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Most people’s New Year’s resolutions revolve around losing weight, getting in better shape, or eating more healthy foods. All those are perfectly fine resolutions to help us be happier with our bodies — but what about making a New Year’s resolution that will make us happier with our living spaces?
That’s right: New Year’s resolutions can include home organizing resolutions. By setting and reaching goals related to home organization, we can reduce our stress and increase satisfaction in our living spaces. Here are 8 great home organization resolutions for the new year.
#1: Set your goals. Just like home organization itself, you have to start with a goal. And setting a goal means you’re recognizing what you want to achieve — whether that’s cleaning out the garage, turning the basement from a storage unit into a play area for your kids (or a workout space for yourself), or organizing your kitchen. Whatever your home organizing goals are, set your goals and write them down somewhere prominent, so you’ll see them every day. Once you make them, it’s up to you now to commit to reaching your goals you set for yourself. How do you do that?
#2: Start small. Organizing your home can be overwhelming, so don’t do it all at once. And don’t start by trying to tackle the largest spaces for clutter, which are usually basements, garages and attics. Instead, focus on a small space, like a closet in the basement, or the shelves in your garage and attic. Then work your way throughout the space. Another tip is to address the big items in those spaces first. If you no longer use the circular saw, sell it on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Do the same thing with the old furniture in the basement.
#3: Get the whole family on board. If you live in a busy household with your spouse and kids, you don’t want to be the only one resolving to have a more organized home. So call a daily meeting and get each of your family members to resolve to organize and clean their personal spaces, whether that’s a bedroom and bathroom, playroom, backyard, or garage. Everyone helps clutter up a home; it needs to be everyone’s responsibility to get their home organized. So ask them to set their own goals for their spaces: Kids may choose to reduce how many toys or electronics they have. Your spouse may choose to clean up whatever spaces they use most, whether that’s the kitchen, the basement or the garage.
#4: Get rid of duplicate items. The kitchen seems to be the biggest culprit when it comes to duplicate items. Many of us have multiple cookie sheets, several sauce pans, maybe even many mixing bowls. Unless you often prepare large meals for family and friends, or host every holiday gathering, chances are good you don’t need so many multiples. Take extras you don’t often use to a thrift store, or have a garage sale to get rid of all your duplicate items. (Quick note: Garages and sheds are also spaces holding duplicate items like tools, tarps, lawn implements, snow shovels and the like. Think about what you really use throughout the year on home projects, and let go of the rest.)
#5: Toss out expired medications. This sounds so easy, but so many of us don’t do it. And usually this only occurs to us when we have a rotten cold and we realize the cough medicine expired four years ago. So each fall and spring, go through the bathroom cabinets and remove expired cold, cough and allergy medicines, along with any expired prescriptions or prescriptions we no longer take. But don’t throw this stuff in the trash or flush it down the toilet; take it to your local pharmacy to dispose of properly. If you need a helpful reminder to go through your medications every six months, just do it when you swap out the batteries in your smoke alarms twice a year. Speaking of which …
#6: Make sure your home is safe and sound. Older homes and buildings built before 1978 probably have lead paint. And asbestos is still commonly found in cement, pipes, flooring and insulation. These aren’t the only deadly dangers lurking in your home: Radon and carbon monoxide are also potential health hazards. But the good news is, you can test for all these things. You can buy radon testing kits, and you can install inexpensive carbon monoxide detectors. Before you remodel or repaint your home, consider purchasing lead paint and asbestos testing kits.
#7: Add storage that works with the space. Install inexpensive pegboard and hooks in the garage, workroom and basement, and hang up things like tools, rakes and toys. Hang floating bookshelves in your living room and bedroom to display items on the walls instead of cluttering up the tops of buffets or coffee and side tables. Use storage ottomans as both footstools and spots to stash quilts and pillows. Put collapsible storage cubes under your bed, and keep your seasonal clothing there when it’s not in season.
#8: Hire a professional organizer. Remember what we said at the beginning about reducing stress? That’s one big benefit behind organizing your home — which means the process itself shouldn’t add to your stress levels. If you find the task too overwhelming, bring in a professional organizer. This person will have no sentimental value to any object in your home; their main goal is to help you decide what to keep, what to get rid of, and how to get your environment organized.
When you’re setting your home organization New Year’s resolutions on Dec. 31, we can help make this one the easiest for you to keep: Find a Self Storage Plus near you. Use our helpful online tool to quickly figure out what size storage unit you’ll need for your items. If you plan to store things like artwork, clothing, furniture or electronics, we can help you with a climate-controlled storage unit that will keep your valuables safe. It’s easy to get started — and if one of your resolutions is to save more money, we can help with that, too!
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