Clearing Out the Old, Making Way for the New Year

You’ve probably already composed a long list of resolutions for the new year, likely including a promise to make it to the gym and a pledge to steer clear of the cookie jar, but cleaning the clutter and maintaining a tidy home should be at the top of the list.

A new year deserves a fresh start, and cleaning your home can be the perfect maneuver to help you secure a bright, productive and organized year. Understanding what’s needed in your home is the initial step, and getting rid of everything that’s non-essential is the second. There’s a rule of thumb, suggesting if you haven’t worn an item of clothing or shoes within 18 months, then you ought to get rid of it. While that time allotment may seem a bit short, hanging on to things that you aren’t going to wear or items that you won’t use is silly. If you feel bad about throwing it in the trash, then offer it Good Will or gift if to a friend, who will enjoy it.

If there’s something that you simply can’t get rid of then figure out why you’re keeping. You’re not obliged to keep an ill-fitting dress simply because it was a gift, and there’s no need to cling to a tucked away sewing machine if it might be used someday. Know that these difficult choices will move you in the direction of having less clutter, more spaces, more storage and more access to the things that you actually need. Imagine how quickly you could get dressed in the morning if you got rid of all of the nonessential closet items that overwhelm your closet.

Some other items you should consider getting rid of are old paint, plastic containers, worn linen, magazines, old spices, dated receipts and bills, unread books, expired vitamins, chipped and unmatched cups, old media (DVDs, VHS, CDs, video games and audio tapes), old greeting cards, toys, perfumes, jewelry, expired canned and frozen goods, rugs, neglected projects, dated and useless technology, old makeup, dingy underwear, abandoned beauty supplies, mementos, empty liquor bottles, user manuals, old personal documents and condiment packets.

In my personal experience, sorting through a cluttered home and unearthing hidden clothes and unused items can be cathartic. Moreover, it’s an opportunity to look through items, so that you can better understand how much space you truly have in your home. And you’ll have room to introduce new, functional or aesthetically pleasing items.

Emptying the junk drawers and tossing out the swollen bags loaded with the discarded cords and connector cables will be a true relief in the long run. While you’re cleaning your home consider making other amendments, including cutting your energy use, purifying indoor air and developing a weekly cleaning routine.


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Nancy Price Interior Design is a Jackson, Mississippi-based interior design firm that's owned and operated by Nancy Price and her husband. Nancy Price enjoys bringing a balance of art and comfort to her clients. Learn more about Nancy Price by following her on Twitter and Instagram.