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It’s that time of year again when we set our goals for the upcoming year. One of my goals for 2017 is to DeClutter!

Seven Decluttering Tips for the New Year

Buried under too much “stuff”? These seven decluttering tips are proven, effective ways to give your home a refresh to welcome 2017. From “a place for everything and everything in its place” to “don’t organize clutter,” get ready to take action today.

  1. Clutter is a postponed decision. Any tangible item that finds its way into your home should only be handled once. Decide what to do with it (e.g., keep it, relocate it, donate it, toss it, fix it) and take action.
  2. A place for everything and everything in its place. Your kindergarten teacher was right! Once you finish using something, ask yourself, “Where does this live?” and put it back in its home. Get in the habit of building an extra moment into daily tasks for putting everything back in its proper drawer or cupboard. For inspiration, Apartment Therapy has hundreds of real life examples of storage solutions.
  3. Now is the time! Once you make up your mind to declutter, get those bags and boxes out to your car so you’ll be ready to donate them. Take anything that’s broken or not donatable out to the trash bin. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter the simple step of removing extra clutter from your home feels.
  4. You can’t organize junk. Don’t make the sad mistake of shuffling clutter from one pile to another. Many well-intentioned folks head out to the office supply store in January to “finally get organized” and come home with boxes, cartons, and other tools. The hard truth is that until you pare away the junk, you’ll just be wasting time and getting frustrated trying to sort clutter. Declutter first, and organize second.
  5. Stick to manageable bites. Don’t dump the entire contents of your dresser or closet onto the floor. Instead, only take out what you are certain you can reasonably sort and declutter in one 15- to 30-minute session. Set a timer, put on some uplifting music, and get to work. When the timer goes off, resist the urge to immediately roll into another session. Instead, take five or ten minutes to clear your head, have a cup of tea, or take a walk around the block. Then you can return refreshed for another 15- to 30-minute session. For actionable, manageable decluttering tips, visit the Flylady website.
  6. Never go anywhere empty-handed. Anytime you walk from one room to another in your home, carry the items with you that you need to put in their home. Don’t set them down and get sidetracked along the way!
  7. Get inspired. Clearing out the old makes room for something even better. Set the decluttering process in motion and watch the magic transform your home into a peaceful oasis.
           JULIET GROSSMAN, Coldwellbanker.com bluematter blog
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Your Home’s January Honey Do List

honey-do-list2

Start 2017 off on the right foot with this list of January resolutions for your home.

Ah, the month of resolutions! Your personal honey do list is sure to be filled with ambitious goals for 2017: get back to the gym, take control of your diet, but what about your home? This month, we’ve rounded up a January to do list to make sure you start the year off on the right foot at home.

1.  Nix Indoor Condensation – Look for indoor condensation on windows and take corrective action. For 7 ways to reduce humidity in your home, check out this great video from Andersen Windows & Doors.

2.  Make a maintenance calendar – Review warranties and product material to check on recommended maintenance for furnace, equipment, appliances, and tools. Mark your calendar to track scheduled upkeep and service.

3.  Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize – After the holiday decorations come down, your walls can feel a bit dull and empty. January is a great time to add new home decor accessories, like fresh throw pillows or framed photos of the past year’s activities.

4.  Get ready for the big game – Now’s the time to get ready for the ultimate game day. Here are 5 winning football party ideas that will score big.

5.  Organize your files – While most paperwork is now maintained digitally, it’s still important to make sure you’re organized and backed up. Take an afternoon to sort through online statements, contacts and emails that piled up over the holidays. And after all of that hard work, be sure to back up to a hard drive or cloud service.

6.  Sort and toss – Take time to sort through your toiletry products in the bathroom and food items in the pantry. Toss anything that is old or expired and start fresh for the new year.

7.  Warm up your home – In many parts of the country, we’re dreaming of ways to add a little extra warmth around the house. Whether it’s adding weather stripping or a smart thermostat, these 6 easy ways to make your home warmer and cozier this winter are just the trick!

8.  Ready to Move? Do this first – If you’re thinking of selling your home in 2017, make it a resolution to collect these 10 pieces of valuable information well before the spring real estate rush.

VICTORIA KEICHINGER Jan