The holidays are over, leaving in their wake a whirlwind of disarray. You have a pile of new items that need to be put away in your already crowded home, and you know you’ll be finding wrinkled scraps of wrapping paper around your home for the next month. Like every year at this time, you find yourself thinking, “man, I just need to get organized.” Then work starts up again, and chaos becomes your new normal. But here’s the thing: It doesn’t have to be this way. You can get organized in 2019. Here are the tips and tricks you need to get the job done.
Give Yourself the Tools for Success
If you don’t have the tools you need to get a job done, chances are the job isn’t getting done. Take inventory of your home and make a list of everything you need to get your home in order. The list may include things like cleaning supplies you’ve run out of, shelving units, storage buckets, picture frames for new photos, nails to hang things with, batteries for new electronics, or even giant trash bags to start throwing things away. Make a Target run before you do anything else and get everything you need to get your house in order.
Get Rid of Stuff First
You can’t find homes for new things in your life if your house is cluttered with junk you don’t need.
Start with the basics. Now’s the time to clear the holiday treats—and any expired food—out of your fridge and cupboards. Check your medicine cabinet and dispose of anything that’s expired, as well as prescription drugs for conditions you don’t have anymore. Throw away any wrapping paper you see scattered about your living room, and any other garbage you may have.
Next, move on to your closet. Donate anything that doesn’t fit or that you haven’t worn in the past year. Throw out any undergarments that you’d be embarrassed for a date to see you in and any socks with holes in them. If you have any clothes that have duct tape, scotch tape, or staples on them, chances are good they should be thrown out as well.
Finally, purge the rest of your house. Books can be donated if you aren’t going to read them again. Old decorations that you don’t like any more can be thrown out. Basically, if it doesn’t give you joy, get rid of it.
Pro Tip: If you have a hard time getting rid of items, setting a decluttering challenge for yourself can help motivate you.
If you haven’t already done it, now is also the time to take down your holiday decorations and store them for next year. This simple act will make your house feel more in order all by itself. Label your boxes as you go so that you can easily find the decorations you need next year, especially if you found decorating to be a painful process this year.
Clean the House
Your next step is to give your home a good cleaning. You can never really feel organized if your house is messy. This doesn’t just mean washing dishes and sweeping the floor. Now’s also the time to wash your toilets, tub, and mirrors, change your sheets, and move furniture to clean behind it.
Find Homes for Everything
Everything you own should have a place where it’s supposed to go, from big things like your furniture to little things like your keys. If you don’t have the proper storage for an item, now is the time to buy it. Get a valet tray to put on the surface just inside your door, for example, to store your wallet, cell phone, and keys. If you can’t find a home for something, you either need to create a home for it, or you need to get rid of it—no ifs, ands, or buts.
Dedicate Time Each Day
After you get your house in order for the first time in 2019, the real trick is keeping it that way. Set aside a certain amount of time each day that you’re going to dedicate to cleaning and organizing. Sticking to it and getting a little bit done each day can keep you from getting overwhelmed by housework.
Other great options are to set yourself a cleaning schedule so that you know when you need to do more deep cleans in your home, and to instill the one-touch rule in your household.
Getting organized is a worthy resolution for 2019, but it can seem overwhelming. Instead of trying to organize your whole house at once, break the process into small chunks that seem more manageable. By taking the process one small chunk at a time, you will make visible progress without getting overwhelmed. Ultimately, that’s the key you need to get your home in order this year.