The two most often made New Year's resolutions are to lose weight and clean up our clutter. Theses generally go by the wayside before the month is out. Perhaps that's because both messes took a long time to get into and we're all looking for the quick fix to get them. Also, most of of us are suffering from post holiday and winter blues - not a very good time to undertake major life changes. Well, we could move New Year's to March or April or we could make a plan that helps us change, even if we falter.
For over 40 years, our firm has been helping folks change by creating home environments that empower and liberate. Decorating is clearly not just about putting pretty things together. It’s also not a race to spend the most money. So what is it about and what should we do to our homes to help us create a better year for ourselves and our family?
Let’s start with clutter control – a topic most people prefer to avoid whether you’re The “Felix” or The “Oscar” in your family. Your stuff is sacred and you don’t want anyone messing with it. But mess is the operative word. I often chuckle when people defend their mess. “I know where everything is,” folks will say or “I may be messy, but my house is clean”. One might wonder if these guys are delusional or just very forgiving of themselves. I know better, because I have dealt with the problem many times. It’s deep seated and difficult – but not impossible.
The most important obstacle is to get people to admit there’s a better way to live and to be willing to change, with or without help. Professional organizers are great teachers as well as doers. They not only come in to your environment and work hands on with you, but leave you with new habits and strategies. Interior designers do the same on a broader scale. Many people committed to change can do it themselves, as well, with a few tips:
Even if you don’t have a lot of funds, try being your own labor force. The winter is long, so take your time and see if you might have been a painter, upholsterer or cabinetmaker in another life. The trick is to follow the same plan.
So what’s in store for us in the New Year? They say “Time will tell.” I say, take the time to make the plan and create the change. Hang on to your resolutions past January, even if there are some potholes in the road ahead. Come next year we’ll be able to look back with pride in our accomplishments big and small.