Being surrounded by mess and clutter can cause homes to become places of stress instead of comfortable havens. Right after the winter holidays is often a time when we’re trying to squeeze too many new things into the non-existent space in our closets and on our shelves. The antidote? Rid yourself of the post-holiday blues and de-clutter your home at the same time. Here are a few tried-and-true tips to get your abode ship shape for the spring so you can come home to an orderly and tidy dwelling.
Closet Clean Out:
January is a great time to get a grip on your cluttered closet. Start by removing all of your clothes (neatly hanging the clothes that has been dry cleaned so you don’t wrinkle it). Categorize your clothing by type: jeans in one pile, sweaters in another, tee shirts in a pile, etc. Then sort out each pile to determine whether you wear it, and if not, put it in a bag to donate. This is a time to be real: Does the item fit? Are you actually going to ever wear it again? Have you always kind of hated it, but it was a gift from your favorite aunt so you feel bad about getting rid of it? If the answer is that it’s just taking up space in your closet, then add it to the “donate” bag. Once you’ve sorted and removed the clothes you are no longer wearing, tidily replace all of your clothes so that your closet starts the year neat and clean. It will be a sigh of relief every time you open the closet door.
Fridge Free Up:
Are there still leftovers cluttering the shelves of your refrigerator? Are the shelves full of expired bottles of exotic condiments you needed for a recipe but will never use again? Can you hardly fit your milk container in? It’s time to clean the fridge! Begin by removing everything in the refrigerator. Next use spray cleaner to remove any germs and old food ruminants from the shelves then, one-by-one assess each item before putting it back in. Throw away any food that’s expired or you in reality will not be eating. Repeat the process with the freezer. Finally, open the door, gaze with pride at your handy work, and decide what to make for dinner.
The new year is the perfect time to take a good look at what is inside your cabinets. Are there cans of food that expired months ago? If so, toss them! Are there boxes of mostly-empty cereal that has long gone stale? Chuck the contents and recycle the box. Is there packaged food that you have no plans to eat? If so, drop it off at the nearest food bank. Finally wipe down the shelves and rearrange in an orderly fashion. It will make creating your shopping list so much easier!
Now is the perfect time to assess the knick-knacks, books, and photos you have on the shelves in your home. Give everything a good dusting and cull any books that you don’t want to keep. Rotate your photos to give your eye something new to see, because you’ll notice them again if they’re in a new spot. Are there any knick-knacks you kind of hate but that some well-intended person in your life gave you for your wedding/birthday/graduation? You’ve suffered long enough. If it’s not something that brings you pleasure, it’s time for it to go. Enjoy the clean, less cluttered version of your shelves once the job is done.
If the Shoe Fits:
Take all of the shoes out of your closets and check them over. Get rid of any that are broken beyond repair and any that have lost their mate. Set aside shoes that are in fine shape but that you just don’t wear anymore to donate. Finally, organize the shoes you do wear within your closet so they’re off the floor and easy to find when you’re looking for that perfect compliment to your favorite outfit.
Heating and air conditioning filters often get neglected and now is a good time to give them a little love so the air you breathe is nice and clean. This is a great time to clean your HVAC filters or have your system serviced. It will extend the life of your heater and air conditioning unit and keep your lungs happy. It might not declutter your house, but it will freshen your air!
These tips are just a few to get you started. If you’re on a roll, consider cleaning out toys the kids don’t play with anymore, throw out games with missing pieces, donate kitchen appliances you thought you would use but never do such as the Belgian waffle maker you just had to have, and the muffin-top pan that is still in the package. Collate your chargers, remotes and other electronic necessities into a basket so they’re contained instead of strewn about the house. Finally, sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the new sense of order!