!” And since we typically spend more time inside and at home in the winter, we're more aware of the “old” in our homes this time of year. And so we resolve to declutter.

Declutter is a word that holds such promise. Who can't visualize their home clutter-free? A front door with no shoe pile. A linen closet that opens without an avalanche. A dining room table free of paper piles. But getting to that end vision requires time and effort. The payoff is worth it no doubt, but is there a reason we need to punish ourselves as we cull through the clutter? Wouldn't it be more gratifying to enjoy the process from start to finish? Of course it would be! Toward that end, here are two ideas on how to have some fun while decluttering.

1) We all know about Book Clubs. How about a Home Project Club? Every month the group gathers at a friend's house to tackle the assigned project. Could be painting a bathroom, assembling shelves and organizing the laundry room, washing the windows, photographing and posting those things you've been meaning to sell on Craigslist. Add some food, music and drinks and have a fun and productive time with friends. Each month the person with the closest birthday can name the project. Now that's a great birthday gift!

2) Arrange a decor swap at someone's home. Clothes swaps are common, why not take it further? Pull those tchochkes off your shelves – the ones you don't even notice anymore – and send them to a home where they'll be loved. Have some art you never got around to framing? How about a chair that needs a new cushion? How about that gift you've never liked but felt obliged to showcase it in case Aunt Edna visits? We say let go of the guilt and regift it to a good home! We all likely have things in our home that we no longer love. Whether it's because we're simply tired of them, our taste has changed, or they remind us of something we'd rather not be reminded of, doesn't matter. What matters is that you're happy in your home. So invite some friends over and grab yourself some new decor. Who knows? Maybe that painting you've always admired at your friend's house was given to her by her ex-mother-in-law and will find a happy new home at your house.

As William Morris famously said, “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Now that is a resolution I can stick to.


Photo credit: Ardent Custom Closets