Is a fresh start one of your New Year’s resolutions? Whether you’ve been binge-watching the Home Edit or you’re just feeling ready to make space, get a head start on a fresh New Year by clearing your house of clutter right now.
Home clutter can leave you feeling unorganized, drained, and weighted down, but it can be overwhelming to begin to handle it. To better enjoy your home this year, we compiled a dozen ways to climb through the clutter and make a clean start in the New Year.
Use the 6-month rule.
This one is pretty tried and true — if you haven’t used it in six months, chances are you aren’t going to use it. So make a plan to be rid of those unused items, perhaps by donating them.
Use bins to sort.
If you need help sorting your things to find a place for everything, the triple bin method is popular. You’ll create three bins: Keep, Toss, and Donate. Every item in your home should fit into one of these bins which help you to scale down by making quick decisions.
Everything has its place, and that place is easier to find when labelled. Whether you want to use a simple peel and stick label or invest in something chicer, labeling drawers, shelves, and totes as you fill them will help you to find things more easily after sorting.
Don’t let stuff define you.
Sure, every piece may have a memory, but in the end, it is just stuff. Whether you think you’ll need it again someday, are saving it for your kids, or believe it may be “worth something” down the road, remember that you shouldn’t keep things out of guilt or obligation, and that parting with the stuff will make you and your household feel lighter right now… and that’s worth a lot.
Remember, less can make you happier.
Maybe you’re a trinket collector. Or perhaps you find yourself accumulating clothing, shoes, or purses. The more stuff you have, the more time you have to spend cleaning it. If you remember that paring down on what you don’t need will keep you from having to dust, launder, or clean all of that stuff, you’ll save yourself time while also being happier in your home.
Relinquish your projects.
If you have been holding onto objects which you intend to fix, repurpose, or reupholster for over a year, allow yourself to surrender them. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to let projects go so you can make room and time for fresh opportunities in the new year.
Don’t forget digital clutter and documents.
If you start now, you’ll really get a jump-start on tax time by getting your files in order. Decluttering isn’t just about physical paper products, you’ll also want to remember to clean out computer files and back up everything, using cloud-based storage and an external drive.
Keep your cleaning supplies neat and orderly.
Laundry rooms, linen closets, and under-the-kitchen cabinets are more pleasant to use when the supplies you need are neat and orderly. Make space for sheets, towels, household items, and cleaning supplies, and get rid of empty containers and products that you tried but didn’t love.
Remember your yard.
When Spring and Summer come around, you’re going to want to enjoy your yard, so save time now and get your outdoor tools and equipment in order. Sort, organize, and toss out broken tools or those you no longer need. Bonus tip – try to keep everything in your garage or shed on shelving, not on the floor, to prevent accumulating a pileup of junk.
Mix-And-Match for entertaining and holiday decorating.
Like your wardrobe, you want your home décor to have pieces that work together in multiple ways. This is easiest if you have pieces in your home that you can mix and match. And you should be thoughtful about your holiday decorations, too! Use decorations and gift-wrapping supplies in styles and colors that can work for multiple occasions when possible.
Turn clutter into cash.
Sometimes it’s easiest to get rid of things when we can see dollar signs attached to them. So try selling items on Ebay, Etsy, Craigslist, or in a yard sale (when temperatures are warmer). It is a great way to eliminate clutter while padding your wallet.
Decluttering isn’t everyone’s favorite activity, so make it a fun! Sort while listening to uplifting music, or maybe even enjoy a fun drink while clearing out closets and cabinets. And after you’ve finished decluttering a table, an area, a room, or your whole house, treat yourself to a mini-celebration. Just don’t go shopping… you don’t need any more stuff in the house!
Hopefully after decluttering, your home should be feeling more spacious, you should be feeling more capable of maintaining a clutter-free space, and you should be ready to enjoy your home for the next year.