A little tidying up every month will help keep your home clean and organized without the stress of having to do too much at once. Focus on the important things monthly for less year-end clutter.
January: Put away that Christmas decor
While some folks will have wrapped up for Christmas the day after the holidays, there are plenty of others who won̵
Pack all the exterior decor together and wrap your light around pieces of cardboard – this will avoid having to loosen a lot of tangles later. Pack all ornaments and other tree decorations together in a box as well. All of this will make your vacation so much easier.
And while you’re at it, apply a new policy to clean up your holiday decor when you take it out every season. By doing this, you can keep your decorations from getting messy.
February: Tidy up your bedroom
The bedroom is supposed to be a place of relaxation, but if yours is full of clutter, it can keep you up at night. With Valentine’s Day being a prominent holiday in February, this seems like a great time to show some self-love by tidying up your bedroom and making it a place of rest. If you have a significant other or are living together, your tidy bedroom can open up the space, literally and figuratively, for a little more Valentine’s Day intimacy and romance.
Now is a great time to invest in a few new sheet sets when your old ones are worn out. Wash your blankets and pillows if it’s been a while. When it comes to cleaning, here are some good things to consider:
- Under the bed – Tidy up everything you have stored under your bed, be it there on purpose or not. Also sweep or vacuum under there. Now is a good time to make better use of that potential storage space.
- Bedside tables – Bedside tables sometimes become a gathering point for the book stacks to read, morning pills and much more. Pull everything off and away there, and wipe it to remove dust. Only put back the things that really need to be there; the book you are reading, your alarm clock, a reading lamp, etc.
- Top of the dresser – Another catchall is the dresser. Put away all the clothes that are piled there. Put that change on the couch.
March: Tackle financial paperwork
March is the perfect time to clear out financial paperwork and make sure you have a file system to ease your stress when April tax time rolls around. Are you worried about shredding something you need? Here are some guidelines for how long documents should be kept.
Once you’ve properly disposed of the paperwork you don’t need, consider adopting a new filing system that will take up space and make your life easier. Rather than having a large filing system that’s a hassle to keep track of, consider using the one-box method. This method makes finding paperwork so much easier when you need it and only gives you one box for each year.
April: Clean and put away winter gear
While spring officially kicked off in March, it’s a little too early to pack all your sweaters and other winter gear. Snow and cold weather do not follow specific calendar days. But by the time April arrives, you can bet that all you need is a good hoodie to get through the colder evenings.
Instead of packing your winter clothes diligently this year, take a moment to make things right before putting it in a bag under the bed. Are there any items you haven’t worn at all this winter? Maybe it’s time to let them go.
If a shirt was too big or too small, how likely are you to fit it next winter? If the odds seem slim, now might be a good time to donate that stuff. You can also have anything you want to pack separately and write ‘yard sale’ on the box and schedule a yard sale (see August).
May: Tidy up the attic and basement
The attic and basement are where junk goes to collect dust. By clearing those spaces, there is room for new things and a better organization.
May is a good time to tackle both spaces for several reasons. It’s still cool enough that the attic isn’t a sweltering sauna and if you live in a damp area, it’s not really the swampy summer weather, so don’t work in a damp basement.
While you are in both spaces, you must view the physical space itself. Look for water damage both in your attic (from a leaky roof) and in the basement (from a leaky foundation). If your basement seems a bit on the musty and damp side despite no visible leaks or problems, consider buying a dehumidifier to keep everything you store down there in good working order.
June: Clean your closets
June means warmer weather and more sunshine, which is a great time to go through those closets. Yes, you’ve already packed winter gear, but you’ve probably left behind a few long-sleeved shirts and lots of pants. Plus, there’s more in the closet than just shirts and pants, right?
Pack the items that are still in good condition to donate or sell at a flea market. Get out of your closet clothes that don’t fit and let go of anything you haven’t worn in the past year. If you have stained clothes, throw them away. If you’ve torn stuff, throw it away if you don’t plan on repairing it.
Also go through your wardrobes. Ditch shoes and coats that you are not wearing or that no longer fit. It’s easy for some pieces of clothing to get lost in that “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.
July: Tackle the garage and the garden
July is a great month to be outside – it won’t rain as much as in the spring or it will be again in the fall. It is also not the hottest month of the year, which in many places is reserved for August. This is an excellent time to clean up garden clutter, like that pile of hoses with holes in them, or your garage.
In the garage, make piles of things to sell or donate, things that need to be cleaned properly, and one for things that are kept and are okay as they are. Just put everything that is trash in the trash. Take the time to clean the stuff that needs cleaning, such as removing rust from tools.
Then integrate some space-saving tips before putting things back away. Don’t forget to sweep the floor and do your best to clean up oil spills and other mess.
August: Schedule a yard sale
If you’ve saved some stuff from the rest of your cleanup projects, August is a great month for garden sales. It’s an opportunity to make a few bucks and get your unwanted stuff to find a new home. Here are some tips to prepare for a successful yard sale.
Not everything you try to sell comes from your yard. Rather than dragging it back to your house to put things back in order, learn What to do with Yard Sale junk that wasn’t sold.
September: Cleanse summer stuff
Some areas may have prolonged warm weather, but both due to the start of school and the arrival of the autumn equinox, September serves as a marker for the end of most summer activities. That makes it a good time to get rid of all the stuff you’ve collected on your travels that was impulse buys. It happens – you visit cool places on vacation or on a road trip and inevitably buy some touristy t-shirts and other gear on a whim to get back home and realize you don’t like the fit or need another shot glass. You can keep these items to give as gifts, if they are gifts, or send them to your local resale store.
Now is a good time to pack some of your summer clothes too. There may still be some warm days, but you probably won’t get another chance for bikini tops and short shorts. It’s also a good time to throw out worn summer sports gear, such as a tent damaged during a summer camping session.
October: Clean your pantry
November and December are months of holiday cooking. Whether you’re cooking for the people who already live under your roof or have more guests coming, you want to make sure you have the food you need and have room for it – making October a great time to check out the pantry. .
You can get rid of the expired stuff, work on organizing what you have better, and invest in some products that make it easier to find and fit more into what you’re looking for. Make sure to put those tins of pumpkin, cranberries, and other holiday foods forward for easy access.
November: rearrange the living room
Speaking of the holidays, it’s almost time to decorate, so why not tidy up the spaces where you want to place Christmas trees and other special Christmas decorations. Tidy up the family room and relocate all the furniture so you don’t have to do as much when the holidays come.
Another great idea for this month is to have your kids look through their old toys and start a donation box. Encourage them to let go of toys they’ve grown out of and to throw away broken toys. This will help them make room for new toys they get for Christmas.
December: Decides to remove more stuff
You have a lot on your plate this month, so why not take it slow. Your big project for December should be enjoying the holidays and throwing out anything left in your home that hasn’t been touched all year round.
Did you hold that fur coat when you cleaned the closet but never wear it? Consider selling it online. Do you realize that no one is sitting in the armchair anymore? Have a donation truck come and collect so that another family can relax in the living room.
These projects do not have to cost you a whole month. Dedicate one or two weekends each month and your home will be virtually clutter-free by the end of the year – and you can start over again in January.