I always find the new year inspiring and exciting. I’m not big into setting resolutions, but I love to reflect on the past year and set goals and intentions for the year ahead. One of the things I’m always trying to do in my life is declutter, both physically and figuratively.
I don’t love messes, so I try to keep my home neat and tidy (or as neat and tidy as possible with a toddler), and I also try to simplify the rest of my life the best I can. That includes keeping my email inbox organized, deleting photos from my camera roll when there are duplicates, and setting boundaries with social media and my personal life, etc. I feel so much better when things are clean.
I shared my favorite ways to clean up my life below, and I hope it helps you as you kick start your new year. Don’t get overwhelmed – just pick a few that feel feasible!
Let’s jump in, shall we?
Force of Nature is my absolute favorite cleaning solution. I weirdly love making the cleaning solution (it’s kind of fun!) and feel good about using it when pregnant. And, I don’t mind if Thomas “helps” me clean since it’s completely non-toxic. I also use Branch Basics for a few things around the house, but if I were only going to choose one, go for Force of Nature. (Read my Force of Nature review here + my Branch Basics review here.)
I switched to cleaner skincare (and makeup) when I was introduced to Beautycounter by an Instagram friend. I wasn’t actually looking to switch my products to something non-toxic, but their tinted moisturizer was so good that it sold me! Now, the majority of my skincare is squeaky clean and even the products that aren’t Beautycounter are cleaner options than conventional ones.
Beautycounter is my #1 choice in terms of clean skincare, followed by Colleen Rothschild. Beautycounter is definitely the cleaner of the two with their Never List of over 2,800 questionable ingredients that aren’t allowed in their products.
Read more about what I love about Beautycounter in this blog post review. My Colleen Rothschild review blog post is linked here.
Same story as above! I tried Beautycounter’s tinted moisturizer and the rest was history. I first loved how the products looked on me, and then I learned to appreciate how clean the ingredients were! I now prefer the the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint over the Beautycounter Dew Skin (read my review of the Super Serum Skin Tint here), but both brands have clean, high performing ingredients.
My favorite Tarte makeup is listed in this blog post.
You can see my entire makeup routine linked here.
In terms of clean bath and body products, I love Beautycounter. The ingredients are the best on the market, and I also love how the packaging looks in my shower. I use the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash (in gorgeous packaging). If you aren’t sure if your current hair care is clean, check out this post on the ingredients to avoid in your shampoo.
The Shark Cordless Vacuum is the best for easy daily vacuuming. It’s compact and the handle can be used as a hand vac. I use this instead of sweeping my kitchen floors.
The Tineco Floor ONE S3 is the best cleaning appliance I’ve ever purchased. It vacuums AND mops hard surfaces at the same time. I use this on my hardwood floors and it makes them spotless. If you have kids who spill food on the floor or track in mud from the outdoors onto you hard surfaces (tile, hard wood, etc), this is essential. Our model is the Tineco Floor ONE S3, but you can choose from options with different bells and whistles.
Pick one section of your pantry that you use the MOST and optimize it!
An easy way to feel less cluttered is to regularly clean out your closet. When I’m getting dressed, I always note if there is something I never ever wear or just don’t like anymore and set it aside for the consignment pile. It’s amazing how just removing 1-2 items a week keeps things pared down. This post has more tips clean out your closet.
This over the seat purse hook from Amazon was a game-changer for me. So was this small car vacuum and this dust putty. But the real deal was when I bought a membership at our local car wash. My car is SO clean inside and out, and that’s coming from the mom of a 3-year-old.
Put these sticky balls from Amazon into all of your purses and thank me later. To keep my bags organized (since I switch them out every so often), I put my most-used purses on purse hooks in my coat closet, and then the rest go into my closet with a shelf purse divider.
We got an AirDoctor air purifier a few years ago and I’m always SHOCKED by how much nastiness is trapped by this thing. I shared some photos of my most recent filter change in this AirDoctor Review (which also has a promo code).
AirDoctor also makes water purifiers called AquaTru, so I recently got that too. Mine came last week so I’ll update as soon as I give it a try. We have never used purified water (other than a brief stint with a Primo Water Filter) and I know it’s a much better option!
I don’t focus on removing things, but more so adding things in. Since being pregnant, I have had a major aversion to any vegetables (except, oddly, raw celery and carrots), so my goal is to have vegetables at two meals each day. I’m also trying to be more consistent with a greens powder (I have a few different brands I like:
I switched all our tupperware from plastic to glass and feel so much better about it! This is the set of glass containers I have.
I’m super sensitive to scents, but I LOVE Dime Beauty perfume. They don’t irritate me at all and smell amazing. Read this blog post for all of my favorite Dime Beauty Perfume scents. I share which scent I like best in that post too.
I’m going to work on cursing less this year ;), but I also use Boka hydroxpatite toothpaste instead of fluoride toothpaste because it remineralizes your enamel from within. I also love this Boka tongue scraper.
If you’re using a home scent air fresher like Glade, switch to Pura Air Fresheners. Not only is it much cleaner, but the scents they make are AMAZING! And you can adjust the Pura strength from your phone.
Swap your scented diapers for unscented. We use Coterie diapers and while they’re pricey, we love them. But any unscented option is an improvement!
Since I work in content creation and receive a lot of PR packages from brands, things tend to really pile up in my office. I got a clothing rack for my office so I could hang anything I needed to take photos in, steam, organize in one place. I also got a this Villa & House 4-door cabinet which has a ton of storage (and it looks nice).
If you can hire an organizing company to help you get started, you won’t regret it. I used Mindful Organizers in Winston Salem, NC.
My makeup drawer was in serious need of an overhaul and I finally got to it this summer! I shared everything I did and what I used in this blog post on how to organize your makeup.
Clean up your camera roll! I take a LOT of photos given my job and use Get Sorted to go through old photos to easily decide what to keep or delete.
I took this Digital Clutter course a few years ago online and it totally changed my life in terms of my email inbox. Usually I’ll grab my laptop while I eat breakfast to start to work through my Star Box in my two work inboxes. The Star Box is something I learned in the course…seriously worth every penny. I also unsubscribe from emails each morning using the gmail shortcut to unsubscribe.
It may be time to go through and purge who you’re following on social media. Does it bring you joy to see their posts? Or do you get anxiety, struggle with jealousy, or feel annoyed when you see someone share to Instagram? If unfollowing feels inappropriate (maybe in the case of a family member or friend you see often), put their account on mute. They won’t be able to tell on their end, and you can still go see their content if you search for it (it just won’t show up on your stories or daily timeline).
Learn to set healthy boundaries in 2024. Say no and mean it, and learn how to be okay when it feels uncomfortable!
I hope this post inspired you to clean up a few things! What are you trying to clean up in 2024?