One of the best parts of the New Year is the feeling of getting a fresh start on life. Your planner is completely clear and you’re ready to change things up this year. It can get really hard to get into this mindset with clutter piling up all around your house, however. How are you supposed to come up with your best new idea or host your dream party when your stuff is crowding every corner of your life? Clear out your space and prepare yourself for a great year with the following tips.

In general:

Have fun with it

Before you even get started with clearing things out, get yourself in a positive mindset. Close your eyes and think about how much freer you’ll feel with fewer things taking up physical and mental space in your life. Open all your windows and let some natural sunlight in. Put on your favorite podcast or playlist and get to work!

Sort by genre

Genres don’t just apply to clearing out your personal library anymore. When you’re going through your space, make decisions based on categories. It’ll help you with making smart judgments on the stuff that you have. For example, clear out all your clothes at once so that you have a better visual of what you’re dealing with. After all, it’s easier to decide to throw away those ratty jeans when you realize you have five pairs of the exact same jeans already sitting in your closet.

Make piles

This seems counterintuitive, but you might need to make a bit of a mess before the big clear-out. Think about it as the last hump over the hill before you bottom-out. These piles won’t just be useless and nameless, though. They’ll serve as easy ways for you to separate out the things you’re going through. It’s up to you what these piles will be, but for me I would have piles such as trash, donate, sell and keep. 

Reward yourself

If you’re planning on selling your stuff online or to a consignment store, set aside a couple bucks from your profit to treat yourself. This not only serves as great motivation to get the job completed but also serves as a reward for a job well done. Grab a slice from your favorite pie shop, get tickets to a local comedy show, or take a friend out to dinner. Whatever it is, make sure that this new purchase doesn’t contribute to the clutter that you just spent time clearing out!

Make sure everything has a spot

There are some items that others might deem clutter, but might be treasures to you. For example, all those concert ticket stubs bring you joy just seeing the names or all those brochures from museum you visited on your last vacation. It’s no problem keeping what makes you happy. Just make sure they have their own spot. Designate a special drawer or get a particular box to store these items for yourself.


Sell, sell, sell

It’s guaranteed you have some stuff in your closet that might be in perfectly good condition but you don't have use for it anymore. Either it’s out of style, doesn’t fit right, or just doesn’t make you happy like it used to before. Whatever it is, make sure that you make this process as easy as possible. Nowadays with apps like Poshmark and sites like eBay and The RealReal (for higher-end items), it’s easier than ever. Sometimes all it requires is a snap of a picture and you’ll be able to make your first sale! 

Face reality

At some point, you’ll have to recognize the truth. That fun top that’s been collecting dust in the back of your drawer for the past 5 years could easily be done without. Your old high school track sweatpants are a great reminder of years past, but ultimately serve no purpose and are just taking up space on the shelf. The skirt you bought aspirationally that just doesn’t fit right won’t be getting bigger anytime soon. Suck it up, and find something better to replace these items that won't just drain space.


Check labels

The first easy way to clear things out in your kitchen is to check those expiration dates! You’d be shocked by how much stuff in your fridge, pantry, and medicine drawer has gone bad and is useless. While you’re at it, also just open everything and give it a quick once-over. Even though on paper it’s still good, you’ll find that in reality that it might already be past its prime. Make sure that you dispose of these items properly, as well. A lot of medicine shouldn’t be thrown out with the regular trash, and instead need to be properly disposed of. 

If it’s broken, don’t keep it

There's nothing worse than having something break. Why keep the reminder of better times when your corkscrew actually worked, instead of just replacing it? For some reason, we love to hold on to things, even when we know there isn’t much hope left in them anymore. Whatever is broken or has a missing part isn’t doing much good sitting around and collecting dust in your drawers or on your kitchen counter. Just toss it and move on with your life.


Stop hoarding

You might think you’ll get around to using up that gift set of lotions that your aunt gifted you last Christmas, but chances are that you’ll never get around to it. Re-gift it to a friend or donate it to a women’s shelter in need instead. That way, it’ll go to someone who might actually get use out of it while also decluttering your space. If there are things in your bathroom that you used once and don’t like but feel too bad about getting rid of, pull the plug.

Organization is key

We have a lot of supplies in our bathrooms, and most of these items go to good use. This doesn’t mean that you need to have everything on your bathroom counter. Take full advantage of your cabinets and medicine cabinets by adding in organizational elements such as drawer inserts and cubbies.