10 Easy Ways to Have a Neater Home in the New Year


Don’t worry. I’m not over-simplifying or assuming your home is a few tweaks away from perfection. But these ten simple things that I’ve learned the (very) hard way over the past seven years of my own deslobification process have had a big impact. A much bigger impact that I would have ever believed possible.

1. Do your dishes. I could go on and on (and I do go on and on in my book), but this is THE task that, when done daily, made the biggest impact on my home. Go here to understand how it works: Why I Have to Run the Dishwasher EVERY Night. If you don’t have a dishwasher, read this: 5 Truths about a Clean Kitchen that are Still True if You Don’t Have a Dishwasher. 

2. Reduce the flow of paper coming into your home. As bills or financial reports arrive in the mail, go online and choose the digital delivery option.  Most of these pieces of mail include instructions on how to switch to digital delivery right on the envelope or the report itself. More paper-clutter-reducing ideas: How to Reduce Paper Clutter

3. Declutter your dishes until they all fit inside your cabinets. At the same time.  This one separates the why-would-anyone-have-more-dishes-than-fit-in-their-cabinets types from my target audience. If you’ve ever been frustrated that on the rare occasion when your dishes are done (like, every single last one) there isn’t room for all of them to be put away, you’re my people. If the thought of decluttering plates or coffee cups sends panic through your soul because you fear running out, just focus on #1. Once you get that figured out, this will make so much more sense. For more on this general concept that I had to learn the hard way, listen to this: Containers and Limits and How They’ll Change Your Life! Podcast

4.  Store your food containers with the lids on. Really. It will make your life so much easier. I explain the ins and outs of why here: Strange Organizing Solutions that Work: Storing Food Containers.

5. Create a Donate Spot. Grab an empty box and mark it DONATE. Choose a place for it (by the back door, in the garage, wherever it’s not in the way but is still easily accessible). As the kids mention they don’t like a toy or that their sleeves are suddenly two inches shorter than they were last week, have them throw the suddenly-unloved item immediately into the Donate Box. More on this: What a Lifestyle of Decluttering Looks Like – Podcast

6. Fold clothes straight out of the dryer. I resisted this for YEARS. I came up with every logical reason not to do it this way. But y’all, this simple thing is a game-changer. When I fold straight out of the dryer, I don’t have piles of clean laundry on my couch. My living room looks way better without piles of clean laundry on my couch. Really. Read more here: The Laundry Management Method that is Rocking My World

7. Hang instead of fold. When I’m doing #6, my clothes don’t get wrinkled. If I hang them instead of folding, they stay wrinkle-free. Need more words on this topic? Clothing Management – Hanging vs Folding

8. Whenever you think of it, do a 5 Minute Pickup. Set a timer and spend 5 minutes picking things up and putting them away. If you don’t believe this will make enough of a difference to be worth your time, try it anyway. You have nothing to lose but 5 minutes. And this is the very best way to start getting the kids involved: Family Pick Up Time

9. Buy a soap-in-the-handle dish scrubber, mark it “BATHROOM ONLY” with a permanent marker, and hang it on a hook or over the door in your shower. Scrub a little here and there as you shower. Read more here: Making Shower Cleaning as EASY as Possible and How to Clean the Shower Without Getting Your Clothes Wet.

10. Throw away (or recycle if you have an available and established recycling routine) pens that don’t work. As soon as you realize they don’t work. I have no idea why this is so UNnatural to me, but it is. More on this: Planning to be Desperate and 2 Second Task – Throw Away the Pen

There you go. Ten simple, easy, pretty-much-duh-but-why-don’t-I-do-these-things-naturally ways to have a tidier home in the new year. Pick one or two or do them all. Any one of these things will make your life easier. 

If you need a guide to getting your home under control and keeping it under control, you need my new book: How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind! It is the handbook you need to go from completely overwhelmed to I’ve-got-this, no matter your starting point. I love this review that was recently posted on Amazon:

This book has changed my life!!! Finally someone who gets me. This isn’t just a collection of organizing ideas that you can find on Pinterest. This book changes your whole approach. The most helpful part for me was how she says to deal with the guilt of getting rid of stuff. I feel as if Dana was in my head as I read this. She had already written the counter-argument to every argument I had started to say in my head while reading. I’ve already ordered a second copy for my mom for Christmas.

If you want to keep the decluttering momentum going, join 30 Days of Decluttering Inspiration. It’s free!

You can also listen to a podcast on this subject here!



--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    I seriously have to do #4. That situation frustrates me EVERY time I need storage. WHY haven’t I done it yet?? Cuz I’m your people!!
    #6 probably won’t happen. Cuz I live in a trailer, my washer/dryer is out in the porch, 3 steps down. But worse is the 3 steps up. When my hip, sciatic issues, I only go out when it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary. Usually I don’t think it is. I can turn my undies inside out tomorrow. I get my helpers (2 ex husbands) to wash/ then switch/ then bring in the laundry. And for some unknown reason, they refuse to fold! What’s up with that???
    How have I missed #9?? That’s genius! And also the ONLY way I’d ever scrub the tub! I have to use a bath bench anyway, so won’t be much to it.

  2. 2

    So, I see the point of folding laundry right out of the dryer, but I’be got my excuses. My laundry room is outside. I can’t leave my kids inside long enough to fold all of that laundry, etc.
    Then you said there wouldn’t be a pile of laundry on my sofa ever again. I’ ve got to figure out a way to try folding out of the dryer now!

    • 3

      As a long time Nony acolyte, the dishes math also applies to laundry. Folding/hanging a single load of laundry takes me at most 3-5 minutes, while stacking on top of the washer leads to an hour long project, lost clothes and damaged walls when the clothes push the tiny lint can off….

      Plus, doing it regularly means less clothes to wash/manage. I make it extra simple by having far too many socks, so on a weekly basis I do a load of darks and load of lights, and then wash load of just socks once a month. The spouse does bedding/towels while I’m at work.

      Just keep trying, you’ll find a way to.make it work!

  3. 4

    Fantastic tips, Nony! I couldn’t agree more about doing the dishes. If I don’t do them every night, I wake up to a disgusting kitchen that puts me in an awful mood all morning.

  4. 5

    Hi there! I was just wondering if you could write more posts showing how you declutter and clean, like you used to do. I really enjoyed those and think they can be very motivating. I get that you want to promote your book and your products, but lately, I’ve found that you repeat yourself a lot (I’ve been reading you for a while, now!) and that you spend a lot of time promoting and less time showing your actual journey in being a slob that comes clean 😉
    I hope you don’t take this the wrong way! Best regards from Portugal! 😉

  5. 6

    Oh Dana, Dana, Dana……I love you! I have beat myself for years wondering how other women kept their homes neat and inviting. Knowing…..wishing our home would be just as neat and organized. There were times it would be the way I wanted it and I would swear it would stay that way…then the next thing I knew it was a mess again. When reading your book on my Kindle I could have cried….there was someone who understood me….I was not alone! Thank you so much for writing this book. I think I get it at the ripe old age of 70….better late than never . …Right?

  6. 9

    Thank you so much for putting this all in one post!

  7. 10
    Tasmanian says:

    I’ve been running the dishwasher every night ever since you suggested it – but forgot last night. It has messed up our morning routine because my 8yo is horrified that he will have his regular “pack breakfast dishes into dishwasher” routine ruined by my left-behind dinner dishes. Sigh.

  8. 11
    Christie Karras says:

    I love #10 so much! For years I had 2 vegetable peelers, one was great, the other was crap. For YEARS I would get annoyed when I grabbed the crappy one by accident. Last fall I got the brilliant idea to get rid of the terrible peeler, and life has been so much better. I no longer feel rage when I grab the wrong peeler, what was wrong with me all those years? LOL

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