With a new year comes a fresh start and a crazy desire to be totally organized — immediately. Instead of grand gestures, though, I recommend looking around the house and choosing 5 things to let go of today. It might not be a complete overhaul, but it's a start and it feels good.
1. Almost Empty Bottles of Soap or Lotion. If your shower is anything like mine, you've got at least a couple of bottles that are basically empty but you're still trying to squeeze a couple more uses out of them. Use it up, recycle the bottle, make some space. It feels good to not be hanging on to scraps.
2. Collections of Magazines. I had a collection of Sunset magazines that took up a whole shelf. I never read them. I love the magazine and it didn't matter, I never broke out the March issue from 2007 to find anything. I always go online (to sunset.com), so out they went and now I've got room to store other things that were cluttering up the countertop.
3. Kitchenware You Haven't Used in a Year. If you haven't used those madeleine pans or the bread pan or the 400 cookie cutters you've been storing, now's the time to let them go. The holidays just passed when you were most likely to use them — and you didn't. The same goes for wafflemakers, broken salad spinners, etc.
4. Old Sheets and Towels. January is the best time to buy new sheets and towels on sale so if you've got threadbare linens, be nice to yourself and opt for a new set. If you're on a budget, choose one thing to upgrade — the fitted sheet, one nice bath towel — something that will make a difference day to day.
5. One Thing You Keep Because You Feel Guilty. Maybe you got some presents that you're not thrilled with and they're still sitting in the bag they came in. Maybe you've been hanging on to gifts from years past because someone you love spent a lot of money on something (or time or thought or whatever). It's ok to let it go. It doesn't mean you don't love the person, it just means the thing they got you doesn't work for you.
What are you letting go of in the new year?