Clean Up Your Act and Declutter in 2015

Val Curtis

I could make a list of resolutions that I won’t keep, but that would be a waste of our time.

What I will do this January 1st is commit to a word. DECLUTTER. It’s time to take inventory on my life.

UCLA recently released a study about how clutter effects your life. The following excerpts stuck with me:

  • “The American workplace is intense and demanding; when we come home, we want material rewards, like people all around the globe,” Ochs says. “What distinguishes us is the normative expectation of hyperconsumerism. American middle-class houses, especially in Los Angeles, are capacious; refrigerators are larger than elsewhere on the planet. Even so, we find food, toys and other purchases exceeding the confines of the home and overflowing into garages, piled up to the rafters with stockpiled extra ‘stuff.’ ” Ironically, the study found that our need to reward ourselves materially may actually increase our stress—at least for moms. In their video tours, mothers use words like “mess,” “not fun” and “very chaotic” to describe their homes. . . 
  • From a mom’s perspective: “It’s difficult to find time to sort, organize and manage these possessions,” says Graesch. “Thus, our excess becomes a visible sign of unaccomplished work that constantly challenges our deeply engrained notions of tidy homes and elicits substantial stress.” 
  • “Fathers in their home tours would walk in the same rooms their wives had come through and often made no mention whatsoever of the messiness and were unaffected psychologically,” says Arnold. “This was pretty astonishing.” For these dads and for many of the older children, Arnold observes, artifacts are a source of pleasure or pride, and so for these family members, possession leads to contentment. Besides, she adds, “Who has time to clean up?”


The clutter makes me feel crazed, I don’t need a study to tell me that, but it confirms what I already knew. Over the past few years,  clutter found it’s way into every aspect of my life. This year, I need to declutter and cut down on the craziness.


In Her Own Words Chip

Listen to Val Curtis read this on STITCHER – LIBSYN – iTunes


I will declutter my desk – so I can be more efficient when it is time to work.

I will declutter my kitchen – keep what we need, so there is less to manage.

I will declutter my closet – oh dear lord, this is not a small task. Honestly, I do NOT need that t-shirt from 1998. In the words of Elsa, “Let it go!”

I will declutter our living space – it might take a dumpster, but I am becoming a big believer in “if it doesn’t have a home, it has to go”. After Christmas, we went through and gave all of our new possessions a place on the shelf. We are packed to the gills. It’s time to do another clean up.

I will declutter my friendships – hold on to those who are true friends and keep them close. I mentioned this to a friend and his face tightened. This isn’t a matter where I am discarding people, it is about taking care of those who I adore.

I will declutter my conversations – if you want to belittle someone else, it won’t be with me. We are all doing the best we can. I am done with mamas putting down other mamas. I am not casting stones at glasshouses. Without a doubt, this is something I have been caught up in in the past. If Kelly is the Queen of all things Pinterest, awesome. That’s her bag. If Sue put a blue streak in her hair, more power to her. No more bashing. If I notice that a mama has “gone quiet” or things seem to be out of control in her world, I am going to lend a hand and an ear, not an opinion or, much worse, talk about her to others.

I will declutter my schedule – it’s time to prioritize what is going to take up my time. Family first and then the rest will fall in line. Oh social media, you are in for some scheduled time and scheduled time alone. Your elixir is wearing off.

My goal? More family time.

Over the holidays, my husband was home for a week. I had an incredible date night with him while the kids were away. I want more of THAT. I need to declutter my marriage and get back to spending time with my best friend as my best friend. It’s been a long time and it felt amazing to just CHILL with him. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just blank time to be together.

Clutter causes strain, whether it is house clutter, conversation clutter, social media clutter, friend clutter or a cluttered schedule. Simplify by cleaning up and declutter this year.

Where can you declutter your life?


Clean Up Your Act and Declutter in 2015 -- not just your house, your life

NEXT READ: BonBon Break’s  Top 10 Posts for 2014

Val is the Editor-in-chief of BonBon Break. A former middle school science/math/tech teacher, she put her career on hold to be at home with her son and daughter on an island in the Pacific Northwest. When Val breaks away from her keyboard, she enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, camping, photography, tidepooling, sailing and potlucks. She gets a kick out of combing the web for recipes and making them gluten free so she can share meals with her husband, family and friends. She is a tech-gadget geek who is poked fun at, but it doesn’t bother her a bit. Combining her love of photography, tech and graphics to create new, fun content for BonBon Break quenches her “thirst” for integrated technology.