And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the wineskins, and the wine will be destroyed–and the wineskins. Instead, new wine is poured into new wineskins.” — Mark 2:22

The year 2022 is a very special year for Queen Elizabeth II as Britain and the Commonwealth on June 2, 2022, celebrate the 70th year of her reign as monarch of the United Kingdom. She overtakes her great grandmother, Queen Victoria, by seven years, in a reign that is marked by powerful state triumphs although littered with personal clutter, blurbs, and things she can live without. As the Queen and Brits celebrate this momentous occasion, it is time to look at areas that clutter our lives, remove value, are purposeless, bring no joy, and simply take up too much space.

In the film by the same name, Forest Gump’s says that his Mom always said “you only need so much money, the rest is just for showing off.: Adding to this is another modern philosopher who advised us as a group of diplomats being sent into the civil service field: “less is best.” This is the time to adopt the guiding motto for ’22 as you clear the way for what to keep and what to toss out the window, making room for what matters most.

How can this be achieved? whether in the house or in the office, the decision can be simple, if one looks for items or things that do not add value. If there is no value to item or items, then getting rid of them is best for 2022 in efforts to live a clutter-free life in and outside the office/home.

There are many items we keep in the office or home that are kept for minor emergencies, these are what experts call “the what-ifs…” or “the just-in-case this or that happens, then….” With the exception of First Aid Kits, these other items should be removed from the house or office.

Get rid of photos and paper around the house or office. Many people keep pictures of family, friends, and pets; most are in duplicate of triplicates. Other people have paper all over the house or the office (for “just in case purposes); in handbags, kitchen counter, desk drawers, in the car enough to fill a landfill twice. Then there are the coupon collectors or people who keep “junk mail” that is “to be looked at or considered at a later time, or statements. This should be thrown away like the blurry pictures.

Empty all trash, rubbish that is found in plain sight: junk mail, flyers of events that have taken place, and paper, all over the place on kitchen counters, in the car, or in the drawers in the office.

There are many items that we get emotionally attached to and don’t have the heart to throw them out. These are things like a broken, damaged, or chipped coffee/tea mug, the broken necklace/bracelet that was given by grandma, an old flame, or your child. It is time to let go and part ways with these valueless souvenirs. Look in the kitchen cabinet for topless food containers; toss them in the recycling bin.

There are plenty of items in the pantry that are either duplicate, too many of or are in great disrepair. Such things as sunglasses, measuring cups, handbags, shoes, spoons, pens, the disused golf bag and clubs *that were replaced by a Christmas gift). These occupy too much space and frankly take up much emotion from you as you go through a memory lane trip every time you look at it. Toss these out!

Look into any woman’s kitchen and you, find a motley of kitchen utensils and things, most of these are in unusable condition or beyond the use-by dates. These are spices and sauces, containers without lids, shoes that have mud from last year’s rainstorm, books to be read or already read, gifts you’ve yet to use or don’t like. And every kitchen has a junk drawer, a dump-it of sorts that has everything but the kitchen sink. Toss these out.

There are many items in my closet and other extra spaces that are hosting items and materials for hobbies and pass times that I no longer have time or interest for; realistically, I should throw these away or donate them. There’s a bag full of beautiful yarn and materials for scarves that I thought would be great to wear. Alas, there’s neither time nor sufficient desire to re-learn the skills that would turn material into a wearable item. The mindset shift is to declutter my closet of this precious material and donate it to the nearest Red cross. Along with these will, of course, be the school activity box full of goodies from my summer school work in an elementary school.

There are sometimes items from a past life that are still in the office, yard, or house. These may include professional clothes and office supplies, or at the house, if you once owned a cat cot or other pet like a fish tank. There is no cat or no fish, you are no longer working as security personnel, it is best to dispose of these items, thereby create space in the house or office for your new phase.

The Hoarders Incorporated International (made up name) will affirm there are many of us with expired items literary all over the house or office that have been in expired or use-by-dates from 7 to 10 years ago. These range from teaspoon full ketchup or mayonnaise, makeup, medicines. Throw these out for your health and wellbeing.

I once had a gift item that my late daughter had given me. Every time I looked at it, I was drawn to tears. I gave it to my cousin as a way of removing it from my view. Several years later when my cousin passed away and I was going through her personal items, I found the gift item. I threw it out. The message here is for you to remove all the items in your life that bring bad memories. Other things in this category are items from people that are no longer your friends (boy or girl) or unflattering pictures of yourself. Sell or give them away, if possible.

Many of us have way too many clothes that we love and hope to one day fit back into. This is not what the closet space is for; it is for clothes that you can wear today or tomorrow, not when the weight-loss program makes you lose the 10 pounds

Lastly, there are items in our digital space that we to remove. Make it a normal practice to remove posts you send or is sent to you in your digital world. It is a blessing that the digital space providers have a limitation on the stuff we can upload. However, there is still the need for us to remove them once in a while. This includes seasonal greetings, videos, emails, documents you no longer use; the music that you danced to in the past, or organizations/magazines that you subscribed to but no longer listen/read.

The year is still young and fresh, and as we join the Brits in celebrating the 70-reign of a beloved and cherished monarch, let us enter the New Year with a clutter-free office space or house. We need to make room for some dancing and memento/souvenir collectibles.

Happy New year! 

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