Rules of Order

A Place for everything and everything in its place

Every year when January rolls around you vow to lose weight, save money, or spending more time with family and friends. But what goals do you set for your home?

In the spirit of new beginnings, we’ve come up with some resolutions that will make your home a more beautiful, efficient, clean, and green place in the coming year.

Here are our top five picks for starting the new year right:

Streamline The Stuff


One of the best and least expensive ways to feel better about your home is to clear it of clutter.

Each year most of us acquire a mountain of stuff. Without some regular purging, cabinets and drawers get jam-packed, and it becomes hard to find the things you use and enjoy the most.

This year, resolve to go room-by-room periodically clearing anything that you don’t use, wear, or love—and donate it to charity.

Consider instituting this post-holiday rule: for every new item (bathrobe, earrings, slippers) that arrives, three things have to say adios.

Stash useful (but not beautiful) items such as DVDs, remotes, and those kicked-off shoes. If woven baskets fit with your style these make great storage solutions, remember that tucking away items in a console or jelly cabinet also achieves the clutter free look and keeps those needed items at hand but out of sight.

Make It Safe and Sound

There are a few things that every homeowner should do to ensure that they’re not living with a potential health hazard or fire risk.

First, check your house for radon. This colorless, odorless gas causes lung cancer from the radioactive particles it traps in your lungs as you breathe. With test kits costing as little as $20, there’s no reason not to get right on that.

Secondly, make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector on every bedroom floor in addition to fire detectors. If a chimney flue or furnace vent gets blocked or leaks, carbon monoxide could back up in your house and kill you. Like a radon test, this is a small investment—about $40.


Watch out for dryer lint. Sure, you clean the little trap inside the door, but most people neglect to clean the vents and ducts behind the dryer. Lint may seem innocent, but it’s highly combustible, accounting for more than 15,000 building fires a year.

Shrink You Bills—and Your Carbon Footprint

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When people think of going green, they often think it takes solar panels or a hybrid car to make a different—not so.

The best place to start is by cutting off your energy usage in your home.

-Remember you mom’s advice and switch off the lights when you leave a room.
-Turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house and dial your heater down to 55 degrees at night.
-Install compact fluorescent bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
-Try drying some of your clothes on the line and wait for the dishwasher or washing machine to be full before you run them.
-Turn off your power strips and/or set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use.
-Water your yard less. Put in drought-tolerant landscaping if necessary.
-Give composting a try. Your garden will thank you.

Keep Up to Date on Addresses, Papers, and Photos


This is an easy win: You just received a batch of holiday cards with everyone’s updated information on them. Take a few minutes to update these addresses in your records.

Warranties & Important Papers:

Take a week to locate all important papers such as warranties, birth certificates, passports, medical records, pet records, etc. Scan those that are able to, and file the originals in a safe, well documented location. This is one of the easiest ways to get (and feel) organized.

Less Mess & Stress: Getting You Paperwork & Files Organized


You know what happens in digital age—we post so many images on line to various social media sites that actual photos never see the light of day. Precious scatted images all over your computer makes it very difficult to pull u the exact one you are looking for. Taking the time at the beginning of the year to organize these will pay off in spades later on—it will also help you put together that yearly photo calendar that the grandparents love to get a Christmas time.

How to Organize Digital Photos

Purge Garage Gluttony

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The garage is often delegated as a dumping ground for misplaced objects and miscellaneous tools. But it is also one of the easiest places to see a big difference fast. Start by reclaiming your parking space. The trick—utilize the walls by using a securely mounted pegboard system to store yard and garden equipment off the floor and out of the way, plus you’ll always be able to see what you have. After this initial step, consider shelving and overhead storage. Your car will thank you.



With a bit of forethought and planning, you too can start the new year off organized and ready to take on new challenges. Remember even small changes can make a big difference.