Our End-of-Year Home Edit

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on December 8, 2020

The new year is almost here—yes, 2020 is certainly one we don’t hate saying goodbye to. With the holidays upon us and 2021 on the horizon, many of us are pausing to take stock of the past and decide what we want to bring with us into the (very near) future. 

If you’re ready to make a life edit, why not start at home? While you don’t need to wait until January 1st to make a change, it certainly marks the perfect time to start anew with simple organizational projects to create a home you love. Bid farewell to the clutter and make space for a fresh beginning with these organizational tips for the new year. Out with the old and in with the new!

One Bite at a Time

As Desmond Tutu famously said, “There is only one way to eat an elephant—bite by bite.” Avoid the paralysis from not knowing where to begin with the snowball method: start small, and let completing each project become a catalyst to keep you going onto the next. It’s all about momentum.

Break large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks to avoid overwhelm. Start with the smallest project, such as a closet or bookshelf, before tackling larger rooms like the garage and kitchen. The sense of accomplishment you get from organizing one space will propel you forward to the next project.

Out with the Old

Don’t wait until spring cleaning for a good solid purge. Get rid of things you no longer need, like outdated or worn out clothing, unloved books, stacks of old magazines, and kid toys from years past. Your closet may be the number one space in need of a purge. Bathroom cabinets are also treasure troves of expired body care products and stray cotton swabs. 

Start by pulling everything—and we mean everything—out from the designated project space and place it in a pile. Then, item by item, sort your belongings into three separate piles: discard, donate, and keep. Be honest with yourself as to what you really need to keep around, or enlist in a straight-shooting friend to assist with the “Do you even wear that or need that?” decision-making process. Think, When was the last time I wore this? Is it in style? Will I ever read this again? Is it broken or in good shape? Do I even like it, does it reflect my personality? Pour a glass of wine and make it a party.

In with the New

Once you have your piles, return your keepable items to their rightful places. Feel free to let your creative flag fly during this process as there are a myriad of ways to tidy up a space. Try organizing your bookshelves by cover colors, stacking sweaters in woven baskets in your closet, installing shelving units in the garage, and hanging jacket hooks by the front door. When there is a place for everything, everything is more likely to end up back in its place.

Maintenance is Key

One organizational strategy to keep in your arsenal hardly involves organizing at all: maintenance. Make cleanliness a habit—and 2021 resolution—by committing to putting away clothes, coats, and shoes when you are done wearing them, handling each piece of mail the first time you touch it, placing dirty dishes in the washer, and banning junk drawers for good. 

Don’t spoil your hard work by just making a mess once again. Relish in the feeling of your freshly cleaned and organized space and conjure it up every time you get the urge to let the piles grow. A clean home is a clean slate, ready to usher you into a new year, new you in no time. Let’s get ready to edit—you deserve it.

Words by Avery Johnson