New Year, Clean Slate

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Many use January as a time to clear out accumulated stuff and start the new year with a clean slate. For those with a house with plenty of storage, it might be a little easier to “part” with items by removing them from the main living area but keeping them close at hand, just in case. For apartment dwellers, however, space is typically at a premium and it is important to regularly cull through your belongings to avoid a buildup of clutter.

A Clean Countertop Is a Breath of Fresh Air

Too many items on a kitchen counter can quickly make the space feel small and messy. The countertop is meant to be a workspace and, these days, a welcoming entertaining area. It shouldn’t be considered an extra shelf, but kept just as clean as your tabletop. How often do you really use that toaster oven, anyway? Also, with the holiday season behind us, heavy-lifting appliances, decorative candles, wine and liquor bottles, cornucopia fruit baskets, spice racks and cookbooks can be stored in cupboards once again. All that should remain are everyday use items such as a coffee maker, paper towels, microwave and maybe your key/mail/change bowl

The Never-Ending Paper Pile

With tax season right around the corner, this is a good time to sort through your papers to not only locate what you will need to file, but also to get rid of any you no longer need. Grab all the piles from the counter, desk, dining room table, car – all of it. Definitely for the recycling bin will be envelopes, coupons, catalogues and junk mail. Even magazines or correspondence you were holding on to might be ready to go at this point. Bills, receipts, tax forms, medical records and the like will likely need to be reviewed. Don’t just lay these back down if they are staying, though! Create or add them to existing filing by category for easy locating when needed. Remember, in today’s digital age, articles, bills and even receipts can be accessed online, considerably reducing the need to save hard copies.

There’s Nothing Like the Heft and Smell of an Actual Book

…Unless it’s a book that will never be read. Books are becoming less common in this screen-filled world, so they really are treasures. However, it’s easy for them to literally pile up. Airport impulse buys, long-abandoned cookbooks, unopened gifts – these can be donated in the hopes they might help another owner through a rainy afternoon. They definitely don’t need to be taking up valuable real estate in a space-challenged apartment. Cull through them to make room for some new inspirational tomes or other items looking for a home.

Check out our great Spring cleaning decluttering tips here, but for those with a full list of New Year’s resolutions still to get through, these quick and easy projects are perfect for right now.

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