The beginning of a new year is the perfect time for a fresh start around the house. I like to look at it like it’s the first step to redecorating.

Step 1: Sort it out. Create 2 piles – the Keepers and the Donate pile. Those in the keep pile are either useful, beautiful, or both; those in the Toss pile are sent to the trash; and the interesting thing about the toss pile is that it doesn’t just refer to clothing. I have a laundry room full of items like- cookie and snack trays, dishes, vases and utensils that I have collected over the years and that I haven’t used in years. They’re very nice but they need to go to a good home! Those in the Donate pile are no longer useful to you, but could find new life with another family (think gently-used clothing, furniture, books, and housewares).

One thing I feel must go will be the standing floor-speakers for the stereo system.  I don’t listen to music like that anymore plus they take up so much space. I want background music so the flush mount ceiling speakers are the way to go. (Looks like I’m going to be my nephew’s favorite aunt.)

Step 2: Purge. This is where your garage comes into play. Take the Donate pile out of your home and out of sight immediately. Getting the weight of clutter off of your shoulders will feel fantastic! If you’re worried that you’ll need something in the future that you got rid of, don’t be. Most likely, you won’t ever need it again. I like to think about things like this: If I haven’t used the item in the last two years I remove it.

Step 3: Organize. Now that you’re left with just the essentials, you have a clearer picture of what the future room will look like. It’s time to start shopping for your new pieces to brighten up your home. Rugs, sofa tables and lamps are a great start. Round coffee tables and four new barrel chairs bring an intimate feel to a sitting area.

Display books and treasures on unique and versatile wall shelving. Buy home organizing accessories that function well and look beautiful in your home and you’ll be more likely to stay organized in 2016. I used to charge my phone, laptop and iPad in the kitchen. I now purchased a device charging system and moved that into the office and created a great spot for it. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that sooner.

Step 4: Decorate. You’ve put the effort in and figured out how to get organized — congratulations! Now reward yourself by creating a gorgeous, clutter-free space that reflects your style. This is the perfect time to update your décor and add a colorful accent rug; beautiful home accessories; or personalize your walls with custom wall art.

Need help? All you have to do is ask any Haven Interiors design specialists for decorating ideas and a plan.

And of course, don’t overlook the impact of great lighting for your home. Table lamps on dimmers help to create a warm ambiance, and wall lights or sconces can introduce light where tabletop space isn’t available.