Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

8 Resolutions for an Edited New Year

After a near-miss with a Mayan apocalyptic threat and a direct hit with the holidays, it’s time to resume life. As the new year demarcates new beginnings for many of us, we thought we’d offer a few resolutions for those of us looking to edit our lives. If you want to live more with less stuff, space and energy, consider making some or all of the following resolutions.

In 2013, I resolve to…

  1. Get rid of all unwanted holiday gifts. If you don’t think you’ll need something now, chances are you won’t need it later. What happens when we don’t dispose of–or redistribute–stuff immediately, it quickly transforms from novelty to clutter. Get rid of it now.
  2. Get rid of unwanted clothes. This is one of the easiest forms of editing your life. Ask yourself, “Have I worn this in the last year?” If not, there’s a good chance you won’t wear it in the next.
  3. Buy something of “heirloom quality.” Some of us might have a few holiday bucks burning holes in our pockets. Rather than getting something you’ll be semi-satisfied with, that’ll last you a little while, buy something that will last a long while–perhaps that you could hand down–and that you won’t tire of. Buy it even if this something is a bit more expensive than you might be comfortable or accustomed to spending. Remember: Something that is twice the price but lasts four times as long is effectively half-price.
  4. Sell or get rid of something big that I don’t use. Maybe it’s a massage chair you thought you’d use everyday or that treadmill you thought would kick-start your fitness regime. Sell it on eBayKrrb or Craigslist. If those fail, give it away. While our unused stuff seems passive, it is not. It takes us space and attention. Being free of it is worth a lot.
  5. Digitize one thing in your life. It’s amazing how much space you can create when you digitize. Try an eReader, scan your important documents, digitize your old photos, convert your CD’s to MP3’s. You’ll be glad you did.
  6. Try a sharing system. We know you’ve been meaning to, but you just haven’t got around to it. Well 2013 is the time. Maybe borrow something on Neighborgoods, catch a ride with Zimrides or rent a dress from Rent the Runway. Start enjoying the benefits of access without ownership.
  7. Downsize my home. Not everyone will be moving this year, but the US Census says one in six of us will. If that’s the case, consider moving to a smaller home whatever that looks like for you. If you’re currently in a 4K sq ft home, try 3K. If you’re in a 600 sq ft apartment, consider 500 sq ft, and so on. There is no magic number for square footage, but most American homes are far larger than necessary, leading to higher expenses, more resources expended and more headache.
  8. Focus on my happiness. Many of us accumulate stuff, work a ton and do many other things because we think they’ll bring happiness. But do they? This year, focus on the things that actually make you happy, not the things we’ve been led to believe will make us happy.

What are your resolutions to edit this year? Share them with us in our comments section.