Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Green Gables: Resolve to clean out your house in 2016

Posted January 25, 2016

Courtesy: Raleigh Green Gables

We are three weeks into the New Year, and by now you are acing your New Year’s resolutions, like weight-loss or hitting the gym more.

But what about resolutions for your house? In most cases, your home is your biggest investment, and 2016 is the year I want you to resolve to treat your home with reverence.

Why? Because your home is a place that provides you wonderful shelter and a place to be with your family and friends. It’s time to honor your home. Shoving it full of junk that does not serve you is dishonoring it.

So I have come up with a list of resolutions for your home, and I invite you to try them.

1. Declutter the playroom. After Christmas, there is probably way more toys than there were on Dec. 24. I encourage you to do a major purge of the playroom. Playrooms should have few toys, because too many choices cause stress for children. Kids also don’t need that many toys, and, the fewer toys, the less there is to clean up.

  • Throw out broken toys or ones that are missing pieces.
  • Give away toys that your children no longer play with.
  • Establish a house rule that children must clean up one activity or toy before they get out a new one.
  • Teach your children to clean up the playroom every evening before dinner – that way they won’t be too tired before bed.

Uncluttered playroom

2. Declutter your master bedroom. I encourage you to keep nothing under your bed. Stuff under the bed is energy draining and is usually covered in dust. Who wants to sleep over all that dust?

  • Clear out the stuff under the bed and find other places for it, or throw it away.
  • Clean up any piles around the room and on the dresser.
  • Just keep a bed, a chair and a dresser in your room. You need a calm environment to sleep in, and a room crammed full of furniture is not calm.

Organized bedroom

3. Streamline your closet. Get rid of the clothes you don’t wear, that are too big and that you will fit into “one day.”

  • Keep just the clothes and shoes you wear and be realistic. If you have 90 shirts, you could wear a new shirt every day for three months. You don’t need that many.
  • If you don’t need suits at your office, get rid of them. I got rid of all of mine.
  • Keep very few print tops. I have about 15 shirts for winter, but they are all solid colors, so they can endlessly mix-and-match with my pants and skirts.

Organized closet

4. Clear out all the toys from your children’s rooms and move to playroom or family room. Children especially need calm environments to sleep, and that is all they should do in their bedrooms. Plus, you will see a major difference in how fast they will get ready in the mornings and how fast they go to sleep at night if you move the toys out. Then they will have no distractions.

Clean children's bedroom

5. Declutter your kitchen. Your kitchen is probably where you spend your most time, and I encourage you to make it beautiful.

  • Donate the never-used, decorative serving dishes from your wedding that took place 13 years ago. Donate the other four can openers.
  • Clear off your counters, and you will see a major change in energy in your kitchen.
  • It’s OK to have empty cabinets. It’s great for energy flow.

Do you have other New Year’s resolutions for your home? I would love to hear about them! Email me at

Leah is the mom of two, a professional organizer and owner of Raleigh Green Gables.


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