Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

The drive to declutter often peaks as the new year begins and the excesses of the holidays are behind us. It’s the perfect time to take a fresh look at your space and take a new approach.

Here are some pro tips on getting a handle on what you do and don’t need, first published by Mansion Global, Apartment Therapy, and Better Homes & Gardens.

Embrace the trending “less is more” lifestyle

These days, people want to lighten their load, letting go of duplicate items—and releasing guilt about holding onto items passed down from family members—and replacing or removing things that take up precious space. Better Homes & Gardens identifies the kitchen as an ideal starting place, noting that “homeowners are swapping out their collectible mugs and souvenir cups for streamlined sets in clear or neutral colors.” It generally takes less space to store items that are the same size and shape and it visually looks less cluttered

Donate excess canned goods

Sticking with the kitchen, it’s time to check your cabinets for excessive canned or packaged foods. Remember during the earlier days of the pandemic when we felt as if we needed to stock up and might never shop for fresh veggies again? With grocery stores mostly back to normal, it’s time to get rid of some of the extra canned goods we all wisely bought. Make an honest assessment of the canned and boxed items you will never use and donate them to our local food banks.

Recycle takeout freebies

It’s good to support our local restaurants and make life a little easier with takeout meals, but all of that delivery filled our kitchens with free utensils, condiment packets, and the takeout containers they all came in. While you may use some of those things, you’re not likely to use them all. Clear out your cabinets and make them feel more orderly by getting rid of these items – either by recycling, or possibly the food bank will accept unopened condiments and utensils.

Think through home organization helpers before you buy

The urge to organize can be quickly satisfied by perusing your online stores for new shelving or containers. Take the brilliant advice offered in Apartment Therapy and measure your cabinets and plan out how it all works together before you buy.

Buy storage products made of sustainable materials

One more tip to consider when selecting your storage products: skip the plastic. Instead, Better Home & Garden suggests finding containers, bins, and shelving made out of materials such as hyacinth, rattan, and jute to organize items. And if you are using plastic, use those made from recycled plastics. You can also check local consignment and resale stores and recycle items that already exist in the world.

Look for furnishings that maximize your space

Mansion Global suggests enhancing the feeling of space in every room by finding correctly sized furniture made with glass and natural materials that have simple, clean lines. Also be selective with decorative elements such as lamps, art, and collectibles so as not to crowd your space or make your rooms feel full.

For more ideas on getting a fresh start with a tidy home for the new year, plus scheduling decluttering sessions, read the full articles at: