It’s a new year, which means it’s a whole new opportunity for homeowners to get the homes they have always dreamed of. One of the most common concerns we hear is that clutter undermines any effort to maintain a clean space. Whether it’s junk mail, sentimental items or lack of surfaces to hold items, it’s time to revamp your home and make it a space you can enjoy. Here are our top tips to reduce clutter this year.
Make a List
Move through your home and make a checklist of improvements you would like to see over the next year. These include anything from new paint colors to structural changes, installations or a complete remodel. Be sure to open existing cupboards and closets in your home to evaluate what is inside and whether it’s time to consider some design upgrades. This list will be the basis of your changes for the next year.
Place priority on spaces that are used the most or ones that will be the most impactful. Home office organization is high priority because a grand majority of time will be spent there. Similarly, bedroom, kitchen, and mudroom organization are all key points. Don’t forget to evaluate the garage, since small improvements like cabinet installation can make a big difference in how the space is used.
Change your routines to incorporate nightly, weekly, and monthly cleaning schedules. Below are a few routines we recommend for best results.
- Wash the dishes
- Picking up the laundry
- Clear the counters
- Dust entire house
- Vacuum entire house
- Pay bills
- Plan the next week’s schedule
- Pick one room of the house to reorganize
- Clean out briefcases, handbags and wallets
- Mark any major events for the next month on your calendar
Avoid Impulse Buys
Resolve not to purchase anything for your home unless you have a specific location in mind for it – or unless you plan to get rid of something else to make room for your new item. All purchases should be planned in advance, budgeted, and even price checked to make sure you are getting the best bargain. This is good for your home and for your pocketbook.
Every space in your home should have a clear purpose. For example, designate one shelf of your pantry for spices and baking supplies. Another could be dedicated to pasta and rice. Similarly, each drawer in your bathroom should have a clear purpose and your bedroom closet should also have specific “zones” for accessories, day wear, pajamas, and footwear.
Reduce Junk Mail
Register with the Direct Marketing Association to reduce junk mail that is delivered to your door. For all other mail, develop a “one-and-done” rule. This means that you touch each piece of mail only once. You will handle the contents immediately, and then file or shred the papers you need. This prevents piles from accumulating in central areas and helps you stay on top of your bills.
Look at your home objectively. Small figurines and knick knacks might have sentimental value, but do they contribute to your daily routines in any way? We recommend placing sentimental items you don’t use into a box. Place the box in the back of your closet. If you do not miss anything from the box within the next year, donate it to a worthy charity so these items can take on new life somewhere else.
Don’t have time to tackle every project on your list? Don’t. Enlist a team of professionals to help. Let a plumber handle the leaky faucet and call a contractor to upgrade your bedroom closet. Even kids can help out; consider adding pieces of your own to-do list into their weekly chores. You could offer additional allowance or a special date with Mom or Dad in exchange for some bigger tasks.
Your garage needs just as much attention as the inside of your home. Consider garage system organizers such as custom cabinets, shelving, workbench countertops, and sports equipment storage to help keep your space under control.
Are you ready to begin your journey toward an organized home for 2018? Locate an Organizers Direct dealer near you to get started.