Organizing Your Home in the New Year

The Christmas tree and decorations are ready to be packed away for another year, and the feelings of new beginnings and a fresh start arise. Whether it be the new items that have found their way into your home with the exchange of gifts that need a place to call home, or the emptiness of the room once the Christmas tree has been removed, homeowners start to envision a fresh look and an organized house. Holidays are done and slowly we are called back to work and our regular routines. Life becomes busy and plans for decluttering and organization slip to the side. January is a great month to focus on organizing the home, with the cold winter temperatures keeping us inside. Say goodbye to shuffling through stacks of papers for the mortgage renewal papers you got months ago or digging through endless boxes or totes in the closet and under the stairs for those camping items. When everything has a place to call home, the atmosphere in the house becomes relaxing and stress-free. A great way to start a new year!

Downsize your Christmas Decor

The perfect time to downsize your Christmas collection is when you are packing it away. Items that you have had for several years may not give you the joy they once had and are only put out because you have them. Your ornament collection may have grown to the point where there is not enough room on the tree, or you have more snowman cookie jars than cookies to fill them with. Assess which items are filler or haven’t been used in years, which ones have meaning and you want to keep, and then donate unwanted items.

Pick a Room

Going through one room at a time ensures you won’t end up with several rooms in chaos at once and an overwhelmed feeling that may stop any progress or have you throw in the towel. Make a list of each room and your vision for that room. Perhaps less furniture, new wall paintings, or a new bedspread and colour scheme is part of your vision. Remove any items that are not part of the vision and find them in a new place, or donate them.

Declutter

This task is daunting and can seem endless. Once you have picked a room, set aside 3 large bins or boxes. Label one “keep”, one “donate” and one “toss”. Then proceed to place all items in the room into bins accordingly. Only keep items that are important, make you happy, or serve a purpose. Once the room is empty, remove the donate and toss bins, and find a place for all the items you wish to keep. Once the room is finished, pick another room to move on to.

Organizing

Papers – Have a system. File cabinets are a great place to store papers and documents or even a file folder on a shelf in your closet. Keep papers that need to be dealt with right away in a priority folder, and then shred, recycle or file once dealt with. Storage bins – The place we keep everything that doesn’t have a place! Be sure to keep similar items together, and bin size appropriate to the number of items inside. If the bin or tote is much bigger than what is inside, space in your closet or garage is wasted.

Toys – Too many toys out can overstimulate a child, and make it hard for them to decide on something to play with. Downsize toys that are broken or not age-appropriate, and then separate the remainder into groups, rotating them throughout the year.

Closets – Donate items you haven’t worn in the last year or have outgrown. Have everything in the closet visible, either on hangers or shelves. If you can’t see it, you won’t wear it!

Label – A label printer is handy for organizing projects. Label the bin or container with a genre, and then place a paper on top with a list of everything inside. Next time you are looking for something specific, you only have to read the list instead of digging around!

However you choose to organize your home and space, don’t be hard on yourself if it’s hard to get rid of things or it's taking longer than hoped for. Be proud of what you have accomplished, take a break if it becomes overwhelming, and return to it next week!

Happy organizing!

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