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Decluttering for the New Year and Fighting Post-Holiday Depression

January 3, 2023 | Lifestyle

Nothing starts you off on the right foot like a fresh, clean space. The start of a new year is an opportunity to try something new, become someone you want to be, or officially get started toward a long-term goal. 

With your New Year’s resolution in mind, it’s time to create the space in your home that will help you make it happen. Whether decluttering your home is your resolution or you simply need the space to make room for your new hobbies, we’re happy to recommend some tips and tricks to get you started.

New Year Decluttering To Battle the Blues

It’s normal to feel a sense of the blues after the holidays have passed. Following a time of increased activity, stress, excitement, and social bonding, the return to normal life isn’t easy on everyone. For some, this can be considered a case of post-holiday depression.

Whether you’re exhausted from the holiday stress or you’re missing the joy and quality time the holidays encourage, you’re not alone if you’re feeling down. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, the entire world shifts to welcome beautiful lights, cozy get-togethers, gift-giving, and travel. 

However, after ringing in the new year, all of that comes to a sudden halt. Family and friends return home, time away from work is over, and you’re left with decorations to put away and a lot of cleanup from hosting holiday gatherings. 

Believe it or not, this is a great time to clear out of the junk you’ve been holding onto and reset with a good old-fashioned new year declutter. Not only can this help you throw out the stress along with your clutter, but it can also help redirect your focus and start looking forward to the future when you have a clean, tidy living space to enjoy. 

A woman is wrapped in a blanket beside a window, holding a mug in one hand and pressing the other to the glass.

The Best Ways To Declutter After the Holidays

There are many decluttering methods out there that can work for you. When choosing a method to try, consider the amount of clutter, time, and energy you have to commit to your new year declutter. 

Some methods are a big commitment, but they get the job done quickly. Other methods can be done in smaller, more manageable chunks but will take time before you start seeing results. 

To help you explore your options, we’ve compiled a list of some popular, realistic decluttering methods.

The Four-Box Method

Find four large-sized empty boxes. Boxes from opened gifts can work perfectly for decluttering. Then, with a permanent marker, label the four boxes “keep,” “relocate,” “donate,” and “trash.”

Now, identify the area you’ll be decluttering. The time and the size of boxes you have might limit the size of the space you can declutter in one sitting. We recommend decluttering at a pace you can handle, as managing too many items at once can feel overwhelming.

Once you’ve identified your target space to declutter, whether that’s the whole kitchen, one closet, a corner of the attic, or one single junk drawer, you can begin sorting the items.

  • Keep: Put items in this box that you need, ones you use on a daily or weekly basis. If you haven’t used it in a while but don’t want to get rid of it, place it in the next box.
  • Relocate: Items in this box should still be those you can’t part with but can go without having nearby for a few weeks, months, or seasons at a time. 
  • Donate: If it’s gone untouched for a while, chances are you won’t be needing it anymore. If it’s still in good, functional condition, give it a chance at a second life.
  • Trash: If you don’t use it, don’t see yourself using it, and it can’t be of use to anyone else, it’s ready to go out with the trash. 

The best part about this method is that once your box is full, you can simply close it up and send it to its appropriate destination. 

Return the items in the “keep” box to their rightful places in your home. Items in the “relocate” box can be put into a self storage facility near you. A convenient location will allow you to drop by to pick up the items you think you’ll eventually need with little trouble.

Take the items in the “donate” box to a donation center, and likewise, the items in the “trash” box can be thrown out. Then you can set your sights on a new area of your home to repeat the process as needed.

The Minimalist Game

This method is a great one to do with friends or family who are also interested in decluttering. It’s a more challenging method, but it can have a huge impact on your home and is especially useful for those with lots of little things that need to go.

To play the Minimalist Game, you want to start on the first of the month. Then remove the number of items that correspond with the day of the month. So on the first, you’ll remove one item. Then on the second, you’ll throw away two items, and so on.

If you do this in a month with 31 days and successfully keep up with the pace, by the end of it, you’ll have thrown out a whopping total of 496 items! If you start with February, you’ll still be cutting the clutter, but not as drastically. Either way, it’s the best way to declutter if you want to get a big job done in a relatively short amount of time. It’s also a great way to establish the habit of letting go of unnecessary belongings. 

If you run out of ideas toward the end of the month, remember that you can also always place belongings into storage if you can’t quite bring yourself to throw them out. Decorations, niche kitchen gadgets, offseason clothing, and more items that don’t get used regularly but could be wanted in the future can all go into a nearby storage unit. 


The One Method

This method is similar to the Minimalist Game but isn’t nearly as intense. Instead, simply get rid of one item a day to accomplish your New Year declutter. You can start whenever you feel like beginning your decluttering journey and continue for as long as you like.

Throw away one item a day for a whole year, and your home could be unrecognizable by this time next year. Everything counts as an item, from an old fridge magnet to an unused piece of furniture. 

Choose this method to still establish a good habit of throwing away items that no longer benefit you without having to dedicate as much time and energy to getting the decluttering job done rapidly. 

Everything in a Box

If you find yourself feeling iffy about whether you can get rid of a particular item, this can be the best way to declutter for you. Find a box, any box, or even several boxes. Then put all the items you’ve held onto into the box. Close it up, load it into the car, and take it to a storage unit. 

Now pick a date in the future. Choose one that is months out or even a full year from now. You can either write this date on the box itself or scribble a reminder onto your calendar. And just like that, the job is done.

Time will go by. You’ll enjoy a decluttered space right away while knowing the belongings are still in storage should you need them. As time goes on, you may find yourself forgetting about these items. 

Eventually, that selected date will come. On that day, ask yourself this: What’s in the box? 

Can you remember? If you don’t remember, did you ever really need it?

If the answer is no, remove the box or boxes from storage and take them to a donation center. Alternatively, throw them straight into the trash. You don’t even have to open the box. 

Self Storage, Your Decluttering Sidekick

When doing your New Year declutter, keep in mind that it isn’t all black and white. You don’t always have to throw something away just because it doesn’t have a place in your home. 

At Metro Self Storage, we provide convenient, affordable storage units to help solve all sorts of storage problems you may have. With several locations throughout the United States, you could have a Metro Self Storage facility near your neighborhood. 

With a storage unit at your disposal, all of the belongings you don’t want to permanently throw out can stay in storage, where they’ll be easily accessible should you need them. Self storage can give you the best of both worlds: a decluttered home without having to part ways with everything that doesn’t necessarily get used all the time.

We’re here to support your new year decluttering at Metro Self Storage. That way, you can be one step closer to beating post-holiday depression and can have an organized, exciting future ahead of you. Locate your nearest facility today to rent or reserve the right storage unit for you!