• Jonathan Dow

New Year is Coming Up, and We All Like to Start Fresh

New Year is a great time of year to make promises you don't intend to keep. Often, those promises include dieting or reading the Bible more, or maybe reading in general. Those are great, but I'm thinking of something different. I often get the itch to clean out a junk drawer in my desk or all the drawers in my desk or the closet or the garage or the entire house!

Life clutters, and it happens without us realizing it, so I developed a system that I want to share with you. Let's pretend that we are cleaning out a closet, but the same principle works on everything from your documents folder to your garage.

Step 1

Take everything out of your closet so that it is completely empty. Just pile the stuff up near by, but if possible, set up some tables so you can spread things out and see everything that you had in the closet. This is a great time to clean the closet by dusting and wiping down surfaces. If you have kids, break out the bleach and really do a good job. It won't get this easy again for a long time.

Step 2

Think of the things you take out of your closet on a regular basis (daily, monthly, seasonally, or yearly are all regular) and put those things in. Put those things in the first place you would look if you were looking for those things in someone else's house.

Step 3

Nothing else really belongs in your closet. Look at the rest of your stuff and separate into three piles.

Pile 1: Stuff you can throw away. It would be convenient if you could make this pile directly in the trash can.

Pile 2: Stuff you want to give away. I would recommend having a big cardboard box for this pile. You can donate the entire box without having to look in it ever again.

Pile 3: Stuff you want to keep. This is the stuff you feel emotionally attached to, or stuff that you think you might use someday, but not on a regular basis, and don't want to get rid of, but it really doesn't belong in your closet. Put it in a plastic storage bin with a lid, label it with a sharpie and masking tape, and stick it in your garage or storage unit.

Step 4: Optional

There are technically only 3 steps, but an optional Step 4 is to have a friend come over and help you realize that the stuff in pile 3 should really be in the first or second pile. If you don't have such a friend, Step 4 is learning to build a storage shed.

This was the old you.