As the New Year approaches, it’s time to think about fresh starts and new beginnings. I mean, really, it’s always a good time to think about fresh starts and new beginnings if we need them… but the start of a new year practically invites us to do so.
This year, why not focus on creating a more organized, clutter-free living space? Because if you are looking for a new beginning, this is a great place to start.
After all, if you want to immediately improve your life, declutter a closet—as the old saying goes.
The goal of No Sidebar is to help you design a simple life. No doubt that’s why you are here. So let’s make that happen.
Decluttering not only enhances the appearance of your home but also brings a sense of peace and order to your daily life. It brings fresh perspective and newfound intentionality.
Here are 12 decluttering resolutions to adopt in the New Year for a tidier home:
1. Declutter One Room Per Week
Tackle your home one room at a time, dedicating each week to a different space. This breaks the task into manageable chunks, making it less overwhelming.
There may be some rooms that take more than a week (like an attic or basement), but many spaces can be completed in 7 days. I recommend beginning in the most lived-in areas of your home.
2. Adopt the One-In-One-Out Rule
Whenever you bring a new item into your home, make a rule to let go of another. This keeps your belongings in balance and prevents accumulation.
It can be difficult to keep up during heavy times of consumerism (like Christmas). But now that the new year has begun and your shopping will slow for a bit, adopt the rule right away.
3. Declutter Clothing Not Worn in Six Months
Go through your wardrobe and part with items you haven’t worn in the last six months. This keeps your closet relevant and manageable.
To help with that, implement the Hanger Experiment by turning around all your clothes hangers backward on January 1 (or whatever day you read this). When you wear an item, return the hanger in the natural direction. After three months, you’ll be able to easily identify which clothes were never worn.
4. Organize One Stack of Paper Each Week
Sort through your papers, bills, and mail weekly. This keeps paper clutter from piling up and makes important documents easier to find. I learned this method from Lisa Woodruff and it is absolutely the greatest way to stay on top of paper clutter.
If you have lots of piles currently, you’ll want to work through those as well. So maybe start with two piles/week—one old one and on current one.
5. Spend an Hour a Week Unsubscribing from Email Newsletters
Digital clutter can be just as overwhelming as physical clutter. Dedicate time to unsubscribing from unwanted emails to declutter your inbox.
As an added bonus, you’ll also find yourself shopping less.
6. Donate Unused Items Monthly
Make it a habit to donate items you no longer use each month. This not only clears your space but also benefits those in need.
Even if your nearest drop-off donation center is a considerable drive, one drive per month to clear some clutter from your home is worth the effort.
7. Implement a 10-Minute Nightly Tidy-Up
Spend 10 minutes each night tidying up. This small habit can make a big difference in maintaining a clutter-free home. Set a timer each night and commit to working the entire time.
At first, the 10 minutes might not bring a huge noticeable difference. But the more you get used to it (and more you declutter this year), you’ll soon find 10 minutes to be enough time to complete the most important areas.
8. Digitize Your Memorabilia
Instead of keeping boxes of old letters, photos, and memorabilia, digitize them.
This reduces physical clutter while preserving your memories. Photographing things also makes it easier for you to part with them.
9. Set a Monthly Decluttering Goal
Each month, set a specific decluttering goal. Whether it’s a shelf in the attic or your digital photo collection, having a clear target can keep you focused.
I encouraged you earlier to declutter one room each week. And I think that is a good goal. But it’s not possible for everybody. If that’s you, setting a monthly goal might be more helpful.
10. Practice Mindful Shopping
Before making a purchase, ask yourself if it’s necessary and where it will live in your home. This mindful approach can significantly reduce clutter.
To help you become more mindful in your shopping, read this article: 4 Lies Our Consumer Society Is Telling You That You Should Reject Right Now
11. Use the 30-Day Rule for Purchases
When considering buying non-essential items, wait 30 days. If you still feel it’s necessary after that period, then proceed with the purchase.
30 Days is a good length. But if it sounds unreasonable for you, try 10 days, or even 2 days. The longer the better… but any length is better than none.
12. Create a Decluttering Checklist
Make a checklist of areas in your home that need decluttering attention and work through it systematically. If you need help, the Clutterfree App can do the work for you.
By adopting these decluttering resolutions, you can step into the New Year with a clearer home and mindset.
You don’t need to start all 12 at the same time on January 1st. Even implementing 1-2 of them from the very beginning of the year will make a big difference.
So choose a couple that sound particularly helpful to you and let’s make it happen.
Less is more in ’24!