People always choose a gigantic self improvement goal like drop a ton of weight, quit smoking or go to the gym daily. These often leave the wisher with low self esteem as year after year it is very difficult to suddenly change your habits on December 31st! Instead of setting unrealistic goals, clear your living space. This alone, will give you MORE mental space and naturally your life will improve in positive ways I can assure you of that..

There have been many studies which prove that the more you own, and especially the more objects that are in your visual sphere- get constantly archived in your mind’s eye, creating a mental burden of STUFF. The true reason why people feel relaxed while on vacation is not actually the turquoise waters and continental breakfasts, it is waking up and not seeing all your stuff. I have read a few books on Feng Shui and minimalist living and over the past year or so have thrown out, given away or creatively hidden away all the things I do not need on a regular basis.  Think about how you feel when you go into someone’s home who is minimalist. A big loft with just a few pieces of furniture for example. You feel calm and secure. There are not many things in your visual spectrum to archive. This is a far more natural habitat than the opposite: hoarding. Have you ever met a peaceful hoarder? NO. On December 31st, if your goal is to become a minimalist- you will not be able to achieve this overnight. Simply start with 1 room like the living room and the following classic tip to de-cluttering with the 4 box rule.

The 4 box rule

Get 4 cardboard boxes and label, marker or remember them in the following ways: trash, give away, keep, or relocate.  Get a practical friend to come by and give them a meal and some fancy drinks or teas to assist you! You need a 2nd opinion because you are attached to your stuff. Have this person vote with you which object goes where. Traditionally, people used the 3 box rule, but recently the brilliant relocate box was added. This box is such an integral part of a living space because it allows you to keep things but place them in more logical areas. For example you may have a crowd of candles all bunched up on a coffee table. Well, try the design rule of 3 and keep a big candle and 2 smaller ones while re-locating the others. It is so easy to go decor crazy and keep buying little things that ironically should make you feel more zen-  but too much of 1 thing will look chaotic.