Getting off to a good start in the new year is often hard work. Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out where to begin, especially when it comes to the inside of the house. Chances are, there are a few holiday gifts still laying around, leftovers in the fridge and some decorations that need to be boxed up and stored out of sight. If all of this sounds a little daunting, fear not, friend! Here are some of our best tips on decluttering your home for a happy new year.
1. Create a (short) list of goals.
Much like New Year’s resolutions, it’s important to set goals. By having an idea of what you’d like to accomplish through your decluttering projects, it will be easier to figure out what’s reasonable regarding scope. If your house looks more like a bad reality TV show, it won’t look like a model home overnight. By breaking down your tasks into discernible chunks, you will be more likely to avoid that overwhelming moment that is so often followed by defeat. You can do this!
• You can start by picking a desk, a corner of a room, or a bookshelf to get started. Build some momentum with little projects that make a visible difference.
2. Wrangle the tangle.
Create separate zones or containers for all the stuff that needs to go. We recommend:
3. Don’t go it alone.
Confronting clutter can often be a challenging and sometimes emotional endeavor. There’s no shame in getting some support for the journey, whether it be a spouse, relative, friend or a home organization professional. Once you become invested in cutting the clutter, you might just inspire others to do the same. While you’re at it, deep clean your home, or hire a cleaning service. A good top-to-bottom clean will give your space a fresh feel.
4. Getting busy: Tips for Reducing the Excess
• If you want to start cutting down on the number of items in your home, begin following a practice like “one in, two out,” where you eliminate two things for every new thing that comes through your door.
• Organize and inventory your items before you store them. This will be helpful with seasonal items and clothing. Creating a list of those things will help you prevent from buying extra stuff you don’t need the next time the seasons change.
• You probably got a few gifts this year that were duds. Re-gift (or return) unwanted gifts. Sometimes we feel the need to hold on to things because they were gifts, but take a moment to consider the fact that these items might be better used by someone else. That ill-fitting sweater your aunt gave you might not need a permanent home in your closet!
• Talking about your closets, share your unneeded winter items—homeless shelters, food banks, local faith centers and charities will take your donated winter clothing, canned goods and other items that will go to those in need.
• Cold weather is a good time to curl up with a good book. Chances are, you’ve got too many on your hands. Consider donating a bunch of those books you’ve got lying around. Some, you’ve read and probably won’t read again. Some you bought and, let’s face it, will never read. Local libraries are usually happy to accept gifts. If you need the cash, you can sell them online or exchange them at a local book reseller.
5. Keep on truckin’
After a few hours or a few days of cutting down the clutter, it’s easy to lose steam and get complacent. If this sounds like you, consider finding some ways to work tidying into your daily routine. Some experts suggest short, defined goals a part of your daily routine. Here are a few everyday ways to cut the clutter.
• Declutter your mind. Spend a few minutes reading something inspirational or in quiet contemplation. Sometimes a clutter-free house starts with a calm mind.
• Spend 5 minutes today shredding some of those unwanted credit card applications (they never stop coming!) or creating a landing spot for your incoming mail.
• Schedule half an hour this week and dedicate that time to scanning some documents that you don’t need hanging around.
• Set up paperless billing for your monthly utilities
• Write a list of five future decluttering goals
• Throw out your unmatched socks or otherwise worn out clothes that you haven’t allowed yourself to part with. Don’t worry that you “might” need them one day.
Now that your house is on its way to a cleaner interior make sure that your gutters aren’t full of clutter. The gutter cleaning professionals at Ned Stevens are always here to help.