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How to get organised at the start of the new year

Clichéd though it may seem, a new year does offer the chance to press refresh and get everything in order. If it seems daunting, take it step-by-step with these tips

By House & Garden | January 6, 2022 | Category

Picture: Pexels
Picture: Pexels

The urge to tidy can be triggered by many things; the start of a new year, a new home, or merely not being able to find a pair of socks one too many times. For these moments we have collated our most zen-like visions of organisation. For the neat freaks who delight in canny storage, a perfectly indexed book shelf or a colour-graded collection of pottery - welcome to your happy place.

For those who are sceptical about the allure of order, and have never spent a lunch hour picking just the right combination of containers from Muji, let us take you by the hand - you'll be reaching for your drawer dividers in no time. To get you started, professional organiser Vicky Silverthorn has some advice.

Kitchen

As one of the hardest working rooms in the house, the kitchen is a good place to start a declutter. Spring clean the pantry and cupboards by bringing items that are close to expiry to the front and using them up first and of course getting rid of anything that has sadly seen better days. We are all more conscious of food waste now, but you can only use what you can see so it's also a good time to get into the back of the fridge and move things around. Try a lazy Susan in the fridge too for all your condiments and the like so you never end up with duplicates and can easily access everything. This is also a great tip for spice cupboards too if you're not someone who uses a spice rack. Finally, have you got a kitchen junk drawer? Don’t feel guilty about it, everyone has. Clever drawer dividers help give a slight level of organisation. Try Like-it bricks (from £7.50; johnlewis.com).

Living room

If tidying the living room seems overwhelming at first, I suggest stepping out of the room and then walking back in with fresh eyes. One thing to look at is how much furniture is in there. Is there too much? It’s ok to move things to other rooms as a first step; it’s part of the process. Clear it all out, give the rugs a good shake and then consciously place everything back in again and stop when it feels full enough. The other things that don't go back in can find a good home elsewhere, or with a friend in need. While you might be proud of your library, everyone needs to clean up their bookshelves once in a while. A good place way to recycle unwanted tomes is to donate to care homes and refresh their libraries.

Bedroom

Now is a good time to look at your wardrobe. Don’t pull everything out at once, it’s too overwhelming. Instead take out a section at a time. Start with the sock drawer because it’s manageable. Dividers such as those from The Holding Company are great. Any ski wear or camping gear can go up in the loft. Pack away any summer clothing that is taking up precious shelf space - try storage bags from John Lewis. For everything that goes back into your wardrobe, buy skinny hangers that actually fit your clothes. When you've done the clothes, go through your bedding and towels and remove anything with holes, or that seems a tad threadbare. Less is more and better sheets will improve your life.

Written by Bonnie Robinson.

This article originally appeared on House & Garden UK.