After almost a year and a half of staying mostly—or completely—inside our homes, things are opening back up and we’re starting to remember what the lower halves of other people’s faces look like. It’s so easy to get swept up in the excitement and try to do all of the things—whether that’s making purchases, picking up new hobbies, traveling, or all three!

As you reflect back on the past year, the challenges you’ve faced, and the lessons you’ve learned, it’s a good time to be thinking about your “Big Rocks,” that is, the people, activities, and things that are most important to you. How can you navigate these new opportunities while living in a way that honors your “Big Rocks” the most?

Declutter Your Space

Organizing your physical space not only keeps you from tripping over that darn extension cord or searching for your keys every day, but it also keeps your mind free from clutter.

Every time you think about that big stack of mail on the kitchen table, you’re experiencing unnecessary stress. Now’s the time to go through that mail, consider (without judgment) how the pile got to be the size that it is, and make a plan for how you’ll prevent it from growing in the future. Maybe when you check your mail, separate out the junk mail for recycling right away. Find a place dedicated to processing mail that isn’t on your kitchen table, schedule a time to go through it every week, and treat yourself when done. The trick is to find a system that works for you!

Decluttering after this past year may be especially important if, like me, you made some online pandemic purchases. Sometimes the online sales are too tempting! Sometimes the boxes pile up instead of being broken down for the recycling bin.

Not only can you declutter your physical space and think about whether you actually use the items you bought, but maybe it’s time to go through your personal inbox and hit that “unsubscribe” button, and if you work, go through your work email and delete those messages that aren’t relevant anymore. In an interview with Fortune, Suzy Batiz, founder and CEO of Poo~Pourri, found that allowing herself to let go of the feeling that she needed to reply to every email has been especially gratifying for her.

It’s important to periodically go through your things and make sure they’re really the things that you want most, the ones that reflect your values. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself as you think about the things you have:

  • What items haven’t I used in the last year? Am I likely to use them in the coming year?
  • What have I only used once or twice over the past year? If it’s taking up space, do I have a friend I could borrow that item from if I choose to get rid of it? Does it fit The Minimalists’ 20/20 rule (i.e. can I replace it in under 20 minutes for under $20)?
  • What items do I have that have sentimental value? Do I really need them to evoke a memory or to represent my identity? Or, do I feel bad about getting rid of them because they were a gift or inherited from a family member? Is there a way to honor these items without having them take up so much space, such as taking a photo or repurposing them into artwork to hang on a wall?
  • What items don’t fit my lifestyle anymore? Is it time to sell that mountain bike?

Spend Your Time How You Want

You may have worked remotely over the past year, but now you’re back in the office and you want to figure out a different way to make time for the activities you started during the pandemic. Or maybe you found out you really enjoy knitting and you’d like to join a knitting club. I found that while I enjoy reading, I don’t make enough time for it, so one of my goals is to join a book club to hold me accountable.

It’s okay to change how you spend your time, whether that’s making time for things you’ve always loved, finding out you don’t enjoy an activity like you used to and no longer doing it, or making time for a new one. The important thing is to figure out what you value now, in this moment of your life, and think about what amount of time you’d like to devote to it.

Make a Life Transition

How do you feel about your home? Have you decluttered all you can, but it just isn’t feeling “right” anymore? Are you ready to take advantage of the hot housing market by selling your home? This post-pandemic time may be the right time for you to make a change in your living situation.

At Big Rocks Organizing, we like to use the term “rightsizing” —aligning your home with your values doesn’t just have to involve getting rid of things and moving into a smaller place. You may want to move into a larger space, or renovate your current house to fit your needs.

Remember that this is a big decision that will involve time and money. Have a discussion with those closest to you about what this transition might look like for you, and for them, too. Consider all of your options. How will this transition positively impact your “Big Rocks?”

While we can’t ignore the tragedy and devastation brought on by COVID-19, we can take the opportunity to reflect on our values, our “Big Rocks,” and the things that we have, so we can move forward with a clear purpose, and with a mind and home that are both free of clutter. This will take some introspection and some time, and may involve talking things over with those you love.

Identify what your values are, and think about what changes you need to make in order to align those values with the things you have, the ways in which you spend your time, and the space in which you inhabit.  Here’s a tool to get you started.

If you feel stuck, overwhelmed, or would simply like to gain some momentum, please reach out to us at Big Rocks Organizing. We would be honored to assist you!