The New Year is here, and boy, am I excited! I love a fresh start and the opportunity to create goals that I can accomplish. I wasn’t always like this, though. There was a time in my life where the beginning of the year meant failure. I created goals that were huge and almost impossible to reach; after only a few weeks, I would be lagging behind, feeling incompetent. Now, I choose only one or two goals, and I work hard on them throughout the year. One of my goals this year is to unclutter my entire house and keep it organized. It sounds hard, right? I thought that once, too, but I have done it before, and I plan on doing it again. Here are my nine easy tips to getting your house uncluttered and keeping it that way for an entire year.
Put Things Away Once
Last year was a busy year for us, and I found myself shoving items on shelves and in drawers without even thinking about it. My once-organized home slowly began to unravel until my closets and cupboards became an embarrassing mess. This year, I am going to make a note of putting things where they go and only there by checking every night that things are in their place.
Create a Place
You can’t put items in the right location without creating a place first. Go through your drawers, cupboards, and closets and remove everything that doesn’t have a neat spot. Then, return items to a place that is easy to reach and remember.
Unclutter Before You Shop
Don’t go to the store to buy any more stuff until you donate, throw out, or recycle current items. This works great before birthdays and holidays; get rid of old toys before you fill your already-stuffed closets with more. Being a minimalist is a great way to prevent clutter from piling up.
Sort Through Mail First
I have gotten in the habit of going through my mail right by the garbage and recycle bin. This makes it easy to toss things where they go before shoving them in a drawer or basket.
I once had a basket on my counter for apples, bananas, and other fruit, but when the fruit was eaten, the basket started screaming for clutter. I would innocently be holding a pencil, and suddenly, the basket would demand that I stick it in there. Then it wanted pins, rubber bands, screwdrivers, and everything that was small enough to fit. It even claimed my mail and empty wrappers. Once the basket disappeared, the items were easier to put away where they go, and now, my fruit sits on the counter without a bowl or basket.
Clean Out the Fridge on Grocery Day
This is probably one of my favorite tips to share with people; it is easy to remember and accomplish. I started a few years ago, and it has been a success. I continually forgot to clean the fridge until it started smelling, but when I wipe it down and clean it out on grocery day, it never stinks and always looks clean.
Have a Donation Box
People always have recycle and trash bins nearby, but what about a donation box? Keep it in a closet, the garage, or the laundry room. It makes it so much easier to get rid of things immediately instead of waiting until you go through everything to donate.
This might sound like a silly suggestion, and it kind of is, but there is nothing that makes me want to organize more than seeing how clutter can damage a life. It always inspires me to get rid of unwanted items that I am holding onto for no reason.
Take Five Minutes a Day
Uncluttering your home can be overwhelming, but set aside five minutes a day to work on a single drawer or shelf. It adds up quickly, and your home will be organized without you feeling exhausted or deflated. It doesn’t have to be endless work to get your home to feel neat and clutter-free.