4 Organizing & Cleaning Resolutions You Can Skip, According to a Pro

published Dec 19, 2022
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At the start of each new year, I sit down with a list of resolutions. Usually, my goal is to have this list be short. I try to keep it to 1-3 things so I’m able to actually focus on each project, rather than feeling overwhelmed by trying to do everything. Often, this list includes some sort of cleaning or organization resolution: I’ll tell myself I’m finally going to create a capsule wardrobe or clean out the basement or declutter my beauty supplies.

More often than not, these are the projects that don’t get completed. I get distracted, overwhelmed, or bored. (Does this happen to you, too?) My inability to complete these tasks made me think that I might be doing something wrong when it comes to organization goal-setting. So I asked Shannon Krause, chief operating organizer of Tidy Nest, for her advice.

Here are the organizing and cleaning resolutions that aren’t worth it, according to a pro.

Upgrading Your Storage Solutions

Krause says one of the biggest organizational mistakes that people make at the start of a new year is purchasing a ton of storage solutions. And while it can be tempting to drive to Target or Home Depot and buy dozens of boxes or clear containers with the goal of using them to tidy your home, this may backfire.

“Firstly, we believe you should always declutter before buying organizing solutions so you know exactly what you need to store or contain,” Krause explains. This means people often end up with large storage bins that are half-full, versus the appropriate-size container for its contents. “Secondly,  if you have a container to store the item, you’re more likely to keep it even if you’ve never used it, which isn’t the goal,” she adds. “And lastly, unused organizing solutions still count as clutter.” 

Implementing the “One in, One Out” Rule

You’ve heard of the one-in, one-out rule, aka getting rid of something every time you add another item to your home or closet. “We get it,” says Krause. But, “we all have more items than we truly need, so replacing one item for another isn’t actually eliminating the clutter.”

Instead, follow a one-in, two-out rule. “As time goes by, clients get better and better at this exercise and end up removing more than just two items from their home each time,” Krause says.

Keeping a Donation Box in Your Closet 

This is one that I swear by, so I was curious to learn Krause’s reasoning. “We love this idea but not the location,” Krause explains. “Keep a donation box in your garage, entryway closet, mud room, front door, even the trunk of your car.” While she understands that having it within eyesight encourages you to add to the donation pile more frequently, she also sees clients taking items out of the donation box for the same reason. “If you’ve deemed an item ‘donate,’ it should leave your eyesight immediately,” she says. “Ideally it would leave your home just as fast.” 

Replacing All Your Kitchen Essentials 

If you’ve ever looked at your kitchen at the end of the year and felt the urge to get rid of everything, Krause suggests resisting the urge. “We don’t subscribe to this one,” she says. “Restocking your kitchen essentials at the beginning of each year is a nice idea in theory, but we believe you should be reviewing and decluttering your cabinets throughout the year.” That’s because different items have different shelf lives. Plus, why have pumpkin pie mix take up prime real estate all year? 

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 4 Organizing & Cleaning Resolutions that Aren’t Worth It, According to the Pros