Are you tired of digging through drawers endlessly to find the things you need? Do you have piles upon piles of old magazines throughout your space?

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to rid your home of clutter once and for all. When your home is free of clutter, you not only enjoy your space more—it helps you think more clearly. Follow these tips to eliminate unnecessary items from your home, organize the things you need, and enjoy living with less.

1. Discard nonessentials.

Go through every area of your home and toss what’s no longer needed. Expired canned goods in your kitchen cabinets, receipts from a year-old shopping trip, the box for the space heater you purchased ages ago, and anything else that falls into the junk category simply has to go. And don’t forget to recycle any items you can. It’s an easy way to make a difference.

2. Consider donating.

Once you’ve discarded the trash, take stock of items that can be donated to charity or your local thrift shop. Clothes, shoes and accessories that you haven’t worn over the past year, books, and small electronics are all appropriate to donate. You can even make it a point to donate items once a month to ensure you’re only keeping what’s needed in your home. Keep in mind that you can likely write these items off on your taxes, so take inventory of your donation so it can be shared with your accountant.

3. Purchase organizational tools wisely.

Containers and bins can be useful in storing everything from magazines to cosmetics, but going overboard with these organizers can easily add to your clutter rather than eliminate it. Carefully pinpoint the items in your home that require some form of container, so you’re not buying more of them than you need.

4. Shop with restraint.

Have you ever had the urge to purchase way too many family-sized items at your local wholesale club like BJ’s or Costco? Unless you do in fact have a huge family, most times, it’s unnecessary to have bottles of oversized ketchup or a pack of 20 paper towels occupying space in your home. Free up space and only buy what you need.

5. Make sure every item has a home.

The reason many people’s homes become cluttered is because they’re unsure of where to place items. Designate a specific location for your belongings to help keep clutter at bay. For instance, place an inbox on your office desk for mail and add extra shelving to the closet by your entryway to store the purses and shoes you use most frequently. Taking this extra time to settle on a place for things will keep your home more organized.

6. Maintain the clutter-free process.

Keeping up a clean and organized home is an ongoing process. Take a few minutes every day to organize area that’s starting to become cluttered. And every few days, do a more thorough job of removing any clutter that may have piled up as you’ve gone about your daily routine. Walk through your home to clear trash and return items to their proper places. Once you get into this habit, it will be hard to stray from your routine of staying organized.

 Top Image Credit: Foley & Cox Interiors

How do you stay organized and keep clutter at bay?