It’s that time of year again – it’s time to change old bad habits, get healthy, and get organized. A new year brings new beginnings, so it’s time to design a home that reflects your new self. By cleaning and tidying up, you can create bright, open spaces to start over, so here are 5 resolutions to get you started.
ORDER YOUR STORAGE SPACES
If you open your closet and find that it’s full, it’s time to get everything out and see what’s in there. Once everything has been removed, clean the cabinet with a pleasant smelling disinfectant. If you need to deodorize or reduce humidity, buy fresh new products to do it.
Now, take everything you took out of the closet and sort it into three piles:
1. Always use.
2. Sometimes it is used.
3. Never use it.
Check the items in the ‘never use’ pile. If any of these are damaged or unusable, discard them. The other items can be recycled at your local charity shop.
Your ‘sometimes use’ pile is probably the largest. You will need to be really critical here and split this heap in two. A stack contains all corrupted, stale, or duplicate items. This pile is going to be recycled.
Pack all remaining items carefully in your wardrobe. You may want to buy some storage containers for this.
A “spring” cleaning should be done more often than once a year, and the arrival of the new year is a good time to clean the house thoroughly.
To get started, have a bucket of hot soapy water and a container with your cleaning supplies and cloths. Start in one room and clean everything you can see; blinds, windows and rails, walls and furniture. Move furniture away from the wall and clean behind it. Open drawers and cabinets and clean the interior by going through the clutter process if necessary.
In the kitchen, remove the food from the cupboards and put it on the bench and clean the doors and shelves of the cupboards. Check foods for expired dates and throw them away if they are old. Give your oven and fridge a good clean, too.
PASS THROUGH OLD DOCUMENTS
If you have filing cabinets or storage containers full of old paperwork, now is a good time to go through this and see what you don’t need. For example, in Australia you only need to keep tax receipts for seven years, so if you find something older than that date, you can throw it away. You can also keep receipts older than a year in a storage container so that only the most recent documentation can be accessed.
Organize your paperwork in labeled folders or filing cabinets under headings like “electricity,” “telephone,” and “rates,” and so on. or whatever title suits you.
It’s time to do all those little housekeeping items that you’ve been ignoring for months. If there is any damage around the house, like broken appliances, burned out light bulbs, or paint touch-ups that need to be done, now is the time to get them fixed.
Markings and holes can be fixed by taking a sample to your local paint dealer for a color match. Solving small problems in your home will make you feel much better in your environment and will help you focus on other aspects of your life.
The exterior of your home needs attention too, especially since it’s the first thing you see when you get home. Make sure all hedges and plants are neatly cut and grass is cut. Time to get out there and remove all the weeds from your garden and maybe add a few extra plants when needed. Add your favorite plant varieties to your garden as a reward for all the hard work you are putting in.
Get a ladder and check the gutters for dead leaves. Remove all garden debris directly to the local tip once you have completed your work. Compost yard debris that can be recycled into mulch.