New Year’s resolutions for your ‘stuff’

PHOTO courtesy of John-Michael Zuerlein

Every new year we make the same resolutions: exercise, eat better, make more time for the kids (or ourselves or our family or our friends), read more, volunteer and so on and so on. They’re all about you. But do you make any resolutions for your home or office or the stuff that’s in them? Here are resolutions you can make – and keep – that will trim down and focus your material life and maybe make you a little happier.

JUDGE YOUR STUFF. Let’s be honest. Many of us have too much stuff in our homes. And not just too much, but things – loads of things – we don’t really care about. Maybe you liked those acrylic lamps with gonzo shades once. Or that curvy-framed side chair that looks cool but no one sits in. Forget what you want (just a little). Could it be that you don’t need it anymore? Resolve to cast a hard, objective eye on your stuff and judge your furniture, lighting, art and decor. Decide what you love and need, then own up to what you don’t like or want anymore. Resolve to get rid of the things that fall on the don’t list.


  • Make a list of things that are simply in your way – especially the bigger ones
  • Be sure to have a discussion with others in the household who might view it differently
  • Decide how and when you’ll move it along (see below)

PARE IT DOWN. Resolve to find ways to get rid of your stuff responsibly. There’s no need to add to the waste stream if something is perfectly serviceable. Just because you’re over it doesn’t mean someone else can’t love it.


  • Pass it along to friends or family members who want it
  • Donate to a worthy charity in your community
  • Sell it on Craigslist or Facebook (if you really want to deal with the interactions)
  • Submit it to a consignment store and get cash when it sells
  • For really good vintage things, reach out to a well-regarded shop in your area and see if they’ll buy it outright

REBUILD WITH STYLE. With the clutter gone (or on its way out), it’s time to re-imagine your space. Haste makes waste, so resolve to do it one step at a time. It’s a process to style a room just right. Treat it like the enjoyable adventure that it can be. And bring along other household members or besties to share in the adventure.


  • Envision the room or rooms and think about how you want to live in them (daydreaming can be fun)
  • Designate the most important or room-defining things you still have, because they’ll be key to the new vision
  • Make a list of things you need and/or want
  • Pick colors and textures and materials you want to work with
  • Set a budget and a time frame for completion
  • For shopping tips, read this helpful article

A final resolution: get to work! It’s already weeks into 2019. For more makeover tips and inspiration, follow us on Instagram and visit us regularly at


Leave a Reply