January has always been a great time of year to clear out the old and organize the new. With the influx of gifts and decorations, I’ve always felt the need to declutter my house and start fresh in the New Year. Here are a few tips on how to organize and declutter your house for a clean start to 2014!
1. Put away the holiday decorations. I’m a HUGE fan of large plastic bins, and I try to buy clear ones to make it easy to see what’s inside. Take time to go through your decorations as you put them away, and toss anything that’s broken and consider donating items you no longer use or love. When you pull out the bins next year, you’ll be organized and ready to go!
2. January is a great time to organize your closet, and all you need are a few packs of hangers and a box of trash bags. Plastic hangers are better for your clothes than wire hangers, and make your clothes look fresh and organized. Usually I pick up a pack or two each time I’m at Family Dollar to slowly transition my wardrobe over to all plastic hangers as opposed to wire. I use one trash bag for actual trash—clothes that are worn out and old, empty dry cleaning bags, broken hangers, etc. I use the other bags for my clothes that no longer fit and ones I don’t wear. Those get donated to our local thrift store. Just make sure to label the bags to avoid confusion!
3. If Santa put new toys under the tree this year, you know that all those extra gadgets and play things can really take over. I like to buy clear plastic bins in various sizes to organize them. They last longer than the original cardboard boxes and the clear bins make it easy to see what’s inside. Plus, bins look much prettier than a mishmash of ripped toy boxes!
4. Papers are another place to start fresh when you organize your house each January. Start a landing spot for receipts, paid bills, and important papers. I like to use a new accordion file each year and dump my papers inside so I have everything I need once tax time comes around or when I’m looking for a receipt. Use a second accordion folder to store and organize instruction manuals and warranties for the new toys and electronics you may have acquired over the holidays. A clipboard also comes in handy for keeping track of your to-do list—I like to clip my ‘NOW’ pile onto a clipboard and check it every day.
5. Now that your home is beautifully organized, give everything a good cleaning. My favorite products for a January cleaning are baking soda (I sprinkle it on my towel laundry load to freshen them up!), a magic eraser for the baseboards, Swiffer for my floors. I stock up on Cascade and dish soap to replenish my supply after doing so many loads of dishes over the holidays. It’s amazing how an hour or two of extra cleaning after your organization spree can really pep up your home!
Now your decorations are away, your closet is organized, your toys have new homes, your papers have a place to land, and you’ve given your house a good cleaning. With these simple tips on how to declutter, your home is now ready for a fresh start. Isn’t having an organized house such a wonderful way to start the New Year.
By: Carrie of Making Lemonade