The approach of a brand new year tends to spark feelings of excitement - it provides the ability to start out with a clean slate. Resolutions abound, whether it’s the desire to begin a diet, change the way you style your hair, or just live a simpler life. If a fresh start is what you’re after, why not begin at home?
Like it or not, clutter easily develops at home. One week after a deep clean, piles start building up and counter spaces begins to disappear. The feelings of chaos and confusion that follow are all too common, but it doesn’t have to be this way! The new year represents a new season in life, and it’s time to grab hold of your home’s organization style. After all, the removal of clutter will feel as if an enormous weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
Now that you’ve nailed down what it is you want to achieve, the game plan can be a bit harder to decide upon. However, with some determination and a fresh start on your side, decluttering your home will happen faster than you can say “Happy New Year!” Read on for a few helpful suggestions.
Clean out the Closets
Christmas is over and likely brought with it a host of new wardrobe items. The gifts are certainly nice, but if they all got placed in the closet alongside the items that have been in there for years, you’ve got a problem.
A closet bursting at the seams increases the difficulty of finding the clothes you actually wear and it causes you to feel even less motivated about keeping things ship-shape. To declutter that space, there’s a few things to keep in mind as you go:
- Determine the last time that you wore each item. 10 years ago at the big bash for Grandma’s 90th birthday? It’s probably time to pass it on.
- Designate three boxes - giveaway, throwaway, and keep. Sort through your closet by box so you can actually see the amount of items in each one.
- When you’re finished, take all the giveaway items to a charity like Goodwill or Salvation Army and never look back.
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Create a Landing Spot
Everytime you walk in the door, the first thing you do is set down your keys, the mail, and any additional bags. That’s all fine and dandy, but where do you set it all down at? If your answer is the kitchen counter, or wherever it gets dropped first, there is a better method.
Counter space in your home is precious, and rather than occupy it with unnecessary items, create a ‘landing’ space. Consider placing a small table in the entryway near the front door and set a few decorative baskets on top. Give each basket a specific use - one for keys, one for the mail, one for bags, etc. When each item has a home, it’s less likely to get strewn about and cause clutter.
Sometimes, the easiest way to simplify is staring right in front of you. Every home has plenty of wall space, which can easily be transformed into storage! Free up the floors and counters by installing shelves on your walls. Take it a step further by using baskets or bins on your shelves so that everything has a place to go.
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Use Dual Purpose Furniture
Sure, at some point, too much furniture only adds to the sense of chaos in a cluttered home, but on the other hand, it can also become your greatest ally in fighting the disorder. Choose furniture that doubles as storage. If you have an off day, when things are getting out of hand and there’s no time to organize, you can easily throw things inside and no one will know the difference.
Pieces like coffee tables that feature drawers and baskets, ottomans that open up to a deep bin, and beds with built-in drawers are all functional ways to keep an organized home.
Tidy Up Drawers
Having a junk drawer seems like an ideal way to isolate the clutter, but often, that one junk drawer expands and becomes three or four “junk drawers.” Tell yourself that there won’t even be one disorganized drawer in your home and you’ll have a goal to aim for.
Go through every drawer in your home and empty out all the contents. With a garbage can by your side, peruse ruthlessly, tossing everything that you don’t really need and keep only what you regularly use. Then, place drawer organizers inside so everything has a space. Tidy drawers save you sanity and time, which is exactly what the new year should be all about.
After your clock strikes twelve and the ball drops in New York City, it’s time to start cutting the clutter. With these simple tips, this can be your most organized year yet, and going back to your old ways will be a thing of the past.
Naomi Shaw is a freelance writer in Southern California. She has three kids of her own and understands how challenging it can be to keep your home neat and organized. These tips have proved very helpful, even when life gets busy!