New year, new start – how organising experts reset their homes for January to start the year right

The best ways to refresh your home for the year ahead

Marvella 2.5 Seater in Burnt Orange
(Image credit: sofa.com)

With the new year looming over our heads, the focus oftentimes tends to be on the ‘new year, new me’ mantra. But we often forget about a similar reinvention of our homes in the process. And yet, the end of the year and the first month of the following one are the perfect times to plan and execute the January home reset.

And while neither us or our homes need to be completely new or different in 2024, it is only natural that in the space of a year we have evolved and with that so have our tastes and needs. And our homes should reflect that. Similarly to the Sunday reset, which creates a ritual of peacefully getting ready for the week ahead, the January home reset gets us and our home ready for the year ahead.

Of course, our organising experts know just the right ways to reset the home (and the mind in the process) to start the year afresh.

A hallway with wicker storage baskets

(Image credit: Future PLC/Eddie Waltham)

How to reset your home for January

‘Despite the fact January may seem a little doom and gloom, it’s a great time to reset and prep yourself up for a great year ahead,’ starts Siân Pelleschi, owner of Sorted! and APDO president.

Craig Hoareau, APDO member and owner of A Tidy Mind London, continues, ‘Resetting your home after the festive season is a great way to start the year as it’s a chance to reset and refresh. It is vital to do this in order to not go into the year feeling overwhelmed. Use this time as a fresh start to allow you time to focus on yourself and the goals you have set for the new year.’

And if you’ve already tackled the easy things to declutter before the new year, then you’ll have even an easier job of the first and foremost step to a fresh 2024.

Portrait of an expert
Siân Pelleschi

Siân Pelleschi is the owner of Sorted!, a Cheshire-based home and office decluttering and organising service, and the current President of APDO - the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers. With Sorted!, she aims to take away the stress and hassle that everyday life can sometimes bring, both in your home and working environment.

1. Declutter

Marvella 2.5 Seater in Burnt Orange

(Image credit: Sofology)

This is the perfect time to get rid of any unnecessary items that just take up space but serve no purpose. You can also give sustainable decluttering a try and rather than binning the things you don’t need, you can donate them, gift them or pass them along.

‘Declutter your living spaces that accumulated extra items during the festive season and also the year,’ Craig advises. ‘Remove decorations that are no longer needed and go through gifts. Don’t be afraid to put things in a re-gift pile or donate if you don't particularly like the item you were given. It sounds harsh but you can't keep something you were given because of guilt. If you've received a newer version of something you already own, consider donating the old one.’

And if you have children, tackling their selection of toys together can be an empowering and bonding experience as well. 

‘Now is a great time to declutter toys. Kids grow up so quickly and grow out of their old toys too. You'll probably have a pile of new ones that arrived with Santa on Christmas day too,’ says Simon Glanville, managing director of A Place for Everything. ‘Decluttering with kids can be fun and giving them a say in what stays and what goes is very empowering for them. Plus you won't have arguments in a month when you're asked, “where's my…?”.’

Depending how thoroughly you want to declutter, you'll have to pick the right method for you, whether that's the 12:12:12, decluttering like the French or Swedish death cleaning.

2. Deep clean

Laundry room with an open laundry basket

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

Once you have a decluttered space in front of you, why not give it a deep clean too while you’re ahead?

‘Once you have decluttered, maybe do a deep clean,’ Craig suggests. ‘We tend to do a lot of surface cleaning throughout the year but never really dig deep. If you have time off at home at this time, do a deep clean of your house after you have removed the items you no longer need. This will have a big impact on the energy in your home, providing a fresh start.’

3. Organise

Well-organised wardrobe with a curtain

(Image credit: Future PLC)

The festive period tends to be a disorganised mess. So it’s only natural that your home is in a bit of a state following Christmas celebrations. Which is why this is the ideal time to put things back in their place. Or even create and find new and better ways to organise your wardrobe, your hallway and everything in between.

‘Your belongings may have become disorganised during the festive period with hosting guests and acquiring gifts,’ Craig notes. ‘Tidy up your cabinets, and create designated spaces for old and new items.’ 

But it’s important to start slow and start small so as not to overwhelm yourself with all the new organisation.

‘Many of us try and make it our new year’s resolution to be a little more organised. But how many of us really stick to it throughout the year?! Getting organised can be about saving time as well as space and the golden rule here is - start small. Small changes and “quick wins” can make you feel good and provide effective encouragement to keep going.’

Under-stairs nook with a bench, storage baskets and children's coats

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

He continues with some examples, ‘You'll have special items that only come out at Christmas. Candle holders, gravy boats, utensils and serving platters etc. There's no need to keep these items close to hand throughout the year but you won't want to throw them away either. Move seasonal items onto a top shelf, into a loft, labelled box in a garage etc. to free-up space.’

‘A simple weave or leather tray on a hallway console table to stash the car keys, sunglasses, purse or the content of your pockets provides an effective way to contain daily clutter and might just save you a few minutes in the morning when hunting for the car keys before the school-run or journey to work.’

4. Get everyone involved

An IKEA kitchen with hanging bugs and a stand mixer

(Image credit: Future PLC/Maxwell Attenborough)

You don’t have to be alone in this. This home refresh project can be a team effort that’s both fun and bonding.

‘Get everyone in the household involved with the process of the January refresh. It’s important everyone feels like they have a part to play in this as it’ll help keep it organised throughout the year,’ Siân points out.

Craig agrees, ‘If you live in a family home or share with housemates, get everyone involved. It can be a fun bonding experience with each person assigned a specific role.’

5. Change things around

Blue Nova 825

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Change is inevitable and it’s good most of the time. And you don’t necessarily have to spend any money to change things in your home. Just rearranging things can instantly uplift your space.

‘Assess each room in your home to see if it needs a refresh. It could be rearranging furniture, adding or removing decor, or updating the layout. Every year we change and grow, and our space should reflect that,’ Craig explains.

Siân adds, ‘It creates an opening to make a positive change in your environment. Maybe consider a refresh in where your furniture lives. Sometimes a little change round can really bring some love and excitement back into your home.’ 

6. Plan DIY and renovating jobs

A bucket of paint brushes

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Whether you’re looking to complete easy DIY projects or more complex renovating jobs this coming year, it’s a good idea to plan these out ahead of time.

‘Make a plan for any jobs that might need doing over the year so you can work it into your budgeting,’ Siân recommends.

Craig continues, ‘Instead of just setting goals for your personal growth and career, don't forget your home. Consider setting home-related goals, which could be anything from completing DIY projects to creating a more sustainable home environment or establishing routines to keep up with what you have done.’

We wish you a happy and productive new year!

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.