6 Resolutions for an Organized Home in the New Year

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Decluttering the house, organizing photos and toys – all worthy endeavors you resolve to tackle in 2018. Here are tips on how to make those resolutions come true.

Resolution 1: I will declutter every room, one at a time.

Trying to do too much at once is often self-defeating. Instead, start with just one closet or one room. Keep a few principles in mind as a guide, such as get rid of anything that’s broken, ill fitting, out-of-date, or not been touched in the past year. Only keep magazines that are no more than a month old. Donate, recycle, or sell what you aren’t keeping.

Resolution 2: I will get serious about cord management.

“My favorite way to tame cords is to use the Cable Zipper from the Container Store,” says Laurie Erickson, a Nashville interior designer. “To handle any excess on an extension cord, I like to use old pieces of ribbon to bind the extra cord. This keeps things tidy, dust doesn’t accumulate, and it’s easier to vacuum or sweep around the cord.” Use a label maker or painter’s tape to label the cord near to the plug to avoid unplugging the wrong one.

Resolution 3: I will deal with toy storage.

Sort toys into piles of like items then remove anything that’s broken or that the kids have outgrown. Store what’s left in clear plastic bins without lids on low shelves, which allows little ones to grab – and later put away – their toys. To create more storage space, get under-the-bed boxes (great for Legos) and over-the-door shoe organizers (best for small toys and art supplies).

Resolution 4: I will put photos in photo boxes.

Organizing many years’ worth of photos seems like a daunting task, so you keep avoiding it. But using photo boxes instead of albums takes much less time and takes up much less space. Buy the ones marked “archival,” which protect photos from deteriorating. Before putting all your photos in boxes, however, you’ll need to do some decluttering. “We all hold onto photos that are duplicates, mean nothing to us, or are out of focus or unflattering – just throw them away,” advises Erickson.

Resolution 5: Get the kitchen pantry in shape.

Arrange like items together (all the cereal, all the canned soups, all the baking items), says Erickson. Put things you use often in front, which means keep the daily-used peanut butter front and center and the little-used sesame oil further back. Also, think about which appliances you use most frequently. “If you haven’t used a kitchen appliance in a year, pass it along,” she says.

Resolution 6: I will tame the bathroom towels.

Installing a hook on the wall for each family member is the best method, says Erickson. “No excuse for even the youngest members to learn to tidy up and contribute to a well-kept bathroom.”

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