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The Ultimate Decluttering Guide for the New Year

Is decluttering your house your New Year’s Resolution? A new year is the perfect time to clean, declutter, and organize your home to get a fresh start and a new perspective. Check out this New Year’s Decluttering Guide to choose an organization process and go room by room to clean out trouble areas!

Create a Decluttering Process

Decluttering your home takes commitment. Before you start looking through decluttering tips and home organization ideas, think about which decluttering and home organization process is best for you, as there are many different approaches you can follow when it comes to cleaning out your home.

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

  • The Home Edit, a book and recently released Netflix series, has excellent home organization tips that can help you clean out and organize everything from your bedroom to your kitchen pantry.
  • 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.
  • Emily Ley’s A Simplified Life shares easy ways to declutter and simplify your home in a way that’s functional for a busy life with family.
  • The Four-Box Method can help you take all of your items and categorize them into put away, give away, throw away, and undecided.
  • With the 90/90 rule, you ask yourself whether you’ve used an item in the last 90 days or if you’ll use the item in the next 90 days.

Once you’ve found a decluttering and organization process that works for you, it’s time to start moving from room to room. Just remember that decluttering your entire home takes time. Plan a few days, if not a few weeks, to accomplish your goals!

Declutter Your Kitchen

Organized Pantry with Clear Containers and Labels. Photo by Instagram user @mikaperry

Photo via @mikaperry

There are four main areas to declutter in the kitchen: cabinets, drawers, pantry, and the refrigerator and freezer. Taking advantage of hidden storage in the kitchen can help declutter all four!

Cabinets

  • Clear out and wipe down all of your cabinets.
  • Get rid of old cookware, utensils, or storage containers that you don’t use or that are missing pieces.
  • Add organizers to cabinets to keep dishes, cookware, spices, and other pantry items visible.

Drawers

  • Take items out of your kitchen drawers and wipe them all down.
  • Sort through utensils and get rid of duplicates, broken utensils, and 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.

Pantry

  • Remove everything from the pantry and wipe down all shelves.
  • Throw out expired food and set aside non-perishable items you don’t want for donation.
  • Place items you use frequently on easy-to-reach shelves and items you don’t use as often higher up.
  • 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-size 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

  • Clear out and wipe down the inside, including any shelves and drawers.
  • 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.

Declutter Your Living Room

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 and organized on shelves and in cabinets.

Coffee Table & End Tables

  • Clear off your coffee table and end tables (including any drawers), then wipe them down.
  • 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

  • Pull all books and knick-knacks off of your shelves and wipe shelves down.
  • Go through all items and keep only what you use 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

Bathrooms can easily become cluttered with too many beauty products, hair tools, and cleaning supplies. With some smart decluttering hacks and hidden bathroom storage ideas, you can create a designated place for every item and maintain a clean, organized bathroom space!

Counter

  • Clear off and wipe down all counters.
  • 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

  • Pull out all items from bathroom cabinets and drawers and wipe them down.
  • 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

  • Remove everything from under the sink and wipe the area down.
  • Throw away any products or cleaning supplies that are expired or that you no longer use.
  • 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.
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Declutter Your Laundry Room

Laundry Room with Open Wire Basket Containers. Photo by Instagram user @idlivesimply

Photo via @idlivesimply

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

Cabinets

  • Clear out cabinets and wipe them down.
  • Recycle any empty detergent bottles or fabric softener boxes.
  • Consolidate products like detergent if you have multiple open bottles.
  • Include cabinet shelf organizers so it’s easier to find cleaning supplies, sewing kits, and other items.

Shelves

  • Remove all items and wipe down shelves.
  • Use baskets or bins to organize and group similar items together.
  • Keep items you need to grab more often on lower shelves.

Declutter Your Bedroom

Bedrooms should be restful spaces where we go to relax and recharge, and clutter can make that more difficult. Start the New Year off right by decluttering and organizing your bedroom!

Furniture & Decor

  • Pull all furniture and decor out of your bedroom (except your bed), then vacuum and dust.
  • Sort decorative items into “Keep” and “Don’t Keep” piles.
  • Place the items you’re keeping back into their usual spots—and if your bedroom still feels too cramped, go back through your furniture and decor again and remove a few more items.

Nightstand

  • Clear the clutter from your nightstands (including any drawers) and wipe them down.
  • 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.

Under the Bed

  • Pull everything out from under the bed and vacuum.
  • Remove any items you don’t need like seasonal coats, shoes, or linens.
  • Add rolling shelves or built-in drawers for hidden bedroom storage.

Declutter Your Kids Room

Modern Designed Baby Room. Photo by Instagram user @asanaandoils

Photo via @asanaandoils

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.

Furniture & Decor

  • Pull all furniture and decorative items out of kids rooms, then vacuum and dust.
  • 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.

Playroom

  • Pull all toys out and get rid of any items that are broken 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 so everything isn’t in the room at once.

Declutter Your Closet

Neatly Organized Linen Closet with Bins for Everything. Photo by Instagram user @libbyandlabels

Photo via @libbyandlabels

Closets are usually clutter nightmares because it’s easy to stash items out of sight. Whether it’s a bathroom linen closet, a kitchen pantry closet, an entryway coat closet, or a bedroom closet, you’ll want to declutter and organize your closet so that you can find items you need without having to climb through a big mess!

Clothes

  • Pull everything out of your closet and sort items into piles.
  • Sell, donate, or toss any items that you don’t wear, that don’t fit, that aren’t in good shape, etc.
  • Get in the habit of decluttering clothes after each season.
  • Organize clothes by color, style, season, or function.

Shoes

  • Remove all shoes from your closet and go through pairs one by one.
  • Get rid of any shoes that you don’t wear, that don’t fit, that aren’t in good shape, etc.
  • Use a shoe rack, shoe organizer, or shoe containers for shoe storage.

Linens & Towels

  • Clear out your closet and purge any non-essential or old linens.
  • Neatly fold your linens and store them in baskets or bins.
  • Label baskets and bins with which linens are inside.
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Declutter Your Home Office

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 space for a fresh start and a focused mind!

Desk & Drawers

  • Clear off your desk (including any drawers) and wipe it down.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Throw away any broken supplies and donate any supplies in good shape that you never use.
  • Limit the number of knick-knacks and decor on your desk.

Shelves & Cabinets

  • Pull everything out of cabinets and off of shelves and wipe them down.
  • Sort through any folders, binders, and notebooks and toss anything you no longer need.
  • Organize folders and files you kept by project or time of year.
  • Add bins or baskets to keep miscellaneous items organized and out of the way.

Computer

  • Go through the digital files on your computer.
  • 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

Area of a Garage Turned Into a Small Mudroom with a Storage Bench. Photo by Instagram user @ashley_elliot_

Photo via @ashley_elliot_

Garages tend to collect items you don’t use or don’t need, which makes them a pain to organize. Make a New Year’s resolution to keep your garage decluttered with the garage organization tips below!

Open Space

  • Take everything out of your garage and sweep it thoroughly.
  • Sort through what you have and organize by category (e.g., 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

  • Remove all items from shelves and cabinets and wipe them down.
  • Go through items and organize by category (e.g., 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

Just because your storage room is home to overflow items doesn’t mean it has to be cluttered! Whether it’s in your basement or your attic, your home’s “junk room” can be organized, too.

Open Space

  • Pull everything out of the room and sweep or vacuum.
  • Sort items by category, then go through each category to determine what to keep, toss, or donate.
  • 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

  • Remove everything from shelves and cabinets, then wipe them down.
  • Go through items and determine what stays and what goes.
  • 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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