When we make new year’s resolutions, we often resolve to let go of emotional baggage, toxic people, and even excess weight –– yet we rarely resolve to let go of our belongings.
Everyone has a pile somewhere filled with stuff we don’t know how to sort. What better time than the new year to declutter? We’ve selected some of the top organizing hacks to help you lose the things that are piling up around your home.
Ask yourself: how is owning this making my life better?
Ashley Moon Stanfield of Creatively Neat, which offers professional organizing services, tells her clients to ask themselves, “Does this bring me joy?”
Go through your closet or the trinkets stacked on your desk. Is that thing bringing you happiness? Do you use it? Or is it time to thank that object for the memories and donate it to someone else?
Hang your hangers backward
Turn all of your hangers so they’re facing the opposite way. Then, when you pull out an item of clothing and hang it back up, hang it so it’s closest to you. After a while, take note of how many clothes are facing the opposite way. Maybe you’re hanging on to those clothes because you think you’ll wear them but you never actually do.
Deal with junk mail immediately
Jill Annis, a Wisconsin-based professional organizer, recommends shredding, recycling or throwing out junk mail the same day it arrives. Even if you hang onto some mail in a “maybe-I-might-need-this-later” pile, keep that in a separate drawer or folder and sort through it once a month to prevent it from overflowing.
Do the one-minute tasks
“Clutter is often a result of procrastination—decisions put off or small jobs left unfinished,” says Joshua Becker, author of The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own.
Instead of waiting for clutter to pile into one larger task, take one minute to take out the trash, one minute to pick up and fold the clothes you tried on, and one minute clear the dishes from the counter.
Organize first; shop for storage second
You might be too ambitious with buying too many storage boxes and organizers if you do it before clearing out your clutter. Conversely, maybe you don’t buy enough organizers, so you toss everything that’s left over in one big “miscellaneous” box.
Sort through your belongings first. Keep what you need, what you love, and what brings you happiness; then, donate or toss out everything else. Purchase organizing buckets and shelves that are the correct size and then label your categories.
Don’t let clutter control you in the new year!