New year, new home: Your ruthless, room-by-room guide to decluttering your home for the new year

New year, new home: Your ruthless, room-by-room guide to decluttering your home for the new year

As New Year approaches, you might want to give your homes a bit of sprucing up for a breath of fresh air the year ahead.

Here is a mini fuss-free cleaning checklist for each zone in the house — our humble efforts in helping you declutter your households.


When it comes to decluttering your living space, start with the bedroom. The first point of attack is that one dreaded bedroom chair that we all have, and liberally use as a makeshift closet.

Next, sieve through momentoes, then trash or treasure it accordingly. Next, do a sweep across all surfaces like dressers and bedside tables — then discard all unnecessary items.

Finally, get rid of all other items that hoard unnecessary space — small rugs, wall decor, or even dead plants.


Be honest with yourself about the usage of each clothing item. Besides going through impulse buys and seasonal indulgences, this may mean asking tough questions like “do I really wear all nine pairs of jeans?”.

When it comes to the wardrobe, minimalism is the name of the game. Limit the number of items in each category of clothing —  formal tops, casual tops, pants, and even home-wear.

Parting with certain items may be a struggle but it is time to be realistic. Off-shoulder tops may not come back in style any time soon and hoarding seven of them will not change that.


If you find yourself standing in your bathroom wondering why you have five different face serums, three different hair masks amidst dozens of other makeup, tools and products, join the club.

Weed out the expired products and other rarely used items you’ve been hoarding and toss them out. A reminder: Don’t forget to vet the medicine cabinet. Also, as a general rule of thumb, replace towels, bathmats and shower curtains at least once a year.

Living room

The living area is a space that everyone frequents and shares, so keeping it organised is of utmost priority.

The common culprits are often the small things — magazines, remote controls, books, throw pillows, and photo frames — that when left scattered around, quickly overwhelm the space.

Organisers like baskets and two-tier coffee tables are just one way to keep the clutter at bay. Permanent storage units like built-in entertainment units and furniture that incorporate storage units are another option to keep things tidy and stored away.

The study

Work-from-home arrangements have effectively blurred the boundaries between home and work. Keeping a clean home workstation allows you to reinstate clearer boundaries. Or, reduce mental clutter at the very least.

Conquer the smaller mountains first — limit personal items in your workspace, limit office supplies on the table and file, sort and label everything. Discard frivolous items and papers lying around.

Now, it is time to conquer Everest — the digital clutter. Cleaning up your digital space can be a daunting task, so we recommend tackling it in bite sizes.

Be sure to organise your storage, photos, desktop and while you’re at it, set time for proper cable management as well.


Cooking is a communal activity and having the foresight to organise everything can be a gamechanger for the upcoming year.

Grab your label makers to sort the spices, throw out expired food products, categorise the utensils, and ditch all the fancy tools that you rarely use when cooking up a meal – practical over pretty any day. Most importantly, keep surfaces like countertops as empty as possible.

House rules to decluttering

Make a plan

Before starting the entire decluttering process, commit yourself to clean by penning down a plan — a plan of attack, if we may. If it helps, rope in other family members or friends who will hold you accountable.

Think Marie Kondo

Cleaning can be a tedious process. But the world’s best organising consultant, Marie Kondo, insists that the key is to work smart, not hard.

Always discard before beginning the organisation process. Also, decluttering can be an emotional and mental process as much as it is a physical one. So when it gets hard to part with some of your items, run Kondo’s words through your mind — “does this spark joy?”

Reuse, reduce, recycle

Sustainability is the golden word for 2022. Items that are of no use to you, especially clothes, can be donated to others.

If household items are malfunctioning, instead of discarding them immediately, inspect whether they can be recycled or upcycled in any way. If possible, avoid buying new items to aid the decluttering process.


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