January is one of the best times to declutter your home and set your belongings straight. Not only are seasonal decorations put away for the rest of the year, but we are full of motivation to get a fresh start.
Professional organizers often take this as a time to reset their own homes after the chaos of the holidays, from ruthless January decluttering to home organizing, there is a lot to get done if you want to set off on your resolutions on the right foot.
These are the five ways home organizers reset their homes for the New Year, and why these steps can set you up for success.
How home organizers reset their homes in the New Year
Although you might not have time to get all of these tasks done on the first day of January, the pros suggest completing them in the first few weeks of January to take advantage of your new motivation while it lasts.
Try to get your plans in place by the end of the second week of January at the latest, to help you build new habits.
1. Start by setting your intentions
One of the key ways to set yourself up for successful decluttering sessions is to list out your intentions for yourself and your home in the New Year, begins Elizabeth Lulu Miranda, professional home organizer and founder of Mercury Organizing:
‘You could call them goals, but goals change as we change and are sometimes hard to keep up with. Instead of goals, I set intentions,’ she shares.
‘Being clear with my intentions allows me to focus and be in the flow. When I am clear with my intention, it's easy for me to make adjustments when I notice that something is helping me manifest a desire and when it's not. It can also help to mitigate any guilt if I don’t achieve it exactly, unlike setting a strict goal,’ she shares.
For example, you might set the intention to create a more structured approach to cleaning and organizing your home to avoid decluttering when overwhelmed as frequently. Setting this intention now means you can begin to create plans in January to put in place throughout the year, setting off on the right foot.
Elizabeth Lulu Miranda is the heart of Mercury Organizing. She is an innovative and resourceful organizer who loves to help people create a better way for themselves. Elizabeth’s passion for organization and efficiency started as a child. Her mother would find her in the kitchen, rearranging the silverware and utensil drawers.
2. Set up your workspace for success
Whether or not you work from home, setting up your workspace for success is essential to feeling less stress in the year ahead – be it decluttering your home office, or addressing your digital workspace, says Shannon Krause, professional home organizer and founder of Tidy Nest:
‘As a business owner and professional organizer, my physical and digital workspaces are the most important areas. I dedicate a day to editing and refining these spaces.
‘Like every organizing project, I clear the space. Take everything off my desk and bookshelves and wipe everything down with a citrus scent to boost energy and productivity. Then I only reintroduce what I truly love and need.
‘Next, I get rid of paper clutter. Since I keep minimal physical papers, this step is straightforward. Any necessary documents are scanned and stored digitally for ease of access and reduced clutter. Then I move on to the digital clutter. This includes my inbox, unnecessary apps on my phone, old files on my computer, and tidying the often overcrowded computer desktop.
‘Regular maintenance is crucial for both physical and digital spaces. I recommend setting periodic reminders to organize your desktop, phone, and office space – whether it's weekly, monthly, or quarterly – to ensure ongoing orderliness and efficiency.’
Shannon Krause is a professional organizer who holds a specialist certificate in Brain-Based Conditions from the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO), and is a Certified Reiki Master which she incorporates into her work with clients. Tidy Nest has helped dozens of clients bring order into their lives and has won local awards recognizing their work.
3. Reset the kitchen after a hectic few months
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year in two months is enough to make any kitchen overwhelming to be in. For Laura Price, professional organizer and founder of The Home Organisation, this puts decluttering a kitchen and cleaning a kitchen at the top of her priority list in the New Year:
‘I find the kitchen needs a reset after the festive period, so I start the New Year with a big cupboard clear out. I take everything out, wipe down the surfaces then go through my pantry, checking dates and reminding myself of what’s actually in the cupboards.
‘I always write a list of ingredients I want to use up so I can start planning my meals around them.’
Laura Price is the owner of The Home Organisation. Her goal is to help others experience the benefits of living an organized life after discovering that organized homes brought her peace when raising three children in a hectic home. Hence the birth of The Home Organization, a dedicated team of professional organizers.
4. Take stock of winter accessories
Although excess coats, hats, and scarves are items you should get rid of in December, new gifts and a few lingering pieces mean that January is another good time to take stock of your winter attire, suggests Shannon Krause, professional home organizer:
‘If you have more than one person in the house, chances are there are hats, gloves, and scarves littering the floor of your closets. We recommend giving each family member their own winter bin for which they're responsible for keeping their items.
‘If space is a factor, then consider pairing the bins down by category ie. winter hats, gloves, scarves, etc. Once you assign homes for all of these items, it will help to set expectations for the house.’
5. Clearing out spots that cause guilt
One of the most important steps in resetting a home for the New Year is to tackle anything that is causing you guilt or shame, urges Elizabeth Miranda, professional organizer. These may be the hardest spots in our homes to face, however, this makes them ideal for focusing our January motivations on to make letting go of stuff easier, she says:
‘Releasing negative feelings is another important step to resetting for the New Year,’ Elizabeth shares. If you are finding letting go without decluttering regret difficult, she recommends writing what you are grateful for, as ‘this helps remove the negative feelings around a certain situation.’
From there, follow the tried and true decluttering tips of setting things into piles of keeps, maybes, and nos, keeping like items together to easily spot duplicates, she suggests. Remember that items making you feel low shouldn’t have a place in your life, and they can be donated or given away to find another home where they will get more use.
Mindfulness Log | View at Etsy
Created by home organizer Elizabeth Miranda, this mindfulness log is perfect for setting intentions making letting go of sentimental or guilt-laden items a little simpler in the new year.
What does it mean to reset your home?
Resetting your home usually means having a big declutter, clean, and tidy up to return your home to its ideal state after a period of chaos such as the holidays. Doing so sets your space back into something more functional and maintainable, allowing you to feel more relaxed, get motivated, and think more clearly.
How do I reset myself for the New Year?
Besides resetting your home for the New Year, it is important to also take time for self-care to reset yourself. After all, if you are burnt out, it will be more difficult to achieve your goals and intentions. Start by clearing up your space and removing clutter to aid in relaxation before treating yourself to your favorite food, movie, and drink. This might also be a good time to start journaling or listing, to lay out your plans for the year ahead and give yourself something to look forward to.
When resetting your home for the New Year, it is a good idea to start with some post-Christmas decluttering rules to clear away holiday-specific clutter and see your home in a more normal state. This can help you set intentions and reset your everyday belongings more easily without the stress of seasonal clutter.
Sign up to the Homes & Gardens newsletter
Decor Ideas. Project Inspiration. Expert Advice. Delivered to your inbox.
Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.
Don't want to hide your range hood? This is how interior designers make range hoods defining features in any kitchen
This functional feature doesn't have to bring your design scheme down. Here are eight tips from interior designers who say the range hood deserves to steal the show
By Abby Wilson Published
Brooklinen Down Pillow review − soft and supportive but a little oversized
When I tested the Brooklinen Down Pillow, I found a great fit for front, back, and side sleepers, though I struggled to squeeze it inside my pillowcase
By Emilia Hitching Published