It’s that time of year to embrace fresh starts and say goodbye to old habits. And while many of us focus on personal resolutions—lose weight, spend less, join a gym—your home can also benefit from that “out with the old, in with the new” vibe. Here are 10 things to rid your home of now so you can ease into the new year with a clean slate.
Old Holiday Decorations
While you’re busy un-decking the halls, discard any broken, old, or unwanted ornaments, lights, and other decor. Taking the time to pare your stash before packing it away will set you up for less of a headache next year.
Even in today’s digital world, paperwork still seems to pile up. Whether it’s your son’s tests, your daughter’s artwork, bills, bank statements, or those scribbled daily to-do lists, it’s time to toss them out. If you really feel you may need something later on, scan it to your computer or take a photo and file it away—digitally.
Clothes You No Longer Wear
Chances are you, your spouse, and the kids all received some new additions to your wardrobes this winter. Be it sweaters, underwear, socks, Christmas pajamas, or anything in between, make room for the new by swapping out the old. Pack up anything that’s in good condition to donate or sell.
The Pantry Stash
Adopting a new fitness and healthy-eating plan will certainly call for a few changes to the foods you keep at home. It also presents an opportunity to rid your cabinets of the junk food you want to stay away from, and also the not-so-fresh spices, seasonings, and other dry goods that could use an update.
Last Year’s Calendar
Many of us still use a paper calendar, planner, or agenda to keep our busy lives organized. If you tend to hold onto them when the year is up, it’s time to let go. Jot down any critical reminders such as birthdays, pre-planned vacations, or annual events, but then toss the old calendar so you can embrace what’s to come in the year ahead.
Old, Worn Bedding
You’ve endured the holiday season’s frenetic pace for months and now plan to hunker down for many long winter naps. Make sure your bedding is up to par to support your slumber. Ditch any sheets, blankets, or comforters that no longer serve you and, while you’re at it, clean the ones that do.
If you and the kids didn’t get to this arduous task ahead of Christmas, do it now. Once they settle into the new toys they’re enjoying, weed out the ones that they’re over and either donate, give away, or trash them. The same goes for arts and crafts supplies, books, and outdoor sports equipment.
Unwanted Holiday Presents
Gather any gifts that you and your family received but just don’t want. Locate the gift receipts and make it a point to return the items. If there’s no gift receipt, think about giving the items away or donating them. It may sound harsh, but there’s no need for you (or your home) to hold onto a gift you don’t want just because it was gifted to you.
Old Beauty Products
A true detox can clear your home of the unnecessary as well as the unhealthy. Sort through your stash of makeup, lotions, perfume, topical treatments—even medicine. Clear out what you don’t want or need and anything that’s expired. Outdated items can be unhealthy and also take up valuable real estate on bathroom shelves.
Unnecessary Cords and Chargers
Rid your junk drawer of all the old, broken cords and plugs, especially those that can only be used with electronics you don’t have anymore. It’s way too easy to hold onto these items “just in case.” The reality is, when it comes to technology, there’s always something new coming along, and a new device-specific cord to go with it. If you still have a stash of old phones, consider donating them to a charitable organization that collects them.
By Lauren DeBellis