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The Ultimate Decluttering Guide for the New Year

Is decluttering your house your New Year’s resolution? The start of a new year is the perfect time to clear the clutter by cleaning, organizing, and improving your home to get a fresh start and a new perspective. Check out these New Year’s cleaning tips for creating the ultimate clutter-free space.

Create a Cleaning & Decluttering Checklist

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Before you tackle your home clean-up, make a decluttering checklist ranking each room or area of the house for a specific plan of attack. Setting up a timeline can help keep you motivated and allow you to attain your goals, since it gives you clear direction and a way to track your progress. Start by decluttering common problem areas and focus on one room at a time. Just remember that it takes time to declutter your home, and plan for a few days—or even a few weeks—to accomplish your New Year decluttering process!

Choose a Decluttering Method

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Decluttering your home takes commitment. Before you start the decluttering process, think about which home organization method is best for you, as there are many different approaches you can follow when it comes to a New Year deep clean.

Here are a few organization ideas and home decluttering methods to check out:

  • Marie Kondo’s KonMari method (as seen in the Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo) provides a simple categorization method that you can use to sort through your belongings and decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
  • The Four-Box Method can help you create a sorting system for your items and place them into the following categories: Put Away, Give Away/Sell, Trash, and Storage.
  • With the 10-Percent Method, if you have multiples of certain things—such as shoes, clothing, books, and more—you pull them all out and make it a goal to reduce each group of items by ten percent.
  • With the 90/90 rule, you ask yourself whether you’ve used an item in the last 90 days or if you’ll use it in the next 90 days. If the answer is no, it might be time to let it go.

Once you’ve found a method that works for you, you can begin decluttering room by room.

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Declutter Your Kitchen

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There are five main spots your kitchen declutter checklist should include: countertops, cabinets, drawers, pantry, and the refrigerator/freezer. Because the kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in the house, it’s a good idea to clear everything out and wipe down all areas as you declutter. Utilizing hidden storage in the kitchen can also help eliminate clutter moving forward.


  • Save countertop real estate by removing small kitchen appliances you don’t often use, such as the blender, food processor, deep fryer, and stand mixer.
  • Maintain clutter-free kitchen counters by utilizing hanging storage for pots, pans, and other everyday kitchen items.


  • Declutter kitchen cabinets by getting rid of old cookware, utensils, or storage containers that you don’t use or have missing pieces.
  • Add organizers to cabinets to keep dishes, cookware, spices, and other items orderly and visible.


  • Sort through your kitchen drawers and get rid of unnecessary duplicates, broken utensils, worn-out dish towels, and other items you don’t use.
  • Designate specific drawers where you can group similar items.
  • Use drawer organizers and dividers to keep everything visible and easy to grab.


  • Throw out expired food and donate non-perishable items you no longer want.
  • Store dry food like pasta, rice, beans, cereal, pretzels, and crackers in sealed containers with labels detailing what’s inside and when the food expires.
  • Take any snack-sized items out of boxes and place them in wire or wicker baskets for grab-and-go ease.
  • Group foods and spices together in a way that makes sense for you, either by meal or by type of food.

Refrigerator & Freezer

  • Use clear plastic storage bins to maximize your fridge and freezer organization.
  • Group similar items like vegetables, fruits, cheeses, lunch meats, sodas, and more.
  • Store condiments, sauces, and other jars on a turntable to avoid having to dig through your fridge to find them.

Declutter Your Living Room

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High-traffic spaces like your living room can become cluttered simply because of how often they’re used. The first step to decluttering your living room is identifying the objects that don’t belong there. Remove all toys, clothing and shoes, electronics, and other random items that have found their way into your living space. Then you’re ready to get started with living room organization!

Entertainment Center

  • Pull out everything in your entertainment center and wipe it down.
  • Separate items into “Use” and “Don’t Use” groups, then donate or trash any items you no longer use.
  • Add baskets or bins to help keep similar items together on shelves and in cabinets.

Coffee Table & End Tables

  • Clear your coffee table and end tables (including any drawers).
  • Consider using a serving tray to keep remotes, books, and other items organized on your table.
  • Try to avoid having more than 3-4 items on your tables, as this can make them look cluttered.

Bookshelves & Built-In Shelves

  • Go through all the books and knick-knacks on your shelves and keep only what you use regularly or like for decoration.
  • Try to incorporate some open space on shelves so they don’t feel as cluttered.
  • Organize your personal library by size, color, author, title, or genre.
  • Add baskets or bins as a hidden storage solution for blankets, toys, and more.

Declutter Your Bathroom

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Bathrooms can easily become cluttered with too many hygiene and beauty products, hair tools, and cleaning supplies—all of which collect dust over time. Clearing off counters and cabinets and wiping everything down as you go can help your bathroom look and feel cleaner. With some smart decluttering hacks and hidden bathroom storage ideas, you can create a designated place for every item and maintain a neat, organized bathroom space!


  • Limit the number of products you keep on the counter to avoid clutter.
  • Store loose items like cotton balls, swabs, and more in glass or plastic containers.
  • Install wall or mirror mounts for your soap and toothbrush.

Cabinets & Drawers

  • Go through your bathroom drawers and medicine cabinet and get rid of products that are expired or that you no longer use.
  • Utilize trays, organizers, and dividers to make finding products and other items easy.

Under the Sink

  • Safely dispose of any products or cleaning supplies that are expired or no longer used.
  • Add stackable plastic drawers, turntables, or wire baskets where you can store items.
  • Hang hooks on the back of cabinet doors to store hair styling tools, brushes, and more.

Declutter Your Bedroom

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Bedrooms can easily become one of the most cluttered areas in your home, even though they should be restful spaces where we go to relax and recharge. Start the New Year off right by decluttering and organizing your bedroom!

Furniture & Decor

  • Sort decorative items into “Keep” and “Don’t Keep” piles.
  • Try to limit the items on your nightstand to a lamp, phone charger, and a few small personal items, such as a photo frame, a book, and reading glasses.
  • Use trays or baskets to contain small items like jewelry, glasses, etc.
  • Incorporate a storage bench, storage ottoman, or wicker chest for a functional piece of furniture that also provides additional storage space.

Open Space

  • Remove items that don’t belong (such as dishes that go in the kitchen, outerwear that belong in the hall closet, and paperwork that goes in your office).
  • Add pull-out shelves, built-in drawers, or under-the-bed storage bins for hidden bedroom storage.
  • Incorporate over-the-door storage or install floating shelves for vertical storage that doesn’t take up a lot of space.
  • Use a hamper to keep dirty clothes off the floor and wall hooks to store items like hats, bags, and belts.

Declutter Your Kids Room

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While you may not always be able to get your little ones on board with a cleaning schedule or an organizing process, the best way to organize kids rooms and playrooms is simply to ensure that everything has a place. Going through toys, books, and other items on a regular basis can help keep the space from getting overcrowded.

Furniture & Decor

  • Sort decor into “Keep” and “Don’t Keep” piles.
  • Try to limit furniture to a bed, a dresser, and a reading chair—or for small baby rooms, a crib, a changing table, and a reading chair.
  • Use totes and baskets on shelves to keep items like stuffed animals and blankets organized.


  • Pull all toys out and get rid of any items that are broken, never used, or no longer age-appropriate.
  • Add cubby shelves with totes or baskets where toys can be easily reached and stored.
  • Consider rotating toys in and out to keep playtime interesting and free up some space.

Declutter Your Laundry Room

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Does your laundry room need better organization? After you sort through clothing piles and return items to their appropriate places, you can start decluttering and organizing your laundry room!


  • Recycle any empty detergent bottles or fabric softener boxes.
  • Consolidate multiples—like detergent if you have more than one open bottle—and get rid of extra products you never use.
  • Include cabinet shelf organizers so it’s easier to find cleaning supplies, sewing kits, and other items.

Shelves & Other Surfaces

  • Clear out any clean clothes and linens and place them where they belong.
  • Use baskets or bins to organize and group similar items together.
  • Keep items you need to grab more often on lower, easy-to-reach shelves.
  • If you store items on top of your washer and dryer, use a tray to keep smaller items contained.

Declutter Your Closet

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Closets are often clutter nightmares because they’re convenient places to stash items out of sight. Whether it’s a bathroom linen closet, entryway coat closet, or bedroom closet, you’ll want to declutter and organize your closet so you can find items you need without having to climb through a big mess!


  • Sell, donate, or toss any items you don’t wear or that don’t fit, aren’t in good shape, etc.
  • Organize clothes by color, style, season, or function.
  • Store out-of-season clothes separately in bins or hanging garment bags.
  • Get in the habit of decluttering clothes after each season.


  • Get rid of any shoes you don’t wear or that don’t fit, aren’t in good shape, etc.
  • Use a shoe rack, shoe organizer, or shoe containers for shoe storage.

Linens & Towels

  • Clear out your closet by purging any non-essentials and recycling old linens into cleaning rags.
  • Neatly fold your linens and store them in labeled baskets or bins.

Declutter Your Home Office

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Home office organization is crucial to productivity when you work from home, but it can be a struggle to keep your workspace organized, especially if the space is small. Take time to declutter and revamp your home office for a fresh start and a focused mind!

Desk & Drawers

  • Clear off items that don’t belong and limit the number of knick-knacks and decor on your desk.
  • Recycle papers you no longer need and scan any documents you want to keep digitally.
  • Store the documents you keep in labeled folders, binders, or file organizers.
  • Test pens, highlighters, and markers and toss any that no longer write.
  • Utilize drawer organizers to keep pens, pencils, paper clips, and other supplies neat and tidy.
  • Use a cable organizer to conceal power cords and chargers.

Shelves & Cabinets

  • Sort through any folders, binders, and notebooks and toss anything you no longer need—or scan items you want to store digitally.
  • Organize folders and files you kept by project or time of year.
  • Group any documents you’ll need for filing your taxes and keep them in an accessible place so that you’re ready for tax season.
  • Add bins or baskets to keep miscellaneous items organized and out of the way.


  • Go through the digital files on your computer and delete what you don’t need.
  • Organize files with a consistent naming system and move them into folders.
  • Back everything up on your preferred cloud storage.

Declutter Your Garage

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Garages tend to collect items you don’t use or don’t need, which makes them a pain to organize. Continue your New Year’s clean-out by keeping your garage organized with these easy garage decluttering ideas!

Open Space

  • Take everything out of your garage and sweep it thoroughly.
  • Sort and categorize items like lawn equipment, sporting gear, etc.
  • Get rid of any broken, duplicate, or unnecessary items.
  • Add storage shelves to maximize vertical space and make more room for vehicles.
  • Utilize hanging racks for bikes, snowboards, skateboards, and other gear.

Shelves & Cabinets

  • Sort and categorize items like tools, hardware, etc.
  • Toss any broken, duplicate, or unnecessary items.
  • Add plastic storage containers or bins to keep similar items together.
  • Store items you don’t use frequently on higher shelves or farther back in cabinets.

Declutter Your Storage Room

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Whether you use your attic, basement, or another space in your home as a storage room, your overflow items don’t have to be cluttered. Your home’s “junk room” can be decluttered and organized, too!

Open Space

  • Pull everything out of the room and sweep or vacuum.
  • Utilize clear plastic storage tubs and a labeling system to conveniently store what you keep.
  • Add pegboards, hanging racks, or shelving units where you can move items to keep floors clear.

Shelves & Cabinets

  • Sort through items and determine what to keep, toss, or donate.
  • Use labeled bins, baskets, or plastic storage tubs to store items on shelves and in cabinets.
  • Organize by placing items you’ll need more often toward the front of shelves and cabinets.


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