Your Home for the New Year

As the new year approaches, many of us find ourselves inspired to make positive changes in our lives. One way to kickstart this fresh beginning is by refreshing our living spaces. Whether it’s your home, office, or any other environment where you spend your time, a new year provides the perfect opportunity to declutter, redecorate, and reorganize. This process not only revitalizes your surroundings but also has the power to rejuvenate your mindset, fostering a sense of optimism and renewal as you step into the year ahead.

In this article, we’ll explore 2 different ways to organize and declutter your space for the new year, breathing new life into the places you cherish most. Both of these ways outlined below provide a good starting point, and you can choose which way works best for you or pull tips from both organizational styles. Let’s dive into the 2 different ways to think about organizing so you can get a kickstart to the new year on a lighter note!

Many people often organize by room, which we will uncover later, but first I want to introduce you to organizing items by category. Organizing and tidying by category of items was created by Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant and author of the bestselling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

The first step is to tidy your items by category, not room/space. This means grouping everything throughout your entire home and then continuing onto the next steps (for example, clothing, books, paperwork, electronics, miscellaneous items, sentimental items, etc.)

The next step is to discard. Kondo’s famous question is to ask yourself “does this spark joy” when holding onto an item. If it does then keep it. If not, then it is time for you to thank the item for its service and let it go.

Folding and storage is a large part of Kondo’s method. The proper folding and storage techniques saves space and allows you to see everything in one look. Kondo emphasizes on the use of utilizing vertical space as well. You can read the specifics of her folding and storage styles in her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

Kondo does suggeta decluttering and tidying in one go, dedicating a day, or even a weekend to get the most dramatic and lasting results. This also inspires you to be more mindful when you are going through the decluttering process, allowing for a more holistic and emotional approach to decluttering.

Organizing by room or dedicated space is another way to go about letting go of what you no longer need, and making day to day life easier for you and everyone in your family.

Start by taking everything out of your space. Clearing out the entire space allows you to see all the items you were keeping in that space, you may be surprised, and give you a fresh perspective on the space and possibilities for storage looking at it empty. Decluttering is your best friend, and this is where you can implement some of the Marie Kondo strategies that I outlined above. If you have not used or touched the item in the last 365 days, then what makes you think you need to keep it? If the item is stained, worn out or broken, get rid of it! Start by making 5 piles during decluttering: keep, relocate, sell, donate or discard. Remember that you can have the space, or you can have the stuff, the choice is yours, but you can not have both.

Once you feel like you have decluttered and are ready to start assembling your space back, it’s important to group items together. Grouping similar items together then allows you to see the best organization method, bins, boxes, stackables, drawer organizers, etc. Pro tip: use bins inside of trays or other bins, this allows everything to have a specific space. You can easily label your items to ensure ease for removal and placing items back when looking at your closet, cabinets or drawers.

No matter which method of decluttering and organization you choose, now comes the hardest part…retraining your brain to put things back where they go once you are done using them! This is such an important step and is ongoing, as it allows you to really see the benefits of all that you just accomplished, and will make your day to day life so much easier.

Now we all know the places where clutter seems to add up the most, so we’ve also made some quick bullet points to provide some tips for those “easy to attract it all” i.e kitchen and closet.

Begin by emptying your closet completely, taking out all the clothes, shoes, and accessories
As you go through each item, ask yourself if it still fits, if you love wearing it, and if it aligns with your current style
If it’s stained, torn, worn or just doesn’t fit, discard
Be ruthless in letting go of items that no longer serve you, either by donating them to charity or selling them online
If you find yourself overwhelmed by an abundance of clothes and not wanting to let go of some pieces, here’s a helpful technique to streamline your wardrobe that I have personally done and plan to do again this year: Turn all your hangers backwards and as you wear an item, hang it back up with the hanger facing forward. At the end of the year, take a look at the hangers that are still backwards and consider parting ways with those untouched pieces. If you haven’t worn them in a year, chances are you won’t miss them
You can sort clothes by type, color, or season, and invest in storage solutions like bins, shelves, or hanging organizers to maximize space
Make sure to label everything clearly to make it easier to find things later
As you put items back into your closet, consider arranging them in a way that sparks joy and inspires you
Establish a routine for regularly maintaining your organized closet, setting aside time each month to reassess and declutter as needed

Segment organizing into cabinets, fridge and pantry
Put your essentials front and center i.e soap, olive oil, salt & pepper, paper towels, etc.
Organize your plastic containers, if they are cracked, broken or missing parts, discard
Streamline your plastic bags, even if you reuse them for additional liners for smaller cans, place them in one space and contain them
Clean out your fridge and created designated spaces for food products utilizing clear bins
Use interior cabinet racks for your plates, bowls and cups
Declutter your utensil drawer
Remove your traditional knife block and store in a drawer if you have space to open up your useable counter space
If you have kids, create a kid only cabinet
Use clear or wire storage to easily see the products you have in your pantry and in your cabinets
Use hooks throughout the kitchen (fridge, walls, the backs of cabinet doors) to hang items if you are lacking in space

Remember decluttering is not a one time project, it’s an ongoing process. Using the one in, one out rule is a great way to stay on top of not bringing in excess into your home (everytime you bring something in, you have to put something out). To have some fun with this otherwise daunting task, turn up some music, make some snacks, and keep reminding yourself how much easier your day to day will be and how much more productive you will be within your space once you have fully decluttered and organized your space and/or home. Happy decluttering!