New Year’s Resolutions 2014: Clear the Clutter (& Your Head!)

You don’t have to be featured on an episode of “Hoarders” to suddenly find yourself surrounded by C.Y.D.N. (Crap You Don’t Need). And when you have kids the crap multiplies exponentially. To our drawers full of outdated beauty products, worn-out running shoes, piles of clothes that need to be dropped off at Goodwill, and kitchen gadgets we’ve never used (and never will), the children add any/all of the following: dime store party favors, vats of dried-up Play-Doh, and millions of mysterious plastic parts to toys they will never meet again.

The mess is not only unnerving to our eyes; science has also discovered that clutter negatively impacts our brains and ability to focus and process information. Our homes should be sanctuaries from outside stress and stimulation caused by the onslaught of “stuff” out there.

The solution for a mess-free new year? Donate or throw it all out.

“My mantra for 2014 is ‘Clear the Clutter,’ which I’m incidentally putting into effect immediately by moving into a smaller home at the end of the month,” says Dallas-based Paula Minnis, founder of GAIA Empowered Women. “With a household of six, including twin toddlers and three pets, we’ve had a tendency to accumulate a lot of ‘stuff.’”

Keep the criteria simple for getting rid of things in every room of your home. Paula’s rule is perfectly straight-forward: “I’m grateful for this opportunity to purge. If it doesn’t make our hearts sing, out it goes.”