The ball has dropped, champagne bottles are empty, and we're all realizing that we wrote 2014 instead of 2015 on all of our documents. That's right, the new year has begun and it’s not too late to get started on some new years goals and resolutions.
I know I, for one, need to focus on decluttering. I love to organize, but sometimes, I just don't have the time. What's more, the little things I own that I think I need to keep (for sentimental reasons) will actually do me much better in the trash.
If you decided to declutter this winter, you can use some of the strategies I have to clear out space in my small apartment. In fact, here are a few things you should definitely toss:
1. Old Magazines
Over the last week, I had a staring contest with my Vogue magazines. I looked at Cate Blanchett's wonderful face and asked "Should I really throw these out?" Whenever I don't know what to wear, I pull out Vogue. When I wanted a cool new product to buy, I pulled out Vogue.
But here's the problem, my magazine stack dated back to 2012, so I resolved to bid adieu. If you have old magazines or newspapers, you don't need them. Besides, you have the Internet for viewing archives of old content - don't let the print versions clutter your apartment.
2. Expired Makeup
I'm sure you hate throwing away old makeup (that shadow is just so pretty!), but these products are no longer usable. Expired makeup has dried, doesn't work as well and isn't as good for your skin anymore. Plus, if you let the item get to the point of expiration, you probably didn't like it as much as you think you did. (Seriously, I never use all the lipsticks I own).
3. Hole-Ridden Clothing
Your pinky toes don't like poking out of your socks, especially if you live in a chilly climate. Do your feet a favor and toss any socks with holes, then go to the store and buy new ones. The same goes for other clothing that's worn.
Some issues are fixable, such as a split seam or minor tear, but others are a lost cause. Know which is which - a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether you actually will pull out a needle and thread and repair the item. No? Then it's garbage fodder.
4. Dated Spices
Dried herbs and ground spices never expire, but they do lose their flavor and aroma. So here's a decluttering tip: Get rid of any herb or spice that you've had for six months or longer. If the spice is whole, it will last years, so you can prevent expiration by purchasing whole and grinding at home.
Ring in the new year by decluttering your kitchen cabinets. Within lurks Tupperware without lids, unused (and frankly odd) coffee mugs, unitaskers you've never touched, and so on. If you haven't made use of a kitchen item, or you no longer have all the components (I swear my cabinets devour my stuff), then get rid of it.
6. Dead Bulbs and Batteries
Batteries and light bulbs that have lost their juice have no place in your apartment. I get it-- you replace the batteries on your remote and quickly get back to watching a show, only to forget to toss the old ones. Now's the time to find those dead items and put them where they belong-- in the garbage.
7. Electronics You Don't Use
An old cellphone, a tablet you don't touch, etc., all take up space and collect dust in your apartment, but they could earn you some money. Wipe the memory from your gadgets and take them to a pawn shop. If you can't sell your belongings, look up a place near you where you can recycle the product.
With these decluttering tips, you can turn your apartment into an orderly haven in 2015 - and it's a resolution you can totally keep!