Art Decor

How I’m Tackling My Three Big Clutter Areas in the New Year!

How I’ll be tackling my biggest messes in the new year!

The Christmas decor is put away, the garage is cleaned up and organized again, and it’s finally time to take care of my three biggest problem areas in our home!

I LOVE this time of year! I really enjoy our simpler, clutter-free home after the holidays. (Although I was way more sad than usual to take down all of the decor this year.)

Since I started incorporating the Konmari decluttering method years ago, I rarely do major, intensive purges anymore. Because of that giant decluttering (that took me months!), I now constantly monitor and get rid of things we don’t need or use. 

Also, a couple years ago I worked on a few BIG projects that allowed us to create permanent homes for so many items around the house! 

organized wood and tools in garage

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Both of those spaces have been a godsend and have helped to keep our home more organized and clutter-free.

But I’ve avoided a few problem areas…or problem things that have piled up, for YEARS now. Some have always been an issue for me, and some I’ve pretty much ignored since we moved into this house in 2017. 

I thought I would share my vices in case you’re considering tackling some of yours in the new year as well!

Let’s start with the easiest one! 

1. Magazines and catalogs.

If you’ve read TDC for awhile, you know my love of home decor magazines and catalogs. I like to keep inspiring decor images and project ideas that I find, but I haven’t taken the time to sit down and really look at them in a looong time.

My collection isn’t as bad as it used to be — Pinterest and Instagram has helped to curb my love of home decor magazines. I rarely buy them anymore, but you wouldn’t know that by the piles I had around!

The other day I decided this was going to be one of things I was going to sort through once and for all.

I walked around the house and gathered the piles to put in one place: 

piles of magazines and catalogs

Putting like items together is one of the best tips I learned from the Konmari method. 

When you place them all together, it forces you to SEE that you have way too much of an item. If you declutter like items separately all around the house, it doesn’t have the same effect. 

If you haven’t tried this, see how it works for you!

It didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would to go through the magazines. One hundred and thirty later (!!), I only kept about 15 travel and landscaping magazines to reference later:

magazines laying on table

I had ten year old magazines in my stash. 😳 It was pretty fun to rediscover a few that I’ve been featured in, as well as many of my blog friends as well. 

I tear out the images that I like and save them in a binder for reference. I probably just need to scan them and save to Pinterest, but that will be phase two. Ha!

That first clutter issue wasn’t bad to fix! Why did I wait years to do this??

2. All the soft things. 

The next issue in our home is the bedding, blankets, throws and decorative pillows that I’ve been tossing into our guest room closet for years:  

messy closet with bedding

And a linen closet that is packed full: 

linen closet with wire shelving

Bedding isn’t cheap, so I’ve always hesitated to get rid of duvet covers and blankets…stuff like that. I’ve held on to old bedding we used nearly 15 years ago! 

Does anyone else keep blankets just in case you lose power in a winter storm and need them?? NO? Just me? 😂

It’s happened…but is very rare. 

We all have our own odd reasons for holding on to certain items, right?

I’ve already started whittling this down to just a couple sheet sets for each bed and a few blankets, but I’d also need to rework these closets to work a little better for the large bedding and decorative pillow storage.

Stay tuned for the update on that!

3. Next up, the PAPER clutter.

Even though it doesn’t look like it from the picture I’m about to share, I have figured out a process that works for our family that has drastically reduced the amount of paper we bring into the house. 

The issue is the paper that was here before we started really utilizing those tips. 😂 It’s been hidden away in our one remaining “Monica” closet (Friends fans will get that reference!). 

My husband’s office closet has had piles of to-be-filed papers, old papers from before our move, papers from his teaching career…just lots of PAPER that we have flat out ignored. 

I gathered the majority of them and again, put them all in one place so I’ll be forced to deal with them: 

piles of paper clutter

I mean…this is going to take me forever. But when it’s done we’ll be in really good shape because of how we’ve learned to deal with paper clutter. 

I’m actually really excited to get this done and out of our house!

Clutter really does take space in your head — it causes more stress than we realize. Once I get these remaining two problems areas done, I feel like I’ll kinda sorta have the clutter in our life under control. 🙂  

Those are my three big ones, and I’ll be sure to update you on my progress! But…I do have an honorable mention to add to this list. 

This one isn’t a physical item, but it bothers me just as much, if not more than clutter laying around the house. 

I want to get all of the photos OFF my phone! Anyone else with me?? 

But electronic photos are a different story. How many photos do you have on your phone or in the cloud? Let’s take a look at mine: 

number of photos on phone

Now. This is nearly 17 years of photos…keep that in mind. Ha! That makes me feel a little bit better. 

And not only do I take photos of family and events and trips, but I use my phone a TON for what I do for a living. I’m always taking or saving photos. 

But it needs to be addressed. My plan is to set a goal for each day or week — that I’ll sort through maybe 50 photos a day. I find it easier to break down an intimidating number like that. 

Maybe I’ll be done by 2033. 

And I desperately want to find a solution for the family photos — like one of the photo books that have become so popular. 

I’d love to become one of those moms that has a yearly book printed…you know, perhaps before our son goes to college. 🙂

So if you’ve found a great phone-to-memory-book service you love, please let me know! 

I’ll be sure to update you on my progress over the next few months. Do you have similar problem areas as me?