New Years’ Resolution: Shed Your Stress


Sometimes the biggest problems have simple solutions. Shedding clutter can be the best way to shed the stress in your life. Learn more at Shed Advice!

Many of the top New Years’ Resolutions we hear have to do with personal goals like drink less, lose weight, stop smoking, lower stress, finish that novel, or make a million dollars. While some of these may be attainable, others are likely to go unfinished. Some, however are attainable, but may need to be broken down into the simple steps that make the goal reachable. Let’s look at stress as an example.

Shedding stress

We will probably not be able to eliminate the stress brought upon us by others. Stress from work, and stress from relationships will likely continue to be a significant problem throughout the coming year. Sadly, that is just a fact we will need to learn to deal with, and by dealing well with it, we may be able to make a dent in the issue, and lower our blood pressure by a point or two. We all need to work on responding properly to the stress in relationships both at home and in our employment, but there are a few things that we can do to make the stress more manageable on a realistic level.

If you work in a cluttered workspace, or live in a cluttered home, there is a good chance that your level of ambient stress is aggravating the situation for you and those around you. This is something that you can change.The simple act of clearing and organizing your desk, or your tool box or truck will almost invariably bring near immediate reduction in stress levels. When you have done this, others will likely follow your lead, lowering their stress level as well, and consequently lowering the stress between two or more workplace antagonists.

The same is true of the home. There is a pretty good chance that rooms cluttered with boxes, closets filled with things that don’t belong in closets, and a garage piled so high that it evokes fear in the minds of those who dare approach it are causing dissension in the family.

If you can find a way to reduce the clutter, you will reduce the stress.

Shedding clutter

First, you will need to decide where your clutter will go. Can it be thrown out? Can it be given away? Could you sell some of it for a little extra cash? Will you need a place to store these items, or is there another way? Do you really need that ancient printer, or the worn out circular saw that has already been replaced? If you have not used the items in question for a year, there is a good chance you can live without them.

Make four stacks

We suggest making stacks of these items in four categories:

One for throwing out, one for giving away, one for selling, and one to store. Try to keep your “store” pile small, otherwise, you are just moving clutter from one location to another.

If you have the option of purchasing a utility building for your back yard, this would be a wise first step. Don’t use it as a “catch all”. That is not solving the problem only delaying it. Get your building in place, and begin your stacks.

If you can’t purchase a storage building, use self storage, or public storage as it is often called as a last resort only. Paying someone else to keep your clutter costs money and adds to the stress. Find another way like better organizing or fewer items if possible. Creating shelving in your garage can allow you to go vertical with your storage space. Well designed attic space can also help, but most of all, keep that keep stack small.

Don’t be shocked if your cleanup turns into an ad hock garage sale. In fact, this might be something you would like to try. If you can plan this on a day when a garage sale is possible, all the better. Put your signs and flyers out ahead of time when good weather is predicted, and start bringing things out. some of the things from your keep pile, and your toss pile may end up in the sale pile as the day wears on. One mans trash is another mans treasure, and you can offer give aways to folks who buy something.

Move your keep items, that is the ones you know you want to keep to your storage area.

Whatever is not gone by the end of the day should be tossed.

Reducing clutter will reduce stress. Reducing stress will improve relationships, and the consequent reduction of stress in relationships will lower anxiety even more. Lowering the level of angst may actually help you with your other resolutions like smoking and alcohol use and provide you with the clear head you need to work on your other goals for the new year! Who knows? Maybe you can use some of that extra space to store all that extra money you make!