Like many others, this time of year my thoughts turn to fresh starts in the new year. Putting away the Christmas decorations and getting rid of the tree is bittersweet – I’m always sad to see the holidays end, but excited for a clean slate. But why wait until 2022 to start anew? Below, six things to declutter before the new year, so that come January 1st, you and your home are ready to take on the next 365 days (clutter-free!).
Coats and other winter accessories pile up quickly, and it’s easy to forget what we have. Take notice of what’s consistently going unworn and donate it to local charities. Donating now instead of in the spring helps people stay warm and dry this season rather than next.
2. Kids Toys:
A visit from Santa usually means there will be lots of new toys and gadgets that need space to live in your home. Rather than stuffing old toys into chests and closets, use this time when your children are distracted with their new gifts to get rid of older items. Focus on keeping toys of high quality, or that are creative or educational in nature. Throw out anything that’s broken, and donate the rest to make some less fortunate kids very happy. This is a great time to teach kids the one in, one out rule!
3. Bedding, Throws, and Towels:
If you’ve recently replaced your bedding and towels in preparation for the holidays, use this as an opportunity to throw out or donate the old stuff to keep your linen closet neat and tidy. Animals shelters and veterinarian offices are almost always in need of spare towels and blankets, so consider donating to our beloved four-legged companions.
4. Your Wardrobe:
If your closet is busting at the seams, take it as a sign that it’s time to do a little decluttering. Anything that hasn’t been worn since this time last year should go, as well as out-of-style items, pieces that don’t fit, and clothing that has seen better days. Just like with the kid’s toys, focus on high-quality classics that offer a low price-per-wear, and donate the rest of your gently worn items to the local Salvation Army (this is another great place to employ the one in, one out rule!).
5. Pantry Items:
It’s always wise to rotate older items through your pantry, but some items will simply never get used. Over time, they get shoved to the back of the pantry where they collect dust and take up space. Instead, donate unexpired, unopened food items to the local food pantry where they’ll be greatly appreciated.
6. Bookshelves & Other Shelving:
Make room for all the books on your winter reading list by giving away the ones you didn’t love so much or know you won’t read again. Clean and dust the shelves before reorganizing the books alphabetically or by category. Keep the books you haven’t read yet in one section for easy reference. This is also a great time to reduce visual clutter on other shelving around your home by being very selective and deliberate about the items you display and putting the rest into storage.