A New Year’s Resolution

My friend cleans out her closet every year getting rid of clothes she hasn’t worn in the last two years. I would like to make that my New Year’s resolution but I know myself well enough to know that I won’t keep my resolution. Any suggestions?

One friend of mine gets rid of one item for every item she brings into the house. Another has vowed to throw out one thing every day – and has kept that vow. These are great resolutions for people with strong resolve but the rest of us may need a more user-friendly approach.

Let’s look at the situation a bit differently; why not create a task that is doable for you, one that can be accomplished more easily, one that is small enough that you’re not overwhelmed by it. Creating many small steps that you actually complete is more logical than focusing on one large task – emptying your closets – that is so daunting that, at the thought of it, you simply want to throw up your hands in surrender.

Here are two suggestions for ways to begin:

* Start with the small stuff. Start by sorting through the items that have little or no emotional impact for you: clean out the linen closet to get rid of all those frayed towels, sort through the kitchen utensils in that overstuffed kitchen drawer, or toss that pile of unread magazines sitting in the corner of the room.

* Break big jobs into smaller ones. If going through your closet seems too large a task, try breaking the job down into smaller parts such as coats, shoes, office attire, sportswear, accessories – and sort through each of these groups separately.

You can get rid of things as long as you approach the task in way that works for you.

Here’s to a happy-with-less New Year!

LH

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