Many people feel the dawn of a new year provides an opportunity to clean the slate and begin anew. That notion can be applied in various ways, including around the house.
Cleaning the slate at home may involve reducing clutter around the house. Clutter can gradually overtake a home’s interior, turning a once pristine home into one overwhelmed with nonessential items. Clearing a home of clutter can seem like a monumental task, but the following tips can help homeowners and apartment dwellers make the year ahead clutter-free.
• Scan important documents and save them on a computer. Some documents cannot be discarded, but that does not mean they have to be stored in bulky file cabinets or desk drawers. Scan important documents such as medical receipts or tax returns and save them on your computer where they won’t take up any physical space. Purchase an external hard drive as a safety net where you can store backups of important documents in case a computer crashes and cannot be rebooted.
• Thin out DVD and CD libraries. Thanks to streaming services and digital music players, DVDs and compact discs have become somewhat obsolete. Discard or donate DVDs that you can just as easily stream through your television, and convert compact discs to digital files that you can play on your computer and MP3 players, ultimately donating the discs and clearing space.
• Purchase furniture that doubles as storage. Storage ottomans and benches can help clear common areas and bedrooms of clutter such as blankets and bed linens that can make rooms feel more claustrophobic. Storage furniture might not get excess items out of the house, but such furnishings can create a more comfortable, welcoming environment.
• Switch to e-statements for bank documents and utility bills. Paper is a big contributor to household clutter. That’s still the case even though many adults now pay the majority of their bills online. When given the chance to choose between paper or e-statements, opt for the latter so bills and bank statements don’t pile up on your desk or throughout your home office. If you still want to keep important bills and bank statements, download them to your computer and keep them in a designated folder on your desktop.
• Adopt an “out with the old, in with the new” mantra. Resolve to discard old items after purchasing new ones or receiving birthday or holiday gifts. Hanging on to old items because they can still function and serve some utility is a recipe for a cluttered home. Anytime you or a family member brings a new item into your home, make sure the item it’s replacing finds its way out the door.