A cluttered and disorganized house creates overwhelm, stress and anything but a simple home. Refresh your home for the new year with these 6 things to declutter in the new year for a simple home.
I hate clutter. Hate it. It is hard to function in a house that has no counter space or surfaces free, much less be comfortable and cozy in it. Today we are talking clutter and what things to declutter.
I am in no shape or fashion an organized person by nature. I procrastinate and love the creative side of life… not so much the aftermath of the creative side of life.
My mom, on the other hand, is organized and keeps a perfectly tidy house. She has taught me all of my life that you have to simplify to keep up with everything. And now I see this more than ever.
Even still, I have to work hard to keep things orderly as I run from project to project and balance a baby on my hip at the same time. The only way I have found to keep things running smoothly is by simplifying and decluttering. The less I have to manage, the less mess. It makes sense right?
I go through these decluttering spurts where I purge ruthlessly when I can no longer handle all of the accumulation of things in our home.
Right before the new year is a perfect time. We have just had Christmas. Ila was given so many fun toys, books, clothes and crafts. We ate some really good food. We relaxed, we went on walks, and we enjoyed family.
But we also accumulated things and once the Christmas season is over, I need a refresh. I find that working through types of items helps to focus my attention on one area at a time that tends to build up faster than anything else. Today I wanted to share 12 things to declutter in the new year for a simple home.
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I have created a free resource to go along with this post to help with your decluttering. I added these 12 items to a downloadable checklist that can be printed or saved to your phone for easy review when you are working through them.
How Do I Make A Declutter Checklist?
You can make your own based on what you find has accumulated over the year, or you can download mine here! I find that in our home, I can make a huge dent in the clutter, mess and stress by starting with these 6 items.
What Is The First Thing To Declutter?
My favorite place to start is my wardrobe. Not only does this help with how I feel about myself everyday by only keeping things I like and feel good in, but it makes laundry go a little smoother too.
If you are like me, try starting with your wardrobe and pair your clothing down. I have written about my capsule wardrobe before and explained how to make one that fits your lifestyle. This simplifies my home, laundry and decision making so much that I recommend anyone to try it out.
How Do You Minimize and Declutter?
When you look at a big goal or project overall, it can be very overwhelming. The key is starting small and taking it step by step. Start with one item at a time or one room at a time, just a few minutes a day.
Small steps really do add up and allow for the overwhelm to disappear because the focus is just on one item at a time.
Below I have listed just 6 items to start with that are great for the new year. Of course there are major items, like kids toys, but I find that starting with smaller things that you use everyday shows what decluttering and simplifying can do for your life.
So start with one thing at a time or one room at a time. Think about today and not tomorrow. If you just think about the clothing in one of your drawers, it is manageable. But when you consider your entire kids bedroom that is overflowing with clothes, toys and whatever random spatulas they have stolen from your kitchen, it can get overwhelming fast. Overwhelm leads to quitting. Baby steps!
6 Things To Declutter In The New Year For A Simple Home
This item may be a more debatable one to start with. If you are new to decluttering or struggle with it, maybe do not start with clothes but start at the next item in my list. But clothes are my favorite way to start.
My clothing, or having too much clothing, can cause a lot of stress for me. Digging through clothes that I do not like to find clothes that I am comfortable in and do like is not something I enjoy. I like to keep a very simple wardrobe that can mix and match to make several outfits.
This keeps the amount of clothes I have to clean and manage down. It also means I spend less money on clothing and wear everything I own. At the beginning of the colder months I plan my cool weather wardrobe and then do it again just before spring comes. So twice a year. I gather inspiration of outfits I like off of Pinterest, compare to what I have and what is practical for my lifestyle and where I live, and then take one day to shop either online or in stores to get everything I need. Then I do not have to think about it again.
When decluttering my clothes, I like to pick one or two types of outfits that I know will work for my everyday life. This includes indoor and outdoor chores, nursing a baby, cooking and cleaning and being somewhat presentable to go out if needed. In the spring and summer this looks like simple dresses. In the colder months it may be sweaters with leggings or jeans. By doing this, I simplify the items I need.
I will pull out all of the clothes that I own (which is now less than 50 so if you have more, I would not recommend pulling them all out) and decide if they are worth keeping. If they are but they do not fall within the the types of outfits I pulled out, I may rethink my outfits for the season to incorporate items I already have and like. I only keep items that are in good shape and I like the way they fit and how comfortable they are.
If you are doing this for the first time, I suggest going item by item and trying it on. If it does not fit perfectly, has holes or is otherwise worn out, or is just not comfortable it goes. No thoughts. It may be an expensive item, it may still even have the tags on it. But if it is a maybe, you will never wear it and then you are holding onto a useless item that someone else could enjoy.
Once you have gone through every item and decided which ones you will keep, get the rest out of the house and then begin creating your outfits. I am a stay at home mom working from home, cooking, cleaning, and doing farm chores. I keep my types of outfits limited to 1-2. By this I mean I basically have a uniform. I will pick something like jeans and sweaters as my outfit and have 3-5 pairs of each item that I rotate through.
If you work outside of the house everyday, you may need more than this. No matter if you choose more than 1-2 outfit types, you can still simplify with this type of wardrobe planning. Pick 3-5, or however many you find appropriate, and have a few pieces to switch through.
When you are intentional about this, it will make your mornings so much easier because you will already have outfits created and the decision on what to wear will be easier. Laundry is also easier because things are not piled up.
I keep all of my clothes in a dresser and on one shelf, making storage simple as well.
Toiletries is probably the easiest item to declutter simply because there is no ties to it usually. There are no sentimental items, or things that cost a lot of money usually that have just gone wasted. You can also declutter a lot of things by starting here and it gives you a push to keep going.
Things like lotion, old shampoos and body wash, face creams and makeup all get old and need to be replaced. If you have had it for years and it is still not gone, you should just get rid of it now. You have not used it up yet and it is likely too old for you to be using.
This is one I will be doing soon because I know I have a lot of old makeup that I no longer use that could all go away and clear up space.
Linens are similar to toiletries in the sense that there usually are no ties unless it is baby blankets or sentimental items that are worth keeping.
Start with your towels. Either throw away those old ratty towels with strings hanging off or cut them into cleaning cloths.
Move on to sheets. We always have old sheets in the house and I am not the type of person to have multiple sets of sheets that I actually use. I wash, dry and put them back on the bed pretty much immediately and I find it simpler this way. Less storage and it means I have to get it done in a timely manner.
Paper Clutter and Mail
This is a big thing to declutter to start a new year off right.
In our house, paper clutter can quickly build up. Photos, junk mail, bank statements, random notes I have jotted down. It all gets stacked in random places.
Start by gathering all of the paper clutter into a pile and go through it one piece at a time. Throw away anything that is trash and store everything in your file cabinet or storage system by month. Once this is done, you will feel so much better.
I know this one seems a little odd but after Christmas and all the décor that comes with, I just like to refresh my home and one major area is wall clutter. You could apply this to all home décor but too much décor on the walls specifically can make a room feel smaller and more cluttered.
Look at each item on your walls and decide if it really contributes to the overall feeling you want in your home. If not, take it down and decide if you will hold onto it or sell/donate. I like to remove a lot of my wall décor and live that was for a bit. Sometimes I realize something I had up is something I want and I put it back up. Sometimes it turns out that I find a new home for that item in my home. And sometimes it gives my brain time to think and my creativity is sparked for something else to put there.
Electronics and Cords
If you are like us, you have several old electronics and millions of cords. Right now we have several old laptops, two old cameras, an apple watch and an iPad that we do not regularly use and talk about getting rid of all the time, we just have not done it.
In the same drawer and on our desk is boxes of cords. I have no idea what they go to. Maybe 1 or 2 are useful and we just do not even know we have them.
If we would just go through everything and get rid of what is not important, we would know what cords and electronics we have and that they work.
Clear up a drawer, cabinet space or basket just by going through old electronics and cords.