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The new year has arrived, and after a year spent navigating a global pandemic, it might feel like a perfect time to get clean, organized and refreshed at home.

After packing up your holiday decorations and taking inventory of new appliances or gadgets you’ve added to your apartment, it’s time to start with a thorough decluttering of each and every room. Once you’ve purged the crowded spaces in your home, give them a deep clean. Follow up the cleaning with organizing, and bring functional flow into your furniture layout. Once you’ve put everything into its perfect place, set yourself up to maintain your space throughout the year.

Start the new year off right, with a clutter-free home and mind, and make 2021 your best year yet. Here are 5 simple steps to get you started.

Declutter
Before you can clean, you have to clear out the crowded spaces in your apartment. Start by taking it room by room. Create three piles to help you determine where you’ll put the items you purge – donate, sell, trash. Beginning with your kitchen, you’ll want to comb through your junk drawer, pantry and cabinets. Clear out your refrigerator and old cleaning supplies. Tackle linen closets, the coat closet, your desk, coffee and side tables, under the bed storage items and finally, your bedroom closet. You’ll be surprised by how much you’ve been storing and keeping around that doesn’t get used or no longer serves a purpose. As a bonus, any cash you earn from selling or consigning can be applied to purchasing new decor or furnishings to suit your now clutter-free apartment.

Dust, Vacuum, Mop
Once your space is cleared out, you can get in and tackle the dust and dirt of the last year. Vacuum, mop, dust and scrub the rooms of your apartment. Give fan blades and baseboards a wipe down, wash drapes and curtains and spot treat any stains on carpeting. Give your bathroom a thorough disinfecting, and sanitize door knobs, light switches and remotes.

Get Organized
Now that you’ve purged and brought the sparkle back to your apartment, it’s time to get organized. Pick up a large basket to store blankets in your living room, create an orderly electronics corner in your kitchen and pick up a hall tree or storage system to store shoes, coats, keys and umbrellas at your entryway. Pick up a small tray to store remotes, folders to house paperwork and canvas bins to store dog or human toys.

Furniture Flow
Now that you’re restored order to your home, assess your furniture layout and decide where you might need to move items to create a better flow. If your big, bulky couch is crowding your living space, consider downsizing, or moving it to a back wall to give your room more open space. Adjust your furnishings so that they don’t block doorways, windows or air vents. The rule with furniture layout is that your furnishings should feel comfortable and functional, and they should always fit the space they’re in.

Maintenance Plan
Once your space is set, you’re done! Almost. To keep your space feeling clean, organized and functional throughout the year, you’ll want to set yourself up for maintenance success. Store easy-to-access cleaning products under the sink in your bathrooms, and keep dusting wipes available at the ready, for quick wipe downs throughout the month. Purchase organizers for your drawers and closets to help keep clutter from crowding in. Set up a schedule to help you stay on track, and enjoy a clean and clutter-free 2021 at home.