In many cases, the idea of going into a new year is just the push you need to get your home in order. Right before the new year, you may have some extra time off during the holidays to clean your home thoroughly, re-organize your space and move into the new year with a fresh start.
We are all guilty of holding on to crap without realizing it could be cluttering our space or killing the vibe in our home–mail, clothes and random items. It is so important that we create sacred spaces where we can enjoy our family and friends without feeling like you are suffocating because there are too many items crammed into one space.
If you have some time to reset your home maintenance habits, here are a few things you can consider incorporating into your daily routine to keep your space clutter-free. My mother always says, “practice makes perfect”. Once you get used to these best practices you will do them naturally without even thinking about it.
Sort Your Mail by the Trash and Go Paperless
Mail is the number one item many of us tend to hoard, especially if you live with family members like I do. In some cases, you may take the mail and place it on the dining room table or your nigh table and wait days before sorting through it. Sometimes you just never get to it.
In the new year, try sorting through your mail as you get them–don’t place them on the table or in a basket and think you will get to it later, it will sit there forever and collect dust. Try sorting your mail by a trash can so that you can toss whatever you don’t need immediately (be sure to remove your name or shred any important information) so that you don’t end up keeping junk mail you do not need.
I also found it helpful to go paperless. Many companies offer the “paperless” mailing option where they send all important communications to you via email. It’s a nice way to cut back on the amount of paper you collect daily. It also allows you to organize and archive your mail digitally.
Don’t Let the Laundry Pile Up
Although I do not do my own laundry (thanks, husband), try to stick to the one-pile rule. If you tend to do your laundry when you run out of clean clothes, here is your chance to rest. Try practicing the one-pile rule–meaning once you have enough clothes to do one load of laundry, then do it.
For those that like to get all fancy and sort your laundry by colors and type, you may want to practice the small-load rule–meaning once you have a small load of laundry for each category, then do it.
We also found it helpful to get a small hamper that is compact allows us to put a limited amount of clothes in at a time. You will see a huge difference. Laundry may not even feel like a daunting chore after all.
Adopt the One In, One Out Rule
If you have a tendency to impulse shop or bring random items in your home–someone’s trash becomes your treasure, this one is for you. The one in, one out rule is very simple–every time you bring an item home you should take something out. For example, every time I buy a new piece of clothing, I donate a piece that I no longer wear or even worse, a piece that doesn’t fit.
Basically, every time you buy an article of clothing, stationery, kitchenware, etc., remove something that you no longer have the use for in the same category. Without this system, I’d be a hoarder buried alive.
On the subject of clothes, I’m sure you have plenty of clothes that don’t fit anymore. I know, you might be saying “I’ll be that size again, one day”. Donate it. On the flip side, don’t be that person that tosses them in a bag and forget to drop it off at the donation site. Do this on a day you know you can bring it to the drop-off location or on a day the organization can pick it up. Otherwise, you are just adding to the pile of junk you already have.