New Year’s Resolutions: Is decluttering on that list?

Published 10:50 am Friday, January 7, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Many people like to make New Year’s Resolutions about decluttering.

It’s overwhelming at times if you have piles of junk mail, papers, magazines and other items that could be cluttering up your space. Don’t fret and get bogged down, there are many small things you can do to keep your area spruced up to reach that goal.

One of the first things you should ask yourself is “do you really need this?”

Email newsletter signup

Everything from our desks to our closets can become filled with things we haven’t used for years, like is that shirt from 1987? 2000? Start looking for things which you might not need or necessarily even want.

Have you worn that outfit in the past year or two? Do you really need that many pens? Do you think that you’ll use these in the next few months? These are some good questions to ask yourself when you begin decluttering. Maybe there is even something you have which is broken that can be recycled or trashed. This is a great time to take advantage of thrift stores. Places like Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Clark County

Community Services and local churches are always looking for donations.

Gather and sort all like items and put them in their own “zones” or areas where they will be used. This not only makes things look nicer, but it helps save time when you need something like a rubber band or your keys. It is good to think about where you would search for something. If you need an item, where would be the first place you would think to look? This is also a good time to think about labels. If you have others in your house and you want to keep the place tidy, make sure they know where everything goes so reorganizing doesn’t have to become a regular activity.

Organization tools such as folders, bins and vacuum bags are great for storing items and keeping them squared away.

Containers help define “homes” for our items and help set limits.

Make a cleaning schedule and assign certain days certain tasks. For example, maybe Tuesday is a great time to clean the bathroom, Thursday is a great day to dust, and Sunday is perfect for laundry. This is when you can reap the benefits of decluttering: the less stuff you have, the less stuff there is to move, dust or clean.

It is also good to cut down waste before it even enters your house or office. Many common items can be rented for less than the
purchase price of a new one. This is an especially good option if you only plan on using it only a time or
two. Determine if you already own something which can be used for the same purpose.

Just remember, once an area is decluttered and organized, spend a few minutes each day putting things away and keeping things tidy. This daily maintenance is much easier than reorganizing or cleaning your area from scratch, thereby preventing bigger hassles and stress down the road.

For more tips on decluttering, contact the Clark County Extension office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Last note, the Clark County Extension District Board will have a meeting starting at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10 at the Clark County Extension Office at 1400 Fortune Drive Winchester, KY 40391.

Shonda Johnston is the Clark County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences. She can be reached at 859-744-4682 or by email at