Now that the enjoyment of the holiday season is behind us, January and February are the perfect time to be more organized. Here are a few tips for decluttering your home so you can feel refreshed and ready for the year—and new decade—ahead.
- Organize Holiday Decorations —Do you have more decorations than you know what to do with? Most of us do! Spend a few hours going through your decorations and determine what you use, what you should give to others (children or grandkids), what you can sell (ex. artificial tree that you haven’t used in a few years), and what you can donate. Come next holiday season when there is less clutter and your decorations are more organized, you’ll be glad you did.
- Declutter Paperwork — Go through file cabinet draws and discard old paperwork, including old tax returns. In most cases, you only need to keep records for a maximum of seven years (see the IRS page, “How long should I keep records?”). Organize bills and other important paperwork and set up a dedicated spot in your home for these items.
- Get Tax Info in Order — As documents are mailed or emailed, take a few minutes to place them in the right spot so they don’t get lost. If you do your own taxes, now’s the time to order your tax software (look for discounts), and create a checklist from last year’s information that you can use annually to streamline the process.
- Recycle e-Waste — Gather up your old cell phones, e-readers, printer cartridges, monitors and batteries and head to an e-waste center in your area. Best Buy has an electronics and appliances recycling program, and Amazon will give you a small credit on select e-readers, gaming equipment, steaming media players, home security devices and cell phones.
- Book Your Summer Rental — If the shorter daylight days of winter make you long for warmer temperatures and relaxing breezes, use this time to research and book your spring break or summer vacation.