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End-of-Year: Decluttering and Minimalism

End-of-Year: Decluttering and Minimalism

Last month of 2020! Let’s make it a good one! In this context, making it a good one means making the rest of the holiday season as magical as it can be, properly wrapping up this year, and setting up the new one for more success.

Today’s topic is the first step in putting a bow on it and launching into the new year with pizzaz. It includes how to properly do end-of-year - decluttering and minimalism to lay the groundwork for setting up the new year right.

The idea is to clear the decks, reduce the load, streamline, clean up, and eliminate all the excess and the unwanted - things, clutter, disorganization, food and other substances, responsibilities, commitments, projects, tasks, minutia, information, notifications, screen-time, and the like depending on our stage of life, family constitution, and lifestyle.

Pandemic and its implications aside, we live in interesting times. We live in a consumerist society and in the age of information. We are set up by default to be inundated with stuff and content. Unless we become amazing gatekeepers, these can take over our way of life and our very existence.

[Related: The Skills You Need to Succeed in 2020]

Taking on a minimalist mentality creates space, time, and energy.

When we live in clutter and disorganization, we zap our own energy and kill our own time. We live in less than aesthetically pleasing living spaces and have no space for the new.

The same goes for when we live with overcommitment and other excess. How are we to properly pivot, reconstruct, make changes, get more results, and create more awesomeness when there is no wiggle way to maneuver, never mind make major desired shifts?

So, this is why Step 1 is embracing a minimalist mentality to help us reset and create the space, time, and energy for something better, for the new, for the shift, for the transformation.

My take on the minimalism/essentialism: This can be done and embraced to whatever extent you like that serves your life. In my opinion, anything too extreme in either direction on anything creates imbalance. Therefore, you don’t have to overdo this where you end up living in an empty house or such a basic life that you miss out the human experience. But, you do want to eliminate anything and everything that gets in your way or holds you back from your true self and creating the life you desire.

You are encouraged to do this in a way that best suits you and your life. The goal is to unencumber you of the excess in your life that holds you back. Here is a great video for avoiding minimalism pitfalls and ideas that make this concept so much more challenging than it has to be. Do minimalism your way!

For the purpose of this post and our end-of-year process, we want to do a high-level clearing of the noise in our life. You can go about this as a 20 Day Declutter Challenge. Loving me some 20 day challenges this year in celebration of our 20th year practice anniversary! And, 20 days just fits really well with the length of time we have left to be productive this year. Here is a 30 Days To Minimalism guide you can tailor for yourself as you see fit.

When we embrace minimalism to whatever extent is appropriate for ourselves, we create extra margin, spaciousness, and grace in our lifestyle that is super conducive for us showing up with our best self. When we are not triple booked, back-to-back, running on a chaotic schedule or runaway calendar, jammed packed with tasks and meetings, and having a gazillion pending to-dos, we have more space to operate and choose how we want to show up. Who we want to be.

We can be more intentional and mindful. We can be more patient, accepting, present, and compassionate. We can connect more easily. We can love more freely. We can live more passionately. We can create more luxuriously. We can actually be our best self, create our best relationship, and live our best life.

[Related: You Cannot be Derailed…Only Slowed Down]

The basics in the next 20 days.

Declutter surfaces, corners, closets, shelves – Grab boxes to collect the items out of place in each room in your home. Do one room at a time, gathering, sorting, and putting away, throwing out, or leaving in the box to donate. Schedule a donation pick-up.

Silence the noise – Mute or get rid of notifications, unsubscribe/leave lists, newsletters, forums, groups, programs, commitments, activities, and the like – cut off the excess fat!

Get rid of the excess – Food, alcohol, clothing, cosmetics, books, gadgets, appliances, electronics, supplies, equipment, instruments, tools, toys, games, apps, decorations, and knick-knacks, etc.

Clear a stuck project – Identify a project that’s been lingering for way too long that you don’t want to carry into the new year with you. Outline a plan for addressing and removing this energy suck from your life. Break it down into smaller to-dos and schedule them out to get them done. Or, delegate or outsource with very clear instructions, expectations, milestones, and deadlines. Or, maybe simply just scrap it already!

Clear a stuck situation – Identify a situation that you no longer want to tolerate. Decide whose problem it is; are you owning your circle and not others’? Do you need to set more effective boundaries or clarify expectations? Do you need to have a more difficult conversation? Is it time to leave, let go, make another radical change? Take one small action toward resolution. And then another, and then another... Get support with this one!

Take charge of your physical, mental, and relational space. Get rid of the stuff that no longer makes sense, you are tired of, is in excess, has run its course, doesn’t give you joy, no longer serves you, or actually undermines you. Less is better in most instances.

Assignment: Whether you choose to tackle decluttering and minimalizing as a 20 Day Challenge or a couple of working sessions, the goal is to clear the way to more physical, mental, emotional, and energetic space in your life.

  • Identify your approach.
  • Identify the area that needs the most attention and will give you the most bang for your effort - messes, noise, excess, stuck project, stuck situation.
  • Identify your working times or sessions.
  • Identify where you’ll start.
  • Identify when you’ll start.

Make a commitment to knock this out - feel the liberation, expansiveness, and joy you’ll feel when you finish and how you’ll be ready to tackle anything after this!

Decluttering and minimalizing your life is an amazing end-of-year tactic to clear the old and pave the way for the new. Get going with getting ready for the new year!

Happy decluttering!

[Related: Asking Questions For Which You Have No Answers]


Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples. She is the creator of the MetroRelationship philosophy and the Successful Couple Strategy that help couples succeed at their relationship and their life. To stay connected with Emma and receive weekly connection notes in your inbox with personal development and relationship enrichment insights and strategies, visit

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


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