It’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions for 2021. While the usual ones like losing weight and saving money are probably on everyone’s list, getting organized needs to be a high priority, too. If your home is in disarray – and you spend more time than you want to admit looking for stuff – you are more stressed than you have to be.
After the holidays is a great time to spend getting organized for the year ahead. Here’s a foolproof plan for checking that resolution off your list.
Start With Chunks of Time
If you dedicate an entire day to getting your home organized, you’ll be tired and burned out by hour three. Set aside a couple of hours over a period of weeks to work on a little each day. That way you can see the work ahead of you with fresh eyes and make faster progress. And, most importantly, you won’t throw in the towel from being overwhelmed.
It’s almost impossible to get and stay organized if every room is packed with 20 years’ worth of stuff you no longer use. If you don’t use it, it’s broken, or it doesn’t fit, get rid of it. Donate your items or toss them in the trash. Move sentimental possessions like your old wedding dress, family photos, and high school trophies to the attic or basement, out of your regular living space.
Purchase Storage Tools… But Not too Many
Hit the stores either in person or online and find some organizational tools. Closet bins, drawer dividers, shoe racks, under-the-bed storage, stackable shelves, and hooks are all helpful ways to create specific places for your stuff. Don’t spend a fortune buying too many of these and then not use them. Make a list before you shop so you already have a use in mind for everything you purchase.
Tackle Bedroom Closets
Start in your bedroom closet and toss everything you can’t wear or that is no longer in style. Pack away any lingering summer items you haven’t already stored. Use high-quality hangers and hang everything else. Add some hooks for scarves and belts, and baskets for other small items. Finally, add a shoe organizer so you aren’t wasting five minutes every morning frantically looking for your boot’s mate. Repeat in your other bedroom closets.
Organize Bathroom Cabinets
Messy bathrooms are a huge time suck when you’re trying to get ready. Empty the drawers and cabinets and toss what you don’t use. Take what’s left and organize it by use. Invest in some baskets for your hair products and see-through containers for cotton balls and cotton swabs. While you’re at it, check expiration dates and throw out any expired beauty products and medication.
Start Over in the Kitchen
Clean out all your cabinets, drawers, and under the sink. Add storage compartment dividers to your drawers so your utensils are easier to find. Add a shelf rack to stack your plates and your pots, and install a small shelf inside the door under your sink to hold cleaning supplies.
Tame Your Hall Closets
Once your rooms are under control and organized, dig into your coat, hall, and linen closets. These are the spaces that most often end up housing the cast offs with nowhere else to go. Use some of the organizers you purchased (like over-the-door hanging storage, baskets and hooks) to group items together so you can find them easily. Use hooks to hang your handbags, and plastic totes to store books and out-of-season clothing and supplies.
Finish on the Outside
If every room and closet is neat and tidy, take a satisfied breath. But you’re not done. It’s time to head outside and get your sheds, utility rooms, and garages back in shape. Make sure all your summer tools and toys are stored away and anything that was broken is hauled off. Use large totes to store everything that could be damaged by cold weather. Take the cushions off your outside furniture and store them inside. Bring lanterns and other summer décor out of the weather, too.
Getting your home organized this winter may not sound like your idea of fun, but we guarantee you will be deliriously happy with the result. Once all your items are in the right places, resolve to keep them that way by putting everything back where you found it after you use it. This game plan will save you tons of time and headaches in the new year.