Happy New Year! Every time January comes around, it never fails to surprise me how quickly another year has passed. Instead of focusing on that sobering realization, though, I prefer to look forward and think of January as an opportunity to clear out the old and make room for the new. That starts with my home. Before I even think about decor changes, I make sure to organize it to work with my lifestyle.
I’ve found it’s best to declutter and re-organize your home a few times a year. That way, the task isn’t overwhelming and not as much stuff builds up throughout the year. (I’ve let that happen before and let me tell you, it’s not fun.) January marks a fresh start for the new year so that’s a great time to capitalize on the energy of it; then you can do another one for spring cleaning, and another in the summer or fall. Or you could do a session at the beginning of each season. Three or four focused decluttering sessions throughout the year will help you stay on top of things and prevent it from getting out of control, not to mention keep you from dreading the task altogether. Figure out a schedule that works best for you. Work smarter, not harder!
Here’s a room-by-room guide to organize your home. It will give you some ideas on where to start and what to get rid of. This list is helpful for any season, really, so feel free to print it up and keep it handy for all of your decluttering sessions throughout the year. To make it easier for you, simply fill out the form at the end of this post and I’ll send you a printable copy of the guide.
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- Get rid of utensils you no longer use or have multiples of. Store those you do use in a pretty jar on the counter or organize them in a drawer using dividers.
- Use shelf organizers in your cabinets to expand your storage and make the most of the available space.
- Clear your counters of any appliances or items you don’t use on daily basis. Use attractive baskets and trays to gather any items you need to leave on the counter. This will keep them easily accessible and your counters will look neater.
- Declutter open shelving and keep it organized by storing items in uniform baskets or boxes that are attractive and functional.
Check out these additional ideas for stylish and affordable kitchen storage.
- Carefully curate the items you display on your living room tables and shelving. You don’t have to have everything you own out at the same time. Rotate the items. The less you have out at one time, the easier it is to clean and keep things looking organized.
- Use a decorative tray or box to corral remote controls, so they’ll be easier to find when you need them.
- Help kids keep their toys organized and contained by giving each of them a basket with their name on it. Have the baskets where they can easily access them to get their toys and put them away when they’re done playing. Baskets also work great for pet toys, too.
- Use a large basket, storage ottoman, or chest to store extra blankets and throws. You’ll always have a comfy blanket when you need one. This is especially nice on movie night or when you’re curling up with a good book.
- Get rid of any medicines, toiletries, and makeup that is past the expiration date.
- Purge your linen closet of any linens that are old, unnecessary, or that you just plain don’t like. Neatly fold and stack anything you decide to keep.
- Keep extra toiletries organized in plastic bins beneath the sink or in the linen closet.
- Clear countertops of anything you’re not using on a daily basis. Use a pretty tray to gather hand soap, lotions, and other products you need to keep out.
Check out these quick, creative, and inexpensive ideas for bathroom towel storage.
- Purge your paperwork by getting rid of anything you don’t need. Go through every piece of paper and decide if you need to either: 1) shred/toss it, 2) file it, or 3) take action on it.
- Create a mail station to control the paper that comes in and out of your home. Set up a basket or folder for each family member for their incoming mail. Sort it as soon as it comes in. Then have one for outgoing mail.
- Neatly store office supplies in baskets, bins, and boxes. Then place them out of sight in a closet or cabinet to keep your office from looking cluttered.
- Clean-up a tangle of cords by using a cable manager or special tabs attached to your desk.
Here are more ideas for organizing your home office.
- Go through your clothes and toss anything that is out of style, no longer fits, or you haven’t worn in the last year.
- Get rid of all your mismatched hangers and stick to one style hanger. It doesn’t matter what style you choose, as long as they’re all the same. If you have a small closet, I recommend space-saving slim velvet hangers. (I did this and was amazed at how much space I gained!)
- Group your clothes according to type (such as tops, skirts, pants, dresses, etc.). I also like to group my tops according to sleeve length and color.
- Organize shoes on a hanging shoe rack or in clear, stackable shoe boxes.
Every Tuesday this month, I’ll be focusing on organizing tips and ideas, so stay tuned for more easy ways to keep your home organized throughout the year.
QUESTION: What do you find to be the most stressful or difficult part of keeping your home organized? Let me know in the comments!
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