New Year’s resolution: Clear the clutter: Start 2016 with less stuff and more focus | VailDaily.com

New Year’s resolution: Clear the clutter: Start 2016 with less stuff and more focus

Kim Fuller
Special to the Daily

Editor's note: This is the fourth article in a five-part series about New Year's resolutions, running daily through Tuesday. Search "New Year's resolutions" at http://www.vaildaily.com to read additional articles in the series.

Piles of clothing in your closet aren't likely to make dressing yourself any easier, just as a busy mind can stifle productivity. With a hodgepodge of material things to interact with and an overwhelming amount of information to sort through every day, methods to streamline and simplify can help you declutter and get organized.

Going through all your belongings can be a long-term project (New Year's resolution, anyone?), but you can make space for the mind in minutes.

Local yoga instructor and certified goal coach Rachel Nelson said she uses meditation to clear mental clutter.

"I know it sounds a little cliche," she said, "and it really does work — even just 10 minutes of mindful breathing keeps me mentally clear, focused and organized."

She said she uses an online planner and a notebook planner to keep her schedule straight. She recommends "The Basics Notebook," available on http://www.kick starter.com, and she said she loves her Google calendar.

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"Also, not overfilling my physical space is important to me, which is why I love the book, 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,'" she said. "I love the philosophy behind it — if it doesn't bring me joy, I don't really need it."

This book Nelson has used to clear out her space is the sixth-best-selling book of 2015 at The Bookworm of Edwards, according to store owner Nicole Magistro. The store has sold 221 copies this year.

'Spark Joy'

The author of "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing," Marie Kondo, has shared her clearing methods with readers all over the world since the book was published first in Japan and Europe and then in the United States in 2014. Kondo recommends discarding everything that does not "spark joy." She says to thank the objects that have given their service.

She also offers specific suggestions, such as hanging clothing that needs to be hung — arranging by type and color. Her methods can be used anywhere, not just with clothing. Other ideal places include your car, kitchen, office, etc.

"I actually feel more happy having lots of stuff to organize and that everything in my space brings me joy," Nelson said. "I feel more calm and clear, too."

Once your purging process is complete, helpful systems from companies such as Closet Factory can make it easy to streamline home and office storage.

"We build systems that allow you to have a place for everything," said Andre Willner, Avon-based consultant for Closet Factory, out of Centennial.

While Willner's work is all about implementing organizing systems, Kondo says in her book to not buy organizing equipment; that your home already has all of the storage you need. Systems or not, Willner does agree that purging is often necessary.

"When people are downsizing — for example, going from a large house to a much smaller house — they have to go through their stuff and decide what they really need," he said. "Cause you can't put a gallon of milk in a quart bottle."

For those who want to move forward with creating (or ordering) built-in home organization, you won't be able to escape going through your things.

"I tell everybody that if we redo your closet, you have to take everything out of your closet to put the system in, and I tell them that that's a great opportunity to go through all of your stuff," he said. "If you haven't worn it in a while, take it to the thrift shop or donate it to somebody, or you can bring it to one of the several stores that sell used clothing or used articles, and it'll make somebody happy."

Space for goals

Once you've cleared out items that no longer "spark joy" in your life, consider cleaning up and orienting some of your mental space, as well. Nelson works with people to help them create goals and take action around them.

"I love working with people who have a goal or idea and are not sure how to get there or what to do next," she said. "I also work with people who feel like they are stuck or can't quite figure out how to move forward and take the next step."

She said making some space — with your mind and your material possessions — is essential for sustainable progress toward your goals.

"What I know from years of training and coaching others is that if we don't clean up or clear our clutter — may it be material, emotional, mental — it's really hard to move forward," she said.

Taking time to clean up your physical space or calling those people you have been meaning to call or forgiving yourself or others for things that have been done, Nelson said, makes it easier to participate in your future.

"When we do these things and get complete with our past, it lets us feel grounded and clear and ready to set the vision we want for ourselves," she said, "and then see the next steps to take."

Nelson is launching her new company, Roots to Wings Coaching, at the end of January. She said the one-on-one coaching style will help clients clarify their goals and start working toward them, and then she will "set them free to soar."

"I will help people climb the mountain to their idea, goal or vision, and then they will soar into their own success and power," she said.

Goal No. 1: Clean out that closet.

If you go …

What: Create Your Best Year, with Rachel Nelson.

When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5

Where: Revolution Power Yoga, 51 Eagle Road, Eagle-Vail.

Cost: $30 for members or $40 for nonmembers.

More information: The three-hour program is designed with meditation, discussion and journaling, but no physical yoga, to help people clarify their goals and move toward them. Visit http://www.revolutionpoweryoga.com.