10 Things to Declutter Before 2018
BY: Marnie Oursler
Like many others, this time of year my thoughts to 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 2018 to start anew? Below, 10 things to declutter before the new year, so that come January 1st, you and your home are ready to take on the next 365 (clutter-free!).
Image by Rustic White Photography & designed by Brian Patrick Flynn for HGTV Dream Home 2018
1. Holiday decorations
As you’re packing away the lights, ornaments, and boughs of holly, check to see what never made out to begin with. Consider rehoming items that didn’t make the cut this season and throw out anything that broke during this year’s festivities.
2. Gift wrapping supplies
If you’re at all like me, every holiday season you probably buy a ton of wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbons, and bows, forgetting that you still have plenty leftover from last year. Take an inventory now, and throw out supplies you haven’t used in years or that are looking a little past their prime.
3. The coat closet or mud room
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 in the spring helps keep people stay warm and dry this season rather than next.
4. Kid’s toys
A visit from Santa usually means there will be lots of new toys and gadgets that need a 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!
5. 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.
6. 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!).
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Incoming mail
I can’t be the only one who has a major pile-up of holiday catalogs, bills, and other mail sitting on the counter. Set aside a quiet morning to finally sort through everything and file away or respond to anything important. While you’re at it, create an easy system for organizing your incoming mail in the new year.
10. Tools, art supplies, or other hobby items
Whether it’s power tools or paint brushes, hobby supplies have a funny way of piling up and descending into chaos. Go through everything to make sure it’s still in good condition and then organize by what gets used most. This way, come 2018 you’ll have all the tools you need for a fulfilling new year right at your fingertips.
Cheers to a fresh (uncluttered!) start to 2018!