How to Make Conditions Better for Your Fresh Start
Monday, January 14, 2019 at 6:53AM
Linda Samuels in Fresh Start, Mindfulness, calm, clothes, decisions, fresh start, meditation, mind, mindfulness, organize, paper, pause, projects, space

You’re in good company if you’re thinking, “How is it already the middle of January?” Thoughts of glitter, parties, and intentions are on our minds. Yet here we are, halfway through the first month of a new year. You might be wondering how to make the best of your fresh start, especially with the time flying by.  If you’re still cleaning up from the holidays and getting those last decorations put away, great! In fact, getting back to square one is an integral part of preparing for a new beginning. Clearing allows us to remove obstacles and focus positive energy towards our next projects and paths.

While the first few weeks of this year have been a whirlwind, there were several external and internal things I did which helped me improve and create energy during this time of year. I’m curious if any of these ideas resonate with you? 


Edit Clothes

Typically, I edit and organize my clothes twice a year. I do the spring/summer and the fall/winter reviews. Even though I had done the fall/winter sort months ago, I noticed that I still had many clothes I wasn’t wearing. So if they weren’t being worn, what were they doing taking up valuable physical and mental space? And while that may seem like an obvious question, answering it wasn’t as simple. So I went further to figure out why I wasn’t wearing them. Was it they just didn't fit? Had they been replaced by something similar that I liked better? Was it just that when it was time to get dressed they never got picked? If I’m not wearing it, why am I maintaining it?

Do you know about the 80/20 rule? We only wear 20% of the clothes that we own. That’s because we have our favorites. So using the “favorites” criteria, I looked again and released more items from my drawers and closet. I’ll continue to pay attention as the winter progresses. Getting dressed will be obstacle-free with fewer decisions and more breathing room for my clothes.


Clear Files

While I have a lot of digital files, I still collect a fair amount of paper. The papers are stored in filing cabinets, binders or boxes, depending on what they are. By the end of the year, there is a group of financial papers that get cleared out to make room for the current year. Typically I’ll do the big paper purge the last week in December or early January. Most of the papers relate to taxes. I shred and recycle as much as possible and move the keepers to a storage area away from my prime office space. Last week I cleared my files. By the end of the year, my drawers get quite full. It becomes challenging to access what I need easily. It felt incredible to remove the old and regain my space. Now every time I open the file drawers, I have an “ahhhh” feeling. There’s no struggle, just room to file and retrieve what I need. This simple act of clearing the paper signaled my fresh start “ready for anything” attitude. 


Calm Mind

Many of you know that I meditate daily. I begin and end my day with this practice. While the point isn’t to clear my mind of all thoughts, it does help calm my mind to be more present and available to others and myself. Every day I have a mixture of positive, neutral, and negative emotions and experiences. My mindfulness and meditation practice provides me with a supportive base. It helps me appreciate the full experience of living.  I love learning about mindfulness through reading, practicing, experiencing, attending workshops, and talking with teachers and practitioners. Last week, I had the pleasure of learning from one of my favorite guides, Amy Reyer Ph.D., who led a Contemplative Meditation workshop, which was the third class in her Art of Well-Being series. Meditation practices can be done in many ways and don’t all involve sitting still on a cushion with your eyes closed while focusing on your breath. I like to experiment with different meditations. Each time I practice, that fresh start is activated. I’m able to press the reset button to pause, focus, learn, tune in, and go forward in a calmer, more open way.


To create optimal conditions for a better beginning, clear your internal and external obstacles. Edit and release what is no longer of value. Edit and release the things that are holding you down. Create space for the belongings and thoughts that support you. Clear to boost to your fresh start.

What are you ready to clear? What obstacles are you about to remove? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Join the conversation!





Article originally appeared on The Other Side of Organized by Linda Samuels (
See website for complete article licensing information.