The vibe has shifted. Where there once stood a Noble Fir, now lies the dusty trail of pine needles. The Elf on the Shelf has gone back to the North Pole until next year (sighs of relief from parents everywhere) and it’s time to bring order back into the home. Here are 10 ways to get a FRESH START in your home this New Year. Let’s take it room by room:


• Storage for everything. Use baskets, boxes, trays, buckets, hooks, decorative bowls-whatever you have that will do the job. Things that need a home: remote controls, mail and receipts, magazines, toys, your keys and spare change, glasses, homework assignments-basically if it lives in your home-corral it!

• Replace lightbulbs in lamps and recessed lighting. Clean light fixtures.

• Dust everything. Yes, there is a correct way. Start at the top of the room, and work your way down towards the floor. If you are in a hurry, use the Swiffer duster…it’s a game changer. Then give the floors a good cleaning.


• The Fridge. Before your next grocery run, take five minutes-literally five, and toss expired items. ALL of them. If the funky concoction in the Gladware container is too daunting to clean, by all means you have permission to throw the whole thing away. Then take five more minutes to wipe the inside of your fridge entirely. Take it up a notch and put an open jar or container of coffee beans, or baking soda, in your fridge and freezer to keep it smelling as good as it looks. I can’t begin to describe the satisfaction of a clean fridge.

• Clean under your sink. Again, corral everything-cleaning supplies, sponges, paper towels, put everything into baskets or tubs. Wipe up any spills, crumbs, or goo. I promise this should only take 5-10 minutes.

• Splurge on new trash cans, you deserve it. I am sure they took a beating this year.


• You guessed it-storage under the sink. Hair products in one basket, nail supplies in another, and on you go until everything is in a home. Toss out the used and nearly empty bags and boxes of product. Wipe down under the sink.

• Replace lightbulbs and clean light fixtures.


Here’s a tip: Linens go on sale in January. Now is the time to replace pillows, sheets, and blankets. If you were thinking of giving your room a facelift-now is the time to do it!

• Rest is important. Creating an environment for rest means making a space that is soothing and free of stressors. Remove everything work related and, you guessed it, everything is placed in a home-dirty laundry, clean laundry in waiting, reading material, the nightstand items-they all get tucked into a basket, tray, or storage container.

Live well,

Crissi Lee