A new year is a perfect time to make a fresh start at home, by clearing out the clutter from the past year and making space for a new year and new opportunities. After a long and celebratory holiday season, you’re probably feeling ready for order and clarity. Decluttering your living spaces is the best way to start.

To begin decluttering for the new year, you’ll need a strategy and the willingness to let go of items that you no longer use or need. We recommend starting by asking yourself what you may want to donate, sell or throw out, and using these categories to help you decide what can stay and what must go.

Decluttering room by room will mean tidying up your medicine cabinet and pantry, organizing your desk and home work space and clearing out closets and cleaning up your general living spaces. You can make a fresh start at home today with these simple tips to help you declutter for the new year.

Closet Clear Out
An easy way to make a big impact in your declutter job is to begin with your closets. Start with your coat and linen closets, and decide what you’d like to keep, donate, sell or toss. Old coats, hats and boots that don’t seem to ever get worn can be donated to many local organizations in need, especially during wintertime. Old sheets, towels and blankets can find a cozy, new home at most animal shelters.

Refrigerator & Pantry Clean Up
It’s time to tackle your refrigerator and pantry, and that means throwing out old leftovers, expired products and condiments, or opened, spoiled or unsavory-looking food items. Starting with your refrigerator, begin by tossing old condiments and food items that have clearly lived past their prime. Your pantry may contain mostly non-perishable goods, but even these can expire eventually. Check bags of rice for tears and search out any items that you simply aren’t using or eating, and consider donating them to your local food pantry.

Bathroom & Beauty Products
Your medicine cabinet and vanity drawers can surprise you with the amount of expired products and unused items they can contain. Toss old chapsticks, lip glosses and nail polishes, and check the expiration date on all beauty products and medicines. Check your sunscreens and hair products for expiration dates and potential spoiling, and throw out anything that looks like it might do more harm than help for your body.

Desk & Paperwork Tidy Time
When it’s time to tackle your desk, you can begin by going through your paperwork and tossing or shredding items that you no longer need. Designate a drawer or filing system to help you keep important documents stored securely and safely, and eliminate piles of unopened mail, old paperwork and magazines or newspapers that are gathering dust on your desk.

Holiday Decor Goodbyes
Review your holiday decorations and decide what items may need to go. If your faux tree and garland are starting to fall apart or look unkempt, go ahead and toss them. Broken ornaments and centerpieces can probably find a happy home in your trash can, as well. While it can be hard to say goodbye to holiday keepsakes and mementos, if they’re no longer useful, it’s probably time for them to go.