It’s a new year, and we’ve got some clever ways to help you reach your organization goals in 2019. Your home should run like a tight ship, so if you’ve got any pesky problem areas getting in your way, it’s time to address them for good with these organization tips for your home:

#1 Organize Your Paper Clutter. Even in a technology-based world, we all have it: paper clutter. January is the perfect time to start fresh and create a filing system that will help you eliminate that seemingly nagging stack of papers that sits on your kitchen counter. If you don’t already have one, it’s time to commit to a chic, but functional filing cabinet to neatly place those crumply papers in. Splurge on a set of monthly filing tabs to organize the paperwork by due date, or date sent. This is also the perfect time to evaluate what you can go paperless on. Subscribe to a paperless option of any bills or newsletters that can be sent straight to your email inbox.

#2: Make a 30-Day Game Plan for Basic Maintenance. Create a monthly calendar and list one area per day, spacing out the areas you are prone to need more time for. For example, on the ninth of the month, every month, commit to cleaning out your closet. On the tenth, commit to cleaning out your bathroom cabinets, and so on, according to individual areas in your home. If you’ve been avoiding a known problem space for clutter in your home, now is the time to approach it with a strategy. Tackling these areas one at a time, day by day, makes getting through the harder areas a little less painful.

#3: Coordinate Item Pickup/Dropoff. There’s no motivation like altruism when it comes to letting go of extra stuff. Local shelters, churches, and even childcare centers are always looking for spare clothing, toys, and housewares. Call your favorite one, schedule an appointment for pick-up or drop-off, and give yourself time to clean up with the needy in mind. Even a small haul makes a huge difference to these types of organizations, but giving big is even better.

#4: Stick to Neutrals and Clear Containers. Despite the plethora of colorful organization tools available at many mega-stores, you are more likely to organize (and stay organized!) using neutral-toned or clear containers. Having neutrals gives you the chance to “hide” the necessities, while clear containers help combat the “out of sight, out of mind” issue. Basically, you wouldn’t throw a bunch of cords in a clear container for all your friends to see, would you? Clear containers hold you accountable for mess-free organization.

#5: Create a “Hub.” Having all of your tools in one place is key to staying organized. Create a space in your home that acts as a hub, including your filing, a family calendar, and mail slot. Create a space for mail and bills that lists what your next action items is, including “To Pay,” “To File,” and “Action Needed.” Use a monthly calendar to list things like your monthly cleaning plan, monthly meal plan, or bills due.

It’s not too late to start the year off with a clean slate! The first step is always deciding the “why,” so take a minute to think about how having an organized home can help you achieve even bigger goals - like finally squeezing more kale into your diet, right?