Let Go for a Clutter-Free New Year!

Recently I was prepping for a holiday party and wanted to use a favorite serving dish.  I went right to where I knew I would find it.  About an hour later, after digging through every kitchen cabinet and storage area in my home, I found a lot of things I rarely if ever use--and had pretty much forgotten I owned--and I had created a huge mess that derailed my party prep.  I never did find that dish.  Sound familiar?

If your New Year’s resolutions include creating a more harmonious, organized home, here are my tips for letting go of your clutter and getting a handle on your home’s organization.

Seize the moment.  Sometimes a frustrating search episode gives us just the spark we need to start decluttering.  This is a particularly good time for people who have a hard time letting go of things.  Put that head of steam you’ve worked up to good use, and get busy while you are motivated! 

Chip away at the mountain.  Starting small is key.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if your goal is to organize and declutter your entire home.  Break it down into manageable tasks, and start with a small area such as a bathroom or linen closet.  You’ll get the quick gratification from completing your first project, and accomplishing this goal will motivate you to tackle the next, bigger area.

Opposites attract—except when it comes to organization and storage!  Whenever possible, keep like items together.  Store your candles with your candlesticks, and you’ll easily be able to check your inventory before you find yourself at the store staring at candles wondering if you need to buy them for your dinner party, only to find an entire box on the shelf when you get home.

Maximize visible storage.  Although my home has large closets, the storage space was not being maximized.  I determined that there was room in every closet to add a top-tier row of simple open shelving.  My handyman took care of this for a reasonable price, and also reinforced the existing shelving to ensure I could store heavy items like dishware.  Instead of being boxed up or hidden in a cupboard, everything is visible and easily accessible.  I now use and enjoy these items more often, and don’t ever forget that I have them.

To junk, or not to junk?  I believe every home can use one good “catch all” drawer for random bits.  However, if every drawer in your home feels like a junk drawer, you’re going to spend a lot of time looking for, and not finding, your stuff.  Make a time investment to get your drawers organized once, and keep them that way.