As far as New Year’s resolutions go, keeping your home clean and organized tends to fall to the wayside, prioritized far behind things like getting in shape and spending more time with your family. That said, by the time New Year’s rolls around, the amount of sheer stuff most people have accumulated over the course of the past year indicates the clear need for a purge, and further, better clutter-management practices year round. Whether your closets are overstuffed with clothes that don’t fit or your drawers are brimming with things you don’t need, we’ve got some tips to help you combat your clutter more effectively in the New Year.
Combat clutter before it forms
The first step in any organization project is typically to downsize, which is why we suggest maintaining a downsizing mentality all the time. As you encounter belongings in your day-to-day life, contemplate whether you need these belongings. Focus on things you encounter often, (hanging in closets, stuffed in shelves, hiding at the back of your cabinets), but never or rarely use.
Actively avoid accumulation
Adopt the Marie Kondo mantra: “Get rid of everything that doesn’t spark joy.” (Step two, stop bringing home things that don’t spark joy in the first place.) Start abiding by the rule that you don’t get to buy anything new, unless you throw or donate something first.
Install helpful hardware
When it comes to storage, get creative. Invest in furniture that not only serves a decorative function, but also a practical one such as headboards, coffee tables or ottomans with hidden compartments for storage. Another space-conserving idea is to utilize unconventional space: such as vertical space, the space beneath your stairs, or wasted space above closet or pantry doors.
Make sure there’s a place for everything
Even for the small stuff, like paperclips, bobby pins and loose buttons. Keep an eye out for the aforementioned items and like items that don’t have a designated space and keep them aside until you’ve accumulated enough homeless items to recategorize. Always label everything or use transparent storage so it’s easy to locate items later.
Create a running chore list to refer to on the weekends
The weekends are a popular time to clean, but with all the things there are to do, it’s easy to become disorganized. Create a running list of all the projects and chores that are yet to be completed, and assign your family two to three tasks per weekend.
Or change your cleaning habits completely
There’s no rule book saying that cleaning can only be done on the weekend, so if you’re finding that the weekend’s not an ideal time to clean, consider designating one or two hours in the evenings during the week to complete chores. For instance, vacuum on Mondays, laundry on Tuesdays, deal with the bathrooms on Wednesdays et cetera.
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