A look back at 2018

As per tradition, many people make New Years resolutions that often fade away before the end of January. Let's do things differently this year and stick with it! 

As the new year is upon us, it's important to take a moment and reflect on the previous year.  What did you do differently that you would like to carry forward into 2019? What habits or events would you like to leave behind? 

A good way to jump into a new year, is to take care of some clutter that maybe has been lingering on your "To Do" List.  Nothing feels better than the acomplishment of simplifying our lives.  

For those of you who are overwhelmed by the clutter, here are some great ways to get started, 5 minutes at a time. 

1. Designate a spot for incoming papers: Those pesky piles of paper often account for a lot of our clutter. This is because we always seem to put them in different spots- on the counter, on the table, on our desk, in a drawer, in our car... No wonder we can't find anything! Designate an in-box tray or spot in your home (or office) and don't put papers anywhere but in that spot.  This one little change can reallty transform the clutter. Recycle the junk mail as soon as it comes in! 

2. Start Clearning a starting zone: What you want to do is clear one area. This is your no-clutter zone. It can be a counter, or kitchen table. Wheverver you start, make a rule: Nothing can be places there that's not in use. Everything must be put away.  Once you have a clutter free zone, keep it that way! Now, each day, slowly expand your no clutter zone until it envelopes your whole house.

3. Clear off a counter: You want to get your house so that all the flat spaces are clear of clutter. Maybe theres a toaster, or decorative candle, but not a lot of clutter. So start with one counter. Clear off everything possible, except maybe one or two essential things. Have a blender you haven't used since jazzercise was all the rage? Put it in the cupboard! Put the papers in the designated paper spot, keys on a key hook and you're all set! 

4. Pick a shelf: Now that you've done a counter, try a shelf! It doesn't matter which shelf. Could be a shelf in a closet, on a bookshelf. Dont tackle the whole closet or bookshelf- just one shelf. Clear all non-essential ethings and leave it looking neat and clutter free.

5. *Rule of Thumb* Schedule a decluttering weekend:  After you've spent the week tackling a 5 minute task here and there, it doesn't hurt to enlist some friends or family to help take some stuff to a donation center, or the dump. If you take the time to get the garbage and donations you've gathered off site, your next tasks won't seem so overwhelming. 

6. Pick 5 things, and find places for them: These should be things you actually use but don't generally put in a designated spot. Coat, keys, purse, diaper bag, kids backpacks, shoes....where would be a good spot? Eventually you will want to do this for everything in your home, a few things at a time. 

7. Spend a few minutes visualizing the room: Take a moment and look around the room, and think about how you want it to look.  What are the most essential pieces of furniture? What doesn't belong but has gravitated there? Once I've got a picture in my head of how the room should look, I can get rid of the rest. *Rule of Thumb* Envision your home as a would you like it to look if you were walking in as a potential buyer? 

8. Create a "maybe" box: Sometimes when you're going through a pile of stuff, you know exactly what to keep and what to let go of.  But then there's stuff you don't use but might need someday. You can't bear to get rid of it, but it doesn't exaclty have a place, either! Here is where the "Maybe" box comes in. Put these things in the box and store it somewhere out of the way.  Set a reminder in your phone or on your calendar for 6 months from now and re-visit your maybe box to see if they are things you really needed. *Rule of Thumb* The "maybe" box should not grow larger to accomodate more items. Also, don't forget about sources such as Facebook Market or kijiji to make a little money back on some items you are ready to part with, but may be useful to someone else! Give yourself a month to sell it and if you still have it in a month, donate it. 

9.Put a load in your car for donation: If you've decluttered a bunch of stuff, you may need to take a mid-week trip to the local donation drop-off centre. Put it in your car, and drop it off tomorrow. 

10. Create a 30-Day List: The problem with decluttering is  that we can put all the work in but it just comes back because we buy more stuff! Take a minute and create a 30 day list: Everytime you want to purchase something, put it on the list with the date it was added.  Make a rule never to buy anything (necessities excluded) unless they've been on the list for 30 days. *Rule of Thumb* One thing in, two things out. 

11. Pull out some clothes you don't wear: As you're getting ready for work, or going through your closet for something to wear, spend a few minutes pulling out things you haven't worn in a few months.  If they're seasonal, put them in a box and get rid of the rest. Do this a little at a time until your closet and drawers only contain things you wear regularly. *Rule of Thumb* If you haven't worn it in the last 12 months, let it go.

12. Clear out your medicine cabinet: If you don't have just one spot for medicine, create one now. Go through everything for the outdated medicines, the empty bandaid box, the eye cream that promised to take away all of your wrinkles but didn't. Let it all go and only keep the essentials. 

Although these are great tips if you're planning to list your home, they really apply to everyone.  By taking just a few minutes at a time to declutter your life, you can start off 2019 feeling organized and ready for anything!

In this more difficult market, it is so important to have an experienced professional working for you. I have many years in this industry and have seen the highs and lows. I would be happy to assist in any way that I can.

For a free current market evaluation, give me a call at 403-830-1009


source:, CREB 
Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
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