Clearing The Clutter For The New Year

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Let’s get started on one of your New Year’s resolutions!  One that many homeowners may consider is cleaning and getting organized their homes in 2019. Decluttering your home can free up space, get rid of unnecessary items and help you find things you may have lost or forgotten about.

The Plan

Decluttering your home is a sizable task, and it can be a daunting one. That’s why it’s important to tackle this job with a plan. The Spruce suggested that, before you get started, you find 4 boxes or plastic bins. You’ll want to label them like so:

  • KEEP: you’ll put these items away later.
  • RECYCLE: paper, glass and plastic.
  • TRASH: some things you really shouldn’t keep.
  • DONATE: give away to family or friends, or to a charitable organization

Determine which rooms you want to tackle first. Perhaps you want to get the messiest and most disorganized room out of the way first, or maybe you want to start small and ramp up. Define

Now that you have a plan, you can determine how you’ll evaluate each item. Here are some tips:


When going through your bathroom, kitchen or bedroom, you might come across medications and medicines you’ve acquired over the years. Ask yourself:

  • Is it expired?
  • Do I or my family members need this?
  • Has anyone used it in the past 6 months?

If no one uses that medicine, if it’s unnecessary and especially if it’s expired, call your doctor’s office or pharmacy for discard information.


It’s easy to accumulate clothing that you don’t wear anymore. Our sense of style evolves over time, and you’ll outgrow some things. Other items may be gifted from well-meaning family members who simply don’t know your taste, or were purchased for a particular event that’s now passed. For each article of clothing, ask yourself:

  • Does it fit me?
  • Do I like the way I look in it?
  • Is it comfortable?
  • Have I worn it in the past year?

If it doesn’t fit, if you hate your reflection when you wear it, if it’s uncomfortable to wear or if you haven’t touched it in the past year, throw it in the donate box. If it’s falling apart or is otherwise unusable, put it in the trash bin.


When you get a new gadget, it may be fun or convenient for a while, but over time it may get less and less use. Maybe it’s a device that you’ve replaced with a new model, or perhaps it didn’t fit into your daily routine well. Either way, you’ll need to evaluate the necessity of your old electronics. For each piece, ask yourself:

  • Does it work?
  • Do I like it?
  • Does it make my life easier?
  • Have I used it in the past year?

If it doesn’t work, you’ll need to decide if you can fix it yourself, if it’s worth paying for a professional repair, or if it’s better off trashed. If it’s still functional, determine whether it makes your life easier in any way, or if you like to use it. If you don’t really like to use it, haven’t used it in the past year or it’s cumbersome to use, you may consider donating it.

Identify storage locations

Through your decluttering efforts, you’ll end up getting rid of some things and determining others are better off in storage. But, if your attic, basement and garage are already full, or you don’t want to move stuff to these areas, you might consider looking outside your home. A storage unit can help immensely. You can house the items you need only a few times a year here, where they’re easily accessible yet out of the way.

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