New Year, New Home: How to Declutter

With the new year come the typical resolutions: exercise more, eat less junk food, go outdoors more, etc. Getting more organized is another one of those goals that we all have but can never seem to get around to. If that’s your case, read below to get some pointers on where to start and how to go about it.

Find the Time

Even though it might seem like another chore you’re not up for, decluttering and organizing can give you great satisfaction. You know what they say: clean home, clear head. Put on some music or an audiobook while you do it and keep your eyes on the prize: more space for the things you love and less mess everywhere!

To start, just do one area of your home. If you want to take on too many things at once, you’ll get frustrated and give up quickly. You could set aside one hour one day a week and slowly work your way through all your belongings.

Choose

closet

by Crew

You’ll need to make a lot of decisions as to what to keep and what to let go off. Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying (which is 100% recommendable), suggests only keeping things that “spark joy”. So if that frumpy dress is sitting in the back of your closet only because it was a gift or you paid too much for it, it’s time to pack it away. She also advises you sort by categories instead of rooms so you consider all similar items at once (but I’ve always done it by rooms, I guess it’s down to preference).

Apart from how happy your things make you, remember to be practical. If you swore you’d read that book ten years ago, maybe you really don’t want to read it after all.

Donate (or Sell)

thrift

by Onur Bahçivancilar

The best thing you can do with old clothes (and other belongings) is to donate them. That way they won’t end up in an overstuffed landfill and someone else can reuse it. If you’re not comfortable with places that resell the items like Goodwill, donate to a local church or organization that helps those in need. Again, I’ve heard that some places make profit from donations, which is pretty distasteful, but at least it lessens the amount of waste we produce.

If you prefer to make a few bucks from pieces that are in good shape, you can have a good old-fashioned yard sale or sell them online. Just remember that they are used and you shouldn’t expect a huge amount of money. The important thing is to give your items a new home and declutter yours.

Organize

kitchen.jpeg

by Simon Hansen

Once you’re only left with the best of the best, it’s time to put it all back. Browse Pinterest for millions of organization ideas. Kondo suggests each item has a place, so that you know where to find it and where to put it back when you’re done. She also has a fantastic folding method for clothing that you might want to check out.

A few more things…

  • Keep surfaces minimalistic

room

by Breather

In order to give your home a clean, polished look, try clearing surfaces of knick-knacks. Place them in matching boxes or store them in a drawer, but keep them out of sight to achieve a magazine-ready room. Add small plants or flowers for added liveliness.

  • Organize your books

shelf

by Anthony Delanoix

Instead of placing your books in a line, why not try something different? Make your shelf part of the décor by adding little details, like candles or decorative boxes amidst the books. Pile some books horizontally, arrange them by color or add a cute book stopper. There are so many ways to up your shelf game!

  • Maintenance

Remember to reassess your belongings every now and then. You’ll most likely be acquiring new items and others will start to wear and tear. Make it a habit to keep your home organized and therefore comfortable and happy!

 

P.S. If your New Year’s resolution is working out instead of organization, check out how to really get into exercising here.

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