With a new year comes the urge to start fresh and set intentions for the future. It’s also a great time to stop procrastinating on those projects you’ve been putting off, particularly getting your home organized. Purging your home of unnecessary clutter promotes a healthier mindset and makes room for positive change in other areas of your life. We’ve compiled a list of tips that you can implement to help organize even the most cluttered of areas, leaving your home feeling beautiful, clean, and orderly in 2019.
Step 1: Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle
Start by thinking about what kind of house you want to live in and how you want to live in it. According to tidying expert and best-selling author Marie Kondo, when you imagine your ideal lifestyle, you are really clarifying why you want to tidy and envisioning your best life. The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, miscellaneous items, and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Many people have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and forward-looking.
Step 2: Make a Plan
It can be extremely easy to become overwhelmed when facing a big organization project. To lessen any anxiety, you should first make a list of specific, actionable items to accomplish; e.g. sort through “junk drawer” or organize the pantry. Checking the items off as you go will give you a real sense of achievement while helping to keep you on track.
Organize Your Shared Spaces
The kitchen is typically the messiest or must cluttered room in a home with a lot of hiding places and ways to cover up clutter. What’s more, the kitchen is a high-traffic area that everyone in the house uses, which means there are multiple hands in every space.
- Start by focusing on an area that will be the easiest to tackle to help build the momentum (e.g. utensil drawer)
- Empty each of the drawers and cabinets, placing the items on the countertop in their respective categories. Once everything is empty, review each category and get rid of the items that are no longer needed or wanted.
- Tip: Use drawer dividers to keep your tools neatly separated
Like the kitchen, the living room is another high-traffic area of the home that everyone uses. The living room (or family room) can have many functions, such as relaxing, entertaining, play, etc., which can often leave the space full of clutter.
- Identify anywhere clutter accumulates, such as coffee tables and console tables, that serve as “catch-all” places for items
- Return items that belong in another room to their storage spaces, then return living room items to their proper storage spaces
Organize Your Personal Spaces
Bedroom & Closet
Although your bedroom is meant to be a serene, calming space, it can often end up in a state of disarray with overflowing drawers, cluttered surfaces, and clothes strewn in all places. Your day begins and ends in your bedroom, so getting rid of any clutter will help you feel more at peace (and most likely sleep better too). Likewise, having an organized closet will save you time, space, and money, while also helping to get your day started on the right foot.
- Buy storage for under the bed to stow away seasonal clothing or bulky items, such as extra bedding, pillows, or throws
- Clear off nightstand surfaces (tip: choose a nightstand with drawers to stash all your miscellaneous items e.g. books, Kleenex, hand cream, etc.
- Identify any clothing, shoes, and accessories that you haven’t worn in the past year and add them to a donation box
- Reorganize your clothing by type and color
Whether you work from home every day or routinely find your work following you home from the office, your home office can easily become one of the rooms that you spend the most time in. For this reason, it’s important to make your home office a clean, organized space that inspires creativity and fosters success.
- Establish a well-ordered, efficient filing system and file away any loose papers (tip: make your categories color-coded)
- Organize your books by genre, color, or size depending on your preference
- Throw out any writing utensils that are dried up or no longer usable