The new year feels like a natural time to make a fresh start: and what better way than by finally letting go of some of the clutter that has been building up in your home over the past year? Read on for 5 ways to begin a new year’s purge. Out with the old, and in with the new!
1. Create a peaceful bedroom haven. The bedroom is where we go to rest and recharge, so I find that this is the best place to begin. Remove everything here that distracts from the primary purpose of deep, restful sleep, and especially anything work-related! Get back to the basics with a nice set of bedding, a cozy rug underfoot, a good lamp, and perhaps a scented candle and vase of flowers at your bedside. Donate tired old bedding, and store the rest neatly by tucking each set of sheets inside one of the pillow cases.
2. Simplify the bath for a spa-like feel. A jumble of half-used products (most of which you don’t really like) makes the bathroom feel cramped, and makes it harder to keep things neat and clean. Toss (recycling if possible) any bath or beauty products you do not use or like, and give the space a thorough cleaning before placing only your favorite products back. In the long run, it’s actually less expensive (and far more pleasurable!) to treat yourself to a few high quality products you love, rather than a host of less expensive lotions and potions that don’t live up to their promise.
Photo: Reading My Tea Leaves
3. Reduce paper. Of all the pieces of the clutter clearing puzzle, handling paper tends to be our least favorite task, so brew yourself a big cup of coffee or a strong mug of tea, and put on some encouraging music as you tackle that paper pile! Take yourself off of catalog mailing lists, shred and recycle old documents you no longer need, and set up a simple system to keep up with incoming paper. And when it comes to bills and other paperwork, opt for the digital option whenever possible to cut down on physical papers to file.
4. Edit your book collection. As a major book lover, I have come to the realization that the act of choosing and reading a new book is one of my life’s greatest pleasures. I’ve also come to realize that I do not need to keep every book I buy forever! Instead, I aim to keep up a personally curated library of favorites by regularly editing my book collection. If you are a big reader, doing a big book clear-out is a great way to start the new year. Take your boxes of no-longer wanted books to your local used bookshop to sell, or donate them to a local charity.
5. Clear out the kitchen. As one of the most often used spaces in the home, it is important to keep the kitchen well organized and running smoothly. Unfortunately, because it’s one of the most-used spaces, that also tends to mean it gets out of hand the quickest! Open up all of those cupboards, and pare back to the essentials (whatever that word means for you and your family), removing the obvious junk (freebie plastic cups, Tupperware without lids) and bizarre kitchen tools you never use. If you like to have lots of extras on hand for entertaining, consider storing them neatly in a single bin, somewhere other than the kitchen. We keep a box of extra wine glasses and silverware (the things we always seem to run short on at parties) in the upstairs hall closet.
Once you’ve finished clearing clutter, you may feel the urge to bring in something new to refresh your space – but instead of getting something that will only re-clutter your home, aim to choose something that is beautiful, but also practical. After clearing your bedroom, for example, if you notice that your old bedside rug has seen better days, you might want to replace it with a new version (which won’t add to your home’s clutter as long as you remove the old rug first).
I have my eye on these beauties, made from sari silk, any of which would feel luxurious in a bedroom:
Rug shopping guide (Clockwise from top left): 1. Loloi Rugs Giselle in Fiesta 2. Feizy Rugs Sattika in Crimson 3. Feizy Rugs Sattika in Meadow 4. Feizy Rugs Arushi in Purple.
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