Oh January. You are an awesome, but weird month. For me January is the calm after the storm of the holidays. It’s the time of year I’m not quite sure what to do with myself or anything… do I take a break, do I do some major prepping, do I hit the ground running hard, do I take it easy, do I take down all the Christmas and winter decor down, do I decorate for spring, do I just clean & not worry about everything else, do I throw away most of my possessions. It’s all so confusing & makes me kind of want to just crawl back in bed & avoid the below zero temps & hibernate all winter. BUT through all the confusion I’ve decided to de-clutter the whole house & take down our Christmas & winter decor to completely get the house back to a blank slate before the warmer weather comes & the big projects start around here. I just started, but I wanted to share this season that I’m in with you guys just in case it would help you with things like seasonal depression, anxiety, & just those who are confused what to do after the holidays & how to get started with a fresh start this new year…
I have started decluttering our entire house slowly but surely in the past week & it’s totally recharging me for 2018. I’ve been going into every room & boxing up every item that I don’t want or need… from clothes, to home decor, to bathroom products, to the kitchen. I have no scientific method behind this… I’ve basically been going into each room with trash bags & boxes & sorting through things I want to throw away, donate, & sell. If I don’t love it or have a place or reason to keep it. It’s gone. It’s been a lot. I think after moving into this house a little over a year ago & living in it in fixer upper status for so long.. the stuff just piles up. We only have about 25% of our house “worked on” at the moment so there is so much decor, furniture, & just stuff that isn’t being used that needs to go. I tend to hoard things, but I’ve had to tell myself when we get other areas of our house done I will be able to find cool treasures for those spots & for now I just need to let a lot of it go until we get those spaces done. When I declutter each room from the drawers, cabinets, closets, and under everything I then go through one more time and see if I can get rid of anything else. After that second sweep I have been trying to organize what is left so that when I come back to clean & decorate it’s an easier task.
I have found recently that “stuff” is the cause for a lot of my anxiety problems. You know when every room is cluttered so your mind feels cluttered & you can get stuff done before there is so much clutter? Yah. That. I have found in this season I am in of de-cluttering that with each bag & box I take out of the house not only does the house feel cleaner, I feel lighter. I feel like a burden is being lifted & for that I am so thankful. I know after this big purge I’m in the house may feel a little empty & each room is feeling a little bland, but after the purge I plan on going back through and sprucing up all the spaces & breathing life back into them. I’m totally fine with the rooms being a little more empty right now & excited to start off this new year a little lighter & with a fresh start.
Each room is slowly becoming more de-cluttered, each closet is becoming cleaner, each day the house is feeling a little more like home & a little less like stress. If I don’t love it.. it has to go, If I don’t need it.. it’s leaving, & if it’s causing me stress or anxiety… goodbye! I wanted to share this process & season I am in with you guys today in hopes that maybe it will inspire someone out there that feels the need or want to purge & also maybe prompt those who haven’t thought of doing this to help deal with some anxiety & stress you have been feeling to do it in hopes that it will help you like it has helped me. This time of year can cause some seasonal depression for many like myself, but I find by facing it head on and being productive in ways to combat it that it truly helps fight it in ways that I have never been able to fight it this time of year before. Does this make sense? I hope so… & I hope you guys are liking following along on here, Instagram, & Facebook as we de-clutter, de-stress, & get ready for a big year of renovations here on the farm! First we clean all the things! Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today, it honestly means the world to me so I mean it when I say… THANK YOU! XX
Some of the sources in this post with my affiliate links:
Liz, I totally agree that clutter adds a great deal to anxiety. My brain is in continuous motion. Like you, I achieve a lot when I get my second wind right after midnight? What’s with that? I’m on board with what you’re doing in terms of decluttering. My only problem….I closed my retail location last April….thus I no longer have that outlet to resell my unwanted items. I’ll keep following along and gain more inspiration as we clean our spaces, our Spirits and our lives!
Laura Stewart says
I started this process a few months ago. I’ve been really hitting it hard this past few weeks. I started with my closet and shoes and jewelry. Then went on to some decor and furniture. I then cleaned the kiddos room. I am also working on the pantry/laundry room. Recently went through my makeup. Right now I’m working on the storage under the stairs. We’ve been here a year and like you, have 300 projects going on all at once so stuff gets shoved from one space to the next. I’ve reached the point where I’m so sick of clutter, mess and moving mess that I feel like I have already gotten rid of so much. But I know I can still purge more. The mess is exactly what’s depressing me and stressing me out. If i don’t have a use for it and don’t need it… it’s gone. The more i do, the easier it gets. I even go back through the same areas weeks later and see if there’s anything else I can toss. We still have a few boxes in Laine’s moms garage and I am dreading that mess as well. One day at a time.
I’m like Susan….my brain is in continuous motion. I went to a sleep specialist/neurologist recently because I was so far past exausted that I couldn’t even glimpse exausted anymore. I believe I had crossed over into zombie land. I described it to her as having five conversations going on in my head simultaneously at all times, that my brain didn’t seem to have an off switch or airplane mode. Anxiety is a big culprit. I’m an anxious person. As I looked around my house today, I realized that my HOME was making me anxious! There’s too much stuff. I’ve decluttered over the last few years and felt good about it. But it needs to happen again evidently. I am going to be more ruthless this time. It’s time to let some of my treasures go to bring happiness to someone else, lol! Things that bring you anxiety and sleepless nights have moved from the treasure category into the burden category, right? Keep blogging about it to keep the rest of us who want to shed some burdens motivated and encouraged!
Liz, I’ve been decluttering for years to deal with anxiety and depression; it works! One thing you have to realize is that it’s an ongoing process. Getting things simplified is one thing; keeping it that way is all part of it, too. It’s not a bad thing! It actually gets easier each time you do it. I find myself making a pass through everything at least twice a year, if not more. I also find myself being less impulsive in buying decor and clothing. As you said, if you don’t really love it or need it…
Sarah of SHE HOLDS DEARLY blog has a decluttering program that I went through over a year ago. After doing absolutely every area of a home, even paperwork and computer files, it is hard to do impulsive buying. The constant shopping ends, and life becomes more intentional. Rooms are decorated, not items purchased and then needing to find a spot to put them. And, if you take the tour of Sarah’s home you will “see” the serenity in it, though five people live there, all contributing to what accumulates. Sarah has a real ministry in what I term “intentional living.” Her classes in different areas can be life changing. I find that my chest of drawers have remained tidy and uncluttered for over a year, after going through the decluttering class with her. Amazing.
A technique I used for years with my children is if something comes in, something goes out. We keep a bag or box that we are filling up to donate. Our local Salvation Army Thrift Store loves donations.
Along with decorating, rather than just gathering, comes the elimination of a house that looks like a store jam packed with things crowded into every cupboard and on every surface. There is breathing room. It is not overwhelming.
Annette F Lewis says
This was so helpful to me, Liz, as I am always decluttering things out of my house. I lost my husband 10 years ago and he never wanted to get rid of anything. Each month I find something to get rid of. It might be clothes are a new pair of shoes that I just purchase and they hurt – they go to Goodwill for someone else to enjoy. I too was in a deep depression and I find that decluttering has helped me so much. I think I didn’t know it was depression until reading this post! Thank you! Annette
I have been trying to declutter…but get stalled by the fact so many things in our house are “heirloom” and because they were “Mom’s” or Grandparents….I often refer to our house as the “archive”….
If I could, I’d get rid of pieces of furniture too….Alas….that would end up being expensive too….
So, I get stalled, mostly by Hubby …much of the stuff comes from his side of the family….
It would feel fantastic to get rid of stuff…….
Yes! January is such a good time to declutter. I’ve been working on this slowly over the last few months as we were packing up and moving to a new (smaller) home, and it feels so good to purge!
Brittany Serowski says
Oh yes!! So glad I’m not the only one totally confused as to what I should be doing the month of January! I WANT to slow down from the hustle and bustle of the holidays but I also WANT to declutter everything in the house but the thought itself exhausts me, gives me total anxiety and I just want crawl back into bed and wake up hoping someone else has done it for me! 😉 So to help, I’ve been doing it at a very slow pace with no deadline in sight and have been following Emily Ley’ s #SimplicityChallenge2018 on Instagram to do something little every day! 🙂
Hi Liz! This is my kind of post for sure. I love decluttering/purging my home as well for the same reasons as you. When there is a bunch of “stuff” in a room it’s easy for it to become a mess and when that happens your thoughts are on cleaning the room and taking care of all of the items in it. Getting rid of the stuff you don’t need or love does help with that. I like to go into a room and find stuff that will bless other people. The one place I struggle with is drawers. I can never keep them nice and organized. Maybe you have a tip for that in addition to what you mentioned in the post? It makes it easier to part with items I’m not sure I love. Looking at the nice photos in your post is motivating to get my home decluttered. Thanks and may you have a happy and joyous 2018.
Jordan Dias says
You may have already mentioned this somewhere previously, but where is the little paned house piece of decor that’s sitting on your coffee table from? I’ve been searching for something that could dress up my coffee table space, and I think this piece would work great!
Liz, I can definitely relate to this post! I’ve been sick for 3 weeks with some upper respiratory stuff so Christmas is still up. That’s causing a lot of anxiety for me. Since my husband and I started an antique/vintage painting and building business almost 5 years ago, I’m afraid it’s made us hoarders! We closed our booths last October but still have a half garage and house full house of stuff It’s causing major anxiety and depression for me. I don’t even want to watch movies in my husband’s man cave anymore. I helped create this issue when I helped ignite his like passion for Antiques and vintage gasoline pumps and signs! My friend bought a historic buliding in Saline, Michigan and we are selling some of our stuff there. I want to keep my best ironstone and antique furniture and get rid of the rest. All of this stuff is weighing my psyche down! My husband thinks it looks good to cover every inch of his walls. It’s not verwhelming and takes away from his collection in my opinion. I have way too much upstairs too. Simplicity is my goal and I can rotate some of our collection. We don’t need to hoa d and keep it all but the great stuff we have is getting more difficult to find. I’m in this process with you! Love your blog and IG feed Liz!
Jordan, I’m a reader who is commenting on your comment. I like ve that pained window piece on her coffee table! I have the same question!
Sandy Crathern says
Fantastic, now you’ve motivated me! I really want that peaceful calm feeling to my whole, instead of just one room!
Thanks so much and Happy New Year to you both! xx
Lisa - @sweetsimplehouse says
Funny I just did this to our formal living and dining and it feels so good! I cleared out Christmas and then I kept on going and cleared out ALL decor and accessory items (into wood crates in the garage). Even art and photos. It’s really sparse and plain right now but I kind of love it. Now my plan is to sit with it until I’m inspired to decorate. For now it’s clean and simple and I love that for January. I’m with you Liz!
Where did you get that cute striped cardigan??
glenda LaFont says
I love your Vlogs, and I have one thing to say, you have a very sweet and kind husband, Liz.
glenda LaFont says
I love your Vlogs, and I have one thing to say, you have a very sweet and kind husband, Liz.
Carrie L Knight says
I think its the joanna gaines line at target. U kow the fixer upper show on hgtv.