I don’t know about you, but when New Year rolls around, I feel energized to start decluttering and refresh my living space. Spending time journaling, reflecting, setting goals and generally organizing my thoughts inspires me to create the same clear and uncluttered experience in my home.
Sometimes that manifests in a full blown spring clean or sometimes I target a particular area of the house such as my closet, home office or living room.
If you’re wanting to start off the new year on a strong foot or welcome in a new season of the year (or of your life!), a spot of targeted decluttering will set the stage for growth and flourishing creativity.
Ready to experience all the benefits of a simple, more organized and spacious home? Here are 5 clutter-prone areas to target.
Hallway or Entrance: a Warm ‘Welcome Home’
Imagine being greeted by a clear and welcoming space as you enter your home.
The entryway can quickly turn into a mess of discarded shoes, coats, keys (that promptly get lost), shopping and more.
Declutter this area of all unnecessary items and furniture. Think clear, spacious, calming, beautiful.
In order to control clutter (and if you have the space), it could be helpful to invest in a storage bench or cupboard near your entrance that keeps clutter out of sight.
Pick something with compartments to keep muddy boots separate from your favorite jacket and your bag hanging nicely. Choose a piece that fits your space, contains all your drop-off items and provides easy access when entering or leaving your home.
A floating shelf with hooks for keys, coats and bags is a handy solution for smaller homes. Keys could also be homed in a small dedicated key basket where they’ll never get lost. Try a pretty wicker basket on the floor near the door for things like shoes, bags, or shopping you want to store temporarily.
Living Room: Creating a Calming Sanctuary
An important area for socializing and relaxing, the living room all too often becomes a cave of clutter and chaos.
Step back and take a good hard look at it, right in the eye! Do you really, truly, absolutely need everything you have in there?
Make sure every piece of furniture and decoration adds value to the space.
Your walls and surfaces don’t have to be absolutely bare, but you do want to avoid having too many decorative items in your surroundings. Even decluttering and removing only these items can make a big impact on the overall feel of your home.
If you’re feeling brave, target shelves, tables, and seating that contributes to clutter.
A note on books: My home used to overflow with books. As a book lover I couldn’t imagine letting go of any of these treasures, but my journey into minimalism opened my eyes.
I realised I was holding onto memories, to past ideas, and to clutter.
Now, my home isn’t book free, but I have donated most of my collection and my mind and home are better for it! I’m still a reader, but I’ve fallen in love with the convenience of audiobooks and how I’m able to take in valuable, inspirational content while running, doing chores or driving to work.
The Kitchen: an Organized, Clear Space
If you’re a collector of every nifty kitchen gadget advertised and have drawers full of handy utensils you never use, your kitchen may have become more of a storage room than a functional area where you can prep meals with pleasure.
Don’t despair! You can absolutely reclaim this space and create a happy, neat and uncluttered kitchen that’s a joy to work in.
As a start, consider the value of empty space. Start with the countertops. Hide most of your small appliances so that your countertops look sleek and spacious. For example, store the toaster and smoothie maker in the pantry. Take a step back and try to find where else you could free up space. Think ornaments, cookbooks, notes, magnets, cleaning supplies. Pare those down to make some room.
If you tend to store mail or keys on the counter, create a basket system to organize your mail and hang your keys on your new floating shelf!
No space in your kitchen cupboards? Large serving plates, extra dishes, pans and appliances take up lots of room that could be put to better use. Consider storing these little used items in a basement or large cupboard.
For more suggestions on decluttering your kitchen and pantry, I detailed 15 hacks that will help you organize your kitchen into a clutter-free minimalist dream. I’ve also included a checklist that will help you create a tidy, organized and minimalist kitchen. Find it at the bottom of this post!
Bathroom: Functional Yet Relaxing
Often the smallest room, the bathroom can quickly become cluttered and look messy.
Keep the items that you store here limited to what you use daily. Go through your medicine cabinet or bathroom cupboard and remove any doubles (or triples), extras, and expired products.
Use small containers or drawer organizers to sort and organize bobby pins, makeup, brushes and other products.
Consider where clutter collects and ask yourself why.
Shower looking messy with shampoo bottles on the floor? A hanging shower caddy can hook over the shower head, shower door or curtain railing providing a space to arrange your essentials on.
Simply don’t have any storage cupboards? Consider installing a shelf out of the way and use pretty baskets or containers to keep your necessities nicely arranged.
Bedroom: a Peaceful Oasis
Your bedroom is a sanctuary, a haven, a place of peace away from the busy world.
In the bedroom, clothing is usually the primary clutter culprit. Cluttered coats on the bed, shoes on the floor, dress selections from a date night outfit parade draped over the wardrobe door . Often there are more clothes outside the cupboard than in!
Sometimes this is simply a matter of developing self-discipline with being more mindful about being tidy. Sometimes it’s the result of a mindless shopping habit! Of a closet full of barely worn clothing that you don’t really like and that doesn’t really suit your personal style.
I’m a huge advocate of the capsule wardrobe and developing a minimal clothing collection. Creating a capsule wardrobe truly changed my life when I began decluttering my wardrobe. I started discovering what my personal style was and created a wardrobe of clothing I loved. No more indecision, no more dissatisfaction with what I had to wear and no time wasted trying on outfits.
This also contributed hugely to the ability to keep my bedroom clutter free. If you’d like to jump in and start decluttering your wardrobe, I have many free resources available that will help you do just that.
Look around for unnecessary decorative items like accent pillows, keepsakes, and pictures and store or donate them. Remember that a fresh start means creating new memories and having new experiences, and allowing the past to stay in the past. Releasing momentos that hold you back by reminding you of what was is an incredibly freeing experience. In the wise words of Marie Kondo, keep only what sparks joy!
Find more tips on decluttering your bedroom here.
Take the time to approach these areas of your home with a fresh perspective and a minimalist goal in mind. Instead of coming home to overwhelm, you’ll create a welcoming home that adds value to your life.
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