Reorganize And Declutter To Start The New Year With A Clean Slate
Happy New Year from all of us at Gotcha Covered!
The holidays can be hectic and it is easy for things to pile up during all the festivities, so as things settle back into a more normal routine, take advantage of this time to reorganize and declutter.
Getting organized can seem overwhelming, but with the right approach there is no need to stress!
Here are a few simple steps to help reorganize your home and give it a fresh new look to start the new year off right!
Step #1: Put Away All The Holiday Decorations And Extra Décor
Now that the holiday season is over, it’s time to pack up the holiday décor. Delaying the cleanup only makes it more challenging to move forward.
And as you go, keep these tips in mind.
It’s Easier To Organize And Rearrange When There Is Less
It is always easier to stay organized when starting with clean surroundings. By taking the time to put away seasonal items, you are giving yourself a clean surface to start with.
It is much simpler to organize when you are not dealing with decorations, leftover treats, and additional trappings around the house.
Set aside a day and time that works for you and just get to it. You will thank yourself in the long run.
Purge As You Go
This is a great time to go through holiday decorations and sort out what you want to keep.
Anything that is no longer useful - broken lights, stale candy canes, withered pine boughs - can be recycled or thrown away.
Take this time to mindfully sort through other items before you pack them up for the year and decide if these are decorations you plan to use again.
If not, consider donating them to a school or church or give them away to your local donation center.
Be sure to look for anything damaged or broken. If it can be repaired, get it done right away before packing everything away.
Have A Quick Clean After The Tree, Garlands, And Greenery Are Gone
Now that everything is packed up and stored, take a little time to actually clean. Dust the mantles and floorboards. Vacuum the area rugs, staircases, and anywhere else greenery may have dropped. Sweep the kitchen and entryway halls.
Also consider cleaning the high traffic areas such as bathrooms, the kitchen, the dining room, or any guest bedrooms that may have been used. These areas may not always get a lot of attention, so giving them a little extra TLC might be necessary.
Once again, taking the time to pay attention to these spaces that have gotten more use than usual gives you a great starting point to get your house ready for a massive reorg!
Step #2: Make A Realistic Plan
Before picking up cleaning supplies, sit down and make a plan. Setting aside one day to tackle the entire house might work for you, but for most, this may not be the best course of action.
Instead, create a schedule that fits realistically into your daily routine. Starting with a few more manageable tasks is a great way to get into the groove of organizing your space.
Don’t Take It All On At Once
No need to conquer the entire house all at once. The task might seem too daunting to take on which leads to procrastination and plenty of excuses to keep putting it off.
There is usually no need to have everything completed in one sitting, but it might be beneficial to have an end date in mind.
Setting a goal is a great way to ensure you stay on track. Having a fun event like a Super Bowl party or friends visiting for a long weekend, gives you a greater incentive to have everything finished according to plan.
Break It Down Into Smaller More Manageable Pieces
Taking on smaller tasks is a great way to keep yourself motivated and excited about each part of the project.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the thought of the whole project, so take it one step at a time. Break it down to specific areas that need to be addressed and then create a list of priority.
Once you see a manageable schedule, it will be easier to set aside time for each mini project.
Look At The Big Picture
Don’t get caught up in the little details, but take an opportunity to look at the big picture. The goal will be to allow time and space for evaluation as you go.
Allow for areas that can be rearranged, redesigned, and reimagined. The new year is a great time to implement something new. Organizing and cleaning creates an opening to try out some of these new ideas and see what you like.
Create room for assessment within your overall plans and you will be amazed at the possibilities that arise.
Step #3: Start Small And Give Yourself A Win
Everyone wants success, so set yourself up for an easy win! After a few completed projects you will have had a taste and want to keep going.
Be prepared for your carefully planned schedule to be rearranged simply because you were overly motivated to keep going and complete 2 or 3 more tasks.
Here are some of the best ways to set yourself up for success.
Smaller Areas Will Be Easier To Tackle
Start small. It is less overwhelming and you will still get a sense of accomplishment. You may even find that you make time for more than one project.
If not, take the win! You are still on schedule and making progress. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself oddly satisfied with the one section you have tackled for the day.
When you have a well-laid plan, you won’t stress about falling behind!
Take It One Section At A Time
Once you have your plan of attack, it’s time to get moving. Follow your schedule or pick an area at random and start organizing.
A section may be an entire room or a section could be one closet, cupboard, or drawer that needs a lot of attention. Whatever your section is, focus just on that one piece and don’t worry about the rest.
Sometimes dumping everything out into the middle of the room is a great way to start because then you have to pick up each item to determine where it goes.
Does each thing have a spot? Would it be better stored somewhere else? Are there multiple items that can be grouped together in a collection? All of this is easier to visualize when everything is out in front of you.
Be sure to clean as you go. If you have an empty dresser, take the opportunity to dust and wipe it down inside and out. Take advantage of it being lighter weight and clean around, under and behind as well. You will be filling it back up knowing that it has been thoroughly cleaned.
Don’t Overlook The Window Treatments
One commonly overlooked area in any room are window treatments. Window treatments can be incredibly overwhelming to consider cleaning but they don’t have to be!
Many window treatments only require a light dusting or shaking out from time to time. The type of window treatment will determine what type of cleaning is necessary.
Hard window treatments with slats or vanes such as blinds and shutters are intimidating because of the number of pieces and parts. The good news is that most newer blinds and shades are built with materials that are designed to detract dust.
Close the window treatments so the slats or vanes are all facing one direction and then lightly wipe down with a damp cloth. Be sure to check the material of the treatment before using a cleaning agent to prevent any damage. If you have questions, you can always reach out to the manufacturer.
Soft window treatments such as shades, draperies, and fabric top treatments can be shaken to remove the majority of dust. For a more heavy duty clean, you can spot clean or use a vacuum on the lightest setting with a brush attachment. Be mindful of the surface of the treatment since any embellishments such as banding, tassels or fringe may not be conducive to this type of cleaning. Also be sure to keep in mind the type of materials since some fabrics will not react well to certain cleaners.
For more information on how best to clean different types of window treatments, this article is dedicated to just that.
Reward Yourself With Small Celebrations Each Time A Task Is Complete
Once a section is finished, treat yourself to a small reward! Make yourself a nice cup of tea, enjoy a piece of chocolate, or just put your feet up for a few minutes. Whatever your treat is, let yourself enjoy it.
Positive reinforcement will help you enjoy the tasks at hand and you may even find yourself looking forward to the next project.
Step #4: Set A Time Limit
For any daunting tasks it is incredibly important to set a time limit and stick to it. Psychologically, you can psych yourself up for a certain project knowing it will only last for a certain amount of time.
Plus, having a timer set will prevent you from getting sucked down rabbit holes, getting distracted, or taking on too much at once.
Here are some of the things to keep in mind.
Easier To Carve Out A Smaller Amount Of Time
With time allotments set for each area you want to tackle, you can find the right sized task for the amount of time you have.
Perhaps you have 20 minutes before your next phone call? Great! Find a project from your schedule that you only intend to spend 10 or 15 minutes on. Set a timer and go!
You might be surprised at how many items you can check off your list by squeezing them into your daily schedule.
For larger areas, you will want to be sure you are not feeling rushed, so save those for days when you have more available time.
Clean From Top To Bottom
Remember to clean as you go and clean from top to bottom. The idea is that as you clean things above, dust and debris will fall and settle on the lower surfaces.
If you start at the top, there is no need to fret since the lower surfaces will be cleaned shortly after.
Once The Time Is Up, Move On To Something Else
Be committed to the set time limit and then move on. The benefit of setting a time allotment is that it allows you to walk away before anything becomes too overwhelming.
If you need to revisit certain areas a second time, so be it. You can even come back to the same area right away, but be sure to give yourself a solid break both physically and mentally.
The goal is to only have small, manageable tasks that are more easily accomplished to keep you motivated and moving forward.
Step #5: Use A Sorting System
Sorting systems are a great way to organize your thinking as well as your stuff. The system itself is not important, as long as you have one.
Here are some tricks to help you get started finding the right method for sorting and organizing.
Find A System That Works For You
As stated above, the system itself is not the important part so find one that works for you.
Most often it is best to have at least three categories: keep, donate, and throw. The names of these categories may differ slightly depending on preference and sometimes a fourth or fifth is added as needed.
But the idea stays the same. One group is for things you will definitely be keeping. The second group is for things you are ready to giveaway or donate. The third group is for anything that needs to be tossed or recycled.
Use Boxes, Baskets, Or Bags To Keep Each Group Separate
While everything can be grouped in piles, consider using a box, basket or bag to separate your items.
Not only does this keep everything contained, but you can see the accumulation of each category as you go. You might be more willing to reconsider donating certain items once you see how many similar items you are already keeping.
Using some sort of container will also make the next steps that much easier to accomplish!
Take The Next Step Right Away
The key to this whole process is taking the next steps right away! Put away everything in your “keep” category. Take any items you are giving away to your nearest donation center. Throw away or recycle the rest of your items.
Don’t delay in getting these items out of your space. Remember those boxes or bags for each category? They make it that much easier to grab a pile and go. Even if it is just moving them out to your car or the garage, at least they will not be cluttering up your newly organized area.
It may be challenging to know for sure if you are ready to get rid of a specific item. A great tip is to have an extra box or basket in the back of your closet. Place any items you are undecided about here and then wait a few days to see if you miss it. If you go looking for it, you probably aren’t ready to let it go, but if you forget about it, then it’s ready to move on to a new home.
Step #6: Find Ways To Simplify
Once you have completed your to-do list take a look around and look for other areas that can be simplified.
Minimalism is a growing trend because there is a correlation between clutter and stressfulness. We want a sense of space that evokes peace and calm. An added bonus is that less stuff means less to clean which gives us back time to spend on other things.
Here are some great places to start when it comes to paring down and simplifying your space.
Clear Off Surfaces
Find the surfaces around your house and clear them off. Put appliances out of sight in a cupboard. Throw out older magazines, flyers, and mailers that may be piling up. Clean off your refrigerator from excess magnets or décor. Store extra papers or pens in drawers.
Save your countertops, mantles, coffee tables and other surfaces for one or two meaningful pieces. Pick a favorite photo, a special book, or a beautiful plant to showcase. Intentionally choosing just a few items allows these pieces to really shine instead of fading into the background.
Layering textures is a fun way to add an interesting visual element to a smooth surface. Adding a strip of burlap, a piece of intricate lacework, or a fun pattern or print on top of a glass table top, a wood side table or mantlepiece is a great way to add texture. The key is to keep it simple and not go overboard with layering.
The same goes for window treatments. Layering more than one window treatment is a great way to add function and versatility to your windows. Pairing a simple treatment like blinds or a roller shade with a more decorative treatment like a valance or floor length side panels, is an easy way to add softness and color to create a completely new look.
Window treatments are a fun way to create a stunning effect to the look and feel of a room. The trick is to know how to use them effectively to create a cohesive whole.
To read more about effectively layering window treatments, be sure to check out this article.
Empty Out Collection Areas
Every house has areas that naturally become collection zones. Sometimes it’s a convenient countertop right next to an entry way door where keys, loose change, and mail just get dropped. Or it can be a corner of the kitchen where receipts, catalogs, or school papers land.
Collection areas naturally occur and when left unattended, they can grow rapidly. Be sure to stay mindful of these areas and set aside a regular time to tackle these areas before they get out of hand.
There are also some ways to prevent too many of these areas from springing up all over the house. Instead of storing things in dishes or canisters out in plain sight, find a storage solution that is not as noticeable.
Instead of a basket for keys and other loose items, have a designated hook or drawer. Have a cupboard or basket in a closet for shoes that are removed in an entryway or mudroom. Be sure to have a coat rack, hooks, or an area set aside for hats or coats and other accessories.
By limiting these areas throughout the house, the remaining collection spots will be much easier to keep under control.
Remove Excess Accessories
The final step is to take a few minutes to assess each room of your home and find areas that can be simplified.
Do your couches need that many decorative pillows? Are there extra throw blankets draped over chairs or piled in corners? Have a few more coffee table books crept out from the book shelves?
These are all things that can be stowed away to create a cleaner look to the space. It is also easier to clean (and keep clean) once some of these extra accessories have been removed.
Take assessment of your window treatments and see if there’s a way to simplify this area as well.
While we love the look and feel of beautifully layered window treatments, we are also the first to admit that sometimes less is more.
Too many heavy draperies or elaborate Roman shades can easily make a room look and feel weighed down, smaller, and darker. The key is finding a balance.
At Gotcha Covered, we love helping our clients find just the right mix of beauty and functionality. If your room could use a window treatment makeover, be sure to reach out to us for more information.
Decluttering doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful, Following these simple steps can be a great way to get started. Carve out time to take small, manageable steps and before you know it, your house will be fresh and clean.
If your new year’s resolutions involve updating your window treatments, we can show you some of the exciting new products and materials that are available that can give your room a fresh new look.
There are also some exciting advancements in motorization and home connected solutions that we would love to show you.
Reach out to us at (888) 650-6187 or schedule a free design consultation right here.