4 Easy Ways to Get Rid of the Clutter in 2015

by Kylie McConville

2015 is your clean slate — your chance to get it right, to eat better, to save money, to find new ways to stay organized that actually work. You threw your diet by the wayside after Thanksgiving, and you've been counting down the seconds to kickstart your fitness goals in the new year. You let your closet, your floors, and your shelves dissolve into complete disarray these past few weeks, and you spent most of your long weekend purging your space to get your things looking orderly again. But before you celebrate your big efforts, let me remind you: your squeaky clean slate has to last you 365 days, not just the first week of 2015.

Seems a whole lot harder now, doesn't it? If we're being honest, it doesn't have to be. Keeping your home in as fabulous shape as possible well into the new year is pretty easy — as long as you have tips and tricks that make keeping things neat and tidy at your fingertips.

If the goal is to stay chic all year long, you need to adult-proof your space. That doesn't mean hide the toys and keep the sharp stuff out of arm's reach, though; it means you've got to think ahead. Plan for the worst. Prep for a rainy day. Because the rain is going to come, and along with it the chaos of everyday life.

Here's what you can do to prevent that.

1. Take inventory of what you have and purge... quarterly

You've got a lot of stuff — and even if you're getting rid of most of that stuff, you're just going to refill those empty shelves and bare closets with more goodies as more time passes. The secret to keeping clean is to take stock of what you have too much of, and get rid of it... often. Don't wait until 2016 rolls around before you take another peek into your overflowing dresser drawers. Stay ahead of the clutter, and clean house every few months.

2. Keep to a list

Making a list is fun. It's also a good way to stay accountable for what you're buying. When you go to the grocery store, it becomes harder to throw a bunch of goodies you don't need into your cart when you're staring at a list that tells you what you do. The same rule applies for life, and clutter, in general. Stick to what you need. Keep track of it. It'll keep you from overindulging in places you don't need to.

3. Stick to storage

If you're the type that holds on to things long past their due dates, invest in some serious storage. They can be the cute tubs stacked neatly under your bed, those chic wicker units that double as room decor, or the bookshelf you've repurposed as a funky craft bin. The more "organized" your chaos is, the less likely you'll feel like you're being swallowed by it whole.

4. Find better ways to part with your "trash"

I dread the thought of parting with my once-loved goodies, too. And then I feel so guilty for ridding myself of those things that I don't use anymore that I end up keeping them instead, because who wants to see that shirt they only kinda hated lying at the bottom of the garbage? Not me. So instead of letting the guilt take you over completely, find feel-good ways to part with your not-so valuables. Donating them to children in need, selling them for cash, shipping them off to grief-stricken areas in need of comfort, clothing, and basics won't just lighten your load, it'll make you feel good, too.

Image: A Beautiful Mess (2); Rubbermaid Products, dmachiavello/Flickr