As we embark on a new year, it’s time to set goals and resolutions for ourselves. Have you ever thought about making a resolution to simplify your home? As time goes on, our homes tend to accumulate too much clutter. A simple home doesn’t mean it is cold and sterile though. Your home should bring you gratitude, ease your mind, create balance and lastly inspire you. If your home doesn’t do all of those things, then there is no better time than the present to get started.

The first plan of attack is to purge. Even if you are a consistent purger, drawers and cabinets always fill up with unnecessary items. You most likely have a small kitchen appliance that you have never used that could be donated, or one that is broken and needs to be tossed. Make room in your kitchen cabinets by clearing out the junk. Clear your counters and tuck away those items you don’t use on a daily basis, but still need. A clean counter makes every kitchen look organized and up-to-date. Your pantry, laundry room cabinets and bathroom cabinets also should not be overlooked. Simplifying these areas will likely improve daily tasks, and honestly, just make you feel better.

Now, take a look around at your living areas. Maybe you have stacks of magazines or books that you don’t want to recycle? That’s OK. Purchase baskets or trays to store these items, so they look neat and tidy on your bookshelf and are easily accessible. Look around at your lighting. Do all of your lightbulbs match? Switching out bulbs to all the same color is very important. You may even need to purge that lamp that doesn’t turn on anymore, or simply update the lampshade to a new crisp, white linen one. Simple changes, yet so effective!

After you have purged and cleaned, take note of your actual furniture pieces and accessories. Do you have a drop spot in your entry that becomes cluttered week after week? Try adding a change bowl or a hook for keys. Maybe a basket to stack your mail that you will eventually go through over the weekend. Being intentional with storage is a simple solution to tidying up the clutter. Designer tip: If you are in the process of a remodel or renovation, make sure you install a docking drawer to keep those electronics out of sight while charging. This also frees up counter space.

Good luck in the New Year, and make 2019 the year of simplifying!

As an Interior Designer and Owner of j. gray design & interiors, Inc., Tracy Harkness creates spaces that are chic, timeless, and comfortable. Every space should be functional and livable with attention to detail. Connect with her at

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