New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

The Holiday season is finally coming to a close. You know what that means….time to start thinking about 2016! Yikes! What are you going to do that is NEW, BETTER, DIFFERENT? Just thinking about all this improvement is enough to give you anxiety!

This year I’m keeping my resolutions out of the gym and off my waistline. Instead, I’m honing in on my “waste line”.

If you’re like me, the shiny, new holiday haul has you sweating your household storage capacity. It’s time to clear out. With a few simple steps, I plan to make a little more breathing room for my family without overflowing my trash bins.

When I pack up my holiday decorations for the year, I always take a look at what’s left in the tubs that I never put out. Do I still need it? Do I even like it? Could someone else use it? While it’s still fresh in your mind, sort through it. Make a bag of the things you no longer use and set it aside to sell or donate.

What about toys? Everyone seems to want to heap gifts on the little ones during the holidays! There are several approaches to take with this one. With two little darlings at home, I’ve decided that every new toy that comes in means an old toy needs to find a new home. Or, you could land on a set number. For example, 10 toys will be donated each holiday. I might even try placing those toys under the tree on Christmas Eve next year for Santa to take back to his workshop with him. You can use a similar practice with birthday gifts as well.

How about a general decluttering exercise. This year, to honor my 36th birthday, I’m going to work my way up to 36 items a day to sell or donate. For each day leading up to my birthday, I’ll sell or donate 1, then 2, then 3 items….until I get to 36. By the time my birthday arrives at the end of March, I will have donated 666 items! That’s definitely going to make a dent in the clutter.

And now for my nemesis….the junk drawer. Everyone has one, we all need one, but does it have to be absolutely bursting with junk all the time? I looked through mine the other day and there were at least 47 pens in there. It’s time to let go. Keep the things you’ve used in the last year, and ditch the rest. Donate to classrooms or resale shops, toss out crusty super glue tubes and dried out markers. You’ll feel so much better when it’s over. And you’ll actually be able to find the batteries when you need them!

After the haze of your sugar cookie coma wears off, think about what else you can do to trim up your waste line and declutter the homestead. Here’s to a crisp, clean 2016!

By AJ Axtell, an Environmental Program Coordinator for WLSSD