Decluttering for the New Year – 5 Tips for a Tidier Home and Office

woman decluttering home

It’s never too late to make your New Year’s resolutions! As many have shifted to spending more time at home — and even working from home — resolutions to be more organized and reduce clutter in living and workspaces are more common than ever.

According to Psychology Today, A cluttered living space can lead to unnecessary additional stress, and a cluttered workspace can reduce productivity, interrupt creativity and lead to poor work performance. Clutter also makes it more difficult to relax and let the mind focus, and an unnecessary constant mess can signal to the brain that work is never done, leading to anxiety and feelings of guilt.

While most focus on reorganizing at the apparent times — before a move, at the beginning of a new year or new season – if you notice yourself feeling regularly stressed, clearing your space and decluttering your house or office can clear your mind.

For those determined to clean up and clean out, here are some tips to help:

1. Make it fun and stay focused.

There are those that love to organize, and there are those that don’t. Make organization more fun by engaging family, roommates, friends or co-workers in efforts to clean and stay organized. Order good food, turn on upbeat music and go!

When you cannot convince others to join you or would prefer to go at it alone, set a timer to stay focused on the task at hand. For those who like a challenge, set a time-based goal to see if you can beat the clock. And for those who need a little motivation, treat yourself to something special once your finish a hefty task.

2. Prioritize spaces to organize.

As decluttering an entire home can feel daunting, Home & Gardens suggests starting by making a list of all the rooms and prioritizing the areas that are used most or are the most frustrating. Then, within each room, determine the areas that, if organized, would “spark joy,” as the KonMari Method suggests.

While in the room, start with the storage areas: bookshelves, drawers, cabinets and closets. Organizing these items first can make space for other items in the room.

A key tip to remember, when you first begin to organize your area, it will look worse than before you started. But afterward, the space will feel so much better.

3. Designate a space for everything and get creative!

Having a place for everything helps relieve chaos and makes cleaning up easy. For example, books go on the bookshelf, files belong in the file cabinet, dishes in the cupboard and shoes on the rack. Having a designated home for your items reduces the time it takes to identify where you will store it the next time it is out of place.

Rather than having stuff neatly stacked on counters or open shelves, try putting it in an attractive fabric bin or adding cabinet doors to cover your shelves as “closed spaces” like storage bins, drawers and cabinets can help keep things out of sight and out of mind.

When your typical storage areas are limited, think outside the box. Hooks, vertical storage, floating shelves or over-door organizers can provide additional space while using the space you have. Also, consider the organization within your storage areas. Drawer dividers, clutter baskets and plate racks can ensure you’re using your space more efficiently.

If you do not have enough space, a third-party storage unit can be a relatively inexpensive solution to organizing your home and office.

4. Throw away, store it or rotate it.

To make more space in cabinets and drawers, consider the last time you used the item, as items such as clothes, medicine, cleaning supplies and other small items tend to build up. Non-seasonal things that have not been used in the last six months belong in the trash as well as items with expiration dates that are well past.

Seasonal items like special-occasion dishes, bulky sweaters and holiday-themed decorations can be stored in appropriately labeled bins and tucked away in less-accessible storage areas, like attics or off-site storage units, until needed.

If you are indecisive about throwing an item away, try moving it into storage for 6-12 months to test if you can live without that fourth winter coat or oversized stuffed animal from your childhood.

In your office or workspace, focus on clearing flat surfaces by using drawers and bins. Doing this can help make your space appear larger and keep your mind clear and focused during the day. Consider rotating picture frames every three months instead of placing every picture on the desk, leaving little room to work. Another added benefit is that swapping out your decorations can help keep your workspace feeling fresh and new.

5. Make time to organize regularly and focus on establishing new habits.

According to an article on Master Class, it can take an average of 66 consistent days to form a habit. If the thought of staying clutter-free and organized seems overwhelming, start small. Start the morning off right is making up the bed every morning. By making your bed, your bedroom can already feel more organized. At the end of the day, take 10 minutes to put items back where they belong. A little work every day goes a long way and can eliminate the need for a massive overhaul next year.

Whether you’ve already set your goal or looking for a new resolution, it’s never too late to be more organized and clutter-free in 2023! A more organized home and workspace can help start the year with less stress, a clearer mind, increased productivity, more creativity and improved mental health.

Contact an Armstrong representative today to understand how you can benefit from Armstrong’s decluttering and storage service by calling 800.288.7396 or requesting a free quote online.