Declutter for the New Year
While the holidays are still in full effect and the end of the year is still a few weeks away, it's time to start planning for the new year with a clean and organized home. After a year of adventure, hard work, birthdays and holidays, your home has probably taken on extra baggage in the way of new toys, gifts and piles of paperwork just waiting to be filed away.
If you make one New Year's resolution this year, promise that you'll start the new year with a clutter-free home that is as tidy as it is cozy. Committing to less stuff will lead to more space and order at home, resulting in a more relaxed and comfortable environment for you and your family. Simple adjustments like donating old clothing and shoes from overpacked closets, or moving piles of paper from your kitchen table to an organized file system will make a huge difference, instantly.
Start planning now for a more organized, simplified home in the new year with these simple tips.
Clear Out Closets
Before you tackle your common areas, start at the source of all clutter-your storage spaces. Go through bedroom closets and pull out items that no longer fit or serve you. Gather them in a pile and decide to donate, sell or throw away (depending on the quality). Sort through hall closets or linen closets and toss old medications and towels or washcloths. Donate old, unused linens, while organizing and tidying linens and towels that you do use. If you have stray items strewn throughout your shelves, purchase clear containers that can be easily marked and store items carefully and neatly on shelves.
Kitchen and Pantry
We all know how the kitchen pantry can become the catch all for every last minute supermarket purchase that never gets used. Work your way carefully through your pantry and toss expired or old products. Choose non-perishable items to donate, and get rid of everything that you honestly will never use. Once you're finished, wipe down shelves and organize your items by groups. If you've accumulated dishes, cookware and gadgets that go unused, give them to a friend or donate them to a nearby charity organization.
Home Office and Paperwork
Gather your piles of paperwork and wade through unread mail before tossing out or recycling anything that isn't important. Consider investing in a small file cabinet with hanging files that can fit underneath your desk or in your closet. Label each hanging file to correspond to important documents that you'll need to keep on hand (think tax information, lease agreement, etc.). File ALL important paperwork into your new filing system for easy access. As you continue to receive mail and paperwork in the coming weeks and months, you'll have a place to put it, rather than leaving it stacked haphazardly around your home.
Living Room and Bedrooms
Take stock of your coffee table and side tables. Are they covered in old magazines, toys or junk? Remove all items and clear these spaces, completely. Place magazine storage racks beside your couch, and a bookshelf or storage system in your living room or bedroom to house your books, magazines and picture frames. Place large bins in the corner of children's bedrooms for stray toys and stuffed animals. Make sure that all surfaces are clear, and that every item has a place to go (it's hard to have clutter when you have places to put things).
Filed Under: Apartment Living
Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA.
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