New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home: 12 Tips for Decluttering
With New Year’s right around the corner, you’ll likely find yourself looking for ways to both declutter your mind and your living space. Fortunately, these two things can be one and the same. Use these decluttering tips for your home, and start the New Year off right!
1. Pick a Decluttering Method (or Two!) and Stick With It
Wondering how to start clearing clutter? It can be helpful to have an approach or two up your sleeve. You’re sure to succeed with these tips for decluttering your house!
Only Keep What “Sparks Joy”
Mari Kondo’s popular decluttering approach — the KonMari Method™ — can help you fulfill your decluttering New Year’s resolution. This method famously requires you to tidy up by getting rid of items that no longer “spark joy.”
The KonMari Method™ encourages you to pick up every item in your home, evaluate how it makes you feel, and then determine whether you should keep it or not. If it doesn’t bring you joy, express that you’re thankful for it and toss it into the donation pile. Easy!
This decluttering approach is not only a great way to take stock of the items you’ve been keeping in your home but also to practice mindfulness and gratitude. Therefore, it’s the perfect decluttering option for ushering in the New Year.
The 90/90 Test
One of the top tips for decluttering your home is the 90/90 test. If you haven’t used an item in the last ninety days and you’re unlikely to use it in the upcoming 90 days, it’s time to send it to the donation pile.
The 10 % Method
This test works well for anything you have multiples of! Think shoes, blankets, old toys, towels, t-shirts, plates, cutlery, and decor.
This method challenges you to group like items and donate, recycle, or trash 10% of each collection. If you have 20 pairs of socks, for example, get rid of two of them. (It’s likely you have a pair you don’t wear or that you’ve worn holes in, anyway!)
This decluttering tip is excellent for those of us who experience strong attachments to items or have a hard time letting go — after all, you only have to reduce your collections by a small amount.
2. Get Your Family Involved
There’s no need to take on decluttering by yourself. Involve your children or partner in the process! In addition to getting much-needed help, you can be sure that you’re not getting rid of their favorite items by accident. Put on some music, share a few stories, and prepare to bond as you clean!
3. Declutter Your Home Room By Room
Trying to tackle your entire home at once can be overwhelming. Instead, take your time to move through your house room by room. Work your way up to larger spaces, like your living room, by starting with smaller rooms first.
Due to their modest size and plentiful storage, bathrooms can quickly accumulate clutter. Luckily, they’re also relatively easy — and satisfying — to tidy up. Then, move on to your office space, bedrooms, kitchen, living areas, and finally, the garage.
4. Get a Grip on Paperwork
Experiencing passport paranoia? Wondering where your birth certificate went? It’s time to sit down and go through your paperwork. Figure out what you’ll need to keep and what you won’t.
Begin by looking through your:
- Medical documents
Be sure to carefully shred and dispose of any documents containing personal or confidential information. When in doubt, use a scanner to make digital copies of any important documents. Then, create a filing system so that you can easily access documents when you need them!
5. Eliminate Expired, Empty, Worn, or Half-Used Products
Whether in the kitchen, bathroom, or craft drawer, it’s likely you have more than a few half-finished or expired products that you’ll never use. As you work through each room in your home, be on the lookout for trash masquerading as clutter.
Here are some places to be sure to check:
- Bathroom cabinets
- The shower
- The pantry
- The refrigerator
- Craft drawer
- Laundry room
Getting rid of these products will not only help you clear up much-needed space but also eliminate the stress of rifling through items to find what you’re looking for.
6. Donate Items Without Meaning
Quick: When was the last time you looked at your little league trophy from 1994? While it’s nice to have a few mementos throughout your home, memorabilia tends to pile up quickly. Pare down your knick-knacks to those that hold meaning for you, and toss or donate the rest.
Keep an eye out for:
- Old concert and movie tickets
- Party favors
- Free branded swag and promotional gear
- Old awards and trophies
- Old toys and stuffed animals
If you have guilt over getting rid of sentimental items, take photos before packing them up for donation.
7. Don’t Forget Virtual Clutter
In an ever-increasingly digital world, clutter isn’t just physical! It’s far too easy to let old PDFs, documents, emails, and photos clutter up your computer and take up precious storage space.
Take some time to sift through and organize your laptop or desktop — and don’t forget to uninstall any programs you’re no longer using as well.
8. Be Mindful of Mismatches & Multiples
If you can’t find the lid to your food storage containers, or you’ve been looking for your sock’s mate for months, it’s time to give them up! And if you have multiples of items, ask yourself if you truly need them all. The answer in most cases is likely “no.”
Weed through mismatched and extra, unnecessary items in all areas of your home to help reclaim space and make your house more clutter-free.
9. Leave No Space Unturned
Simply shuffling your stuff from one area to another won’t cut it. To truly declutter your home, you’ll have to make sure you leave no space unaccounted for. That means you’ll need to look under the bed, in storage containers, on the tops of shelves, and in all of the nooks and crannies of your home.
Take time to completely pull apart every cabinet space, closet, and storage bin to eliminate items you’ll no longer need going into the new year.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Replace
Broken, worn, or damaged items that have long been awaiting repair aren’t doing you any good sitting in wait. They’re taking up physical space in your home in addition to your valuable mental space. From clothing to furniture, be realistic about which items you’re genuinely planning to repair or remedy.
For example, instead of constantly dealing with the annoyance of a wobbly bed frame, take the opportunity to upgrade to a king-size mattress. You’ll feel much better once you no longer have a long list of repairs to make!
11. Put an Organizational System in Place
Once your home has been thoroughly cleared of clutter, it’s time to go into prevention mode! To keep clutter from reappearing, you’ll want to find an organizational system that works for you. Try:
- Flipping all of your clothes hangers backward. Once you’ve worn an item, it can be turned back normally. After a few months, consider getting rid of clothing that’s still on backward hangers.
- Adhering to a filing system. A filing system can help prevent you from losing track of necessary paperwork and encourage you to eliminate junk mail and advertisements in the moment.
- The one-touch approach. When you begin a task, complete it! Whether it’s opening the mail or folding laundry, don’t leave things at a midway point.
12. Ring in the New Year with New Furniture
Decluttering doesn’t mean throwing everything away. It can also mean replacing worn, outdated items with things that will better serve you in the future. Where better to start than with high-quality furniture?
Rent-A-Center makes it easy to meet all of your furniture replacement needs! From our Instant Happiness option, where you can get instantly approved for up to $3,000 in merchandise, to free same-day delivery*, you can get the items you need right away.