Fixing that post-holiday clutter around the house

Published 5:41 pm Friday, January 6, 2017


Lifestyle Editor

By now most of the Christmas decorations have been taken down and put away. This time in the New Year is a good time to tackle clearing out the accumulated clutter in your home and getting organized.

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As you look around the house, you may feel overcome and be defeated before you begin. So, it is advised to concentrate on one room at a time and make the goal of finishing by the end of the month.

Go through those drawers and closets and cabinets, using the “three pile” method. Divide items into “Keep”, “Give Away” and “Throw away.”

January is an especially good time to clean out the linen closets. Take advantage of the department and home stores who have “White Sales” in January to replace worn towels and bedding with new ones. Dispose of these old items by donating them to the local Humane Society Shelter. They are always in need of such items.

Donate useable clothing and household items to the Salvation Army or Goodwill and use the donation as a tax deduction. Many think they will save everything from the give-away pile and have a garage sale, so they are once again, stored away instead of getting rid of them. Garage sales are a lot of work and seldom turn much profit unless you have items in great demand, such as children’s clothing and nursery items.

As you sort through the closets, do not make the mistake of running out and buying a bunch of plastic containers until you know what you need— sizes and shapes. If they don’t work out, then you have clutter from unused boxes.

There are always those persons who have a difficult time sorting through and making decisions about what to get rid of. Rule of thumb— if you haven’t worn or used it in a year, consider disposing of it. Naturally, that rule of thumb does not apply to items with great emotional or historical meaning. Those items repeatedly get stored away in boxes in the attic or storage shed. Best to go through those as well while the weather is cooler. But don’t get too hung up on memories. If they have family value, pass them on to the children or grandchildren now.

One suggestion from a friend about what to do with the closet is to take everything out and rehang each item with the hangars going backwards— the wrong way. Then as you use them, hang them in the right way. At the end of the year it will be easy to see which ones were worn.

While you are at it, consider changing the position of the furniture and doing a thorough cleaning and dusting. It is also a good time to repaint a room. Nothing shouts clean like a newly painted room.

Good luck in getting organized for 2017. Make a vow to stay that way by throwing out that clutter as it comes your way.