Once the party is over, the wine has been drained and Santa's sleigh is hibernating in his North Pole garage, New Year's resolutions are on the minds of many. With the worries of putting away holiday decorations and finding that special place for accumulated items, rearranging or decluttering can be a possible resolution for 2012.
Faith Smith of Warren, owner of Decoration Installation Inc., a Christian-based home decorating company, said she helps clients organize their homes and find a personal style that suits their liking. Smith is a personal stylist who selects furniture and decor for clients.
"I do work for holidays or special occasions," Smith said. "I help people pick out a new look, whether it's home decor, furniture or even a personal wardrobe. For home interior designs, modern elegant styles are popular."
Smith said her mission is to give customers the creative guidance to balance neatness with style. One must learn to part with things that turn into clutter.
"Homeowners should have bins with labels for each household item and a space for each bin," Smith said.
"Clients can also put away Christmas tree parts and decorations in bins. If clients have several of the same items, I encourage them to give these items away to a community outreach shelter."
Ron Donofrio, owner of Organized Space in Youngstown, builds custom storage units and shelving. He installs drawers, pull-out trays, pull-out wire baskets, multiple levels of hanging, hook boards and shelving units.
"Neatness has to do with an individual's personality," Donofrio said. "People are hoarders and they buy and buy. The key to organizing anything is to separate items and consolidate everything."
Donofrio installs everything from melamine particle board products to wire shelving.
"People should make a place for everything," Donofrio said.
"When it comes to being organized, people have to think about how organized they really want to be.
''Homeowners should have a separate place for work clothes, casual clothes and dress clothes,'' he said. ''It's important to separate each group of clothing by style and color. There should also be a separate space for winter and summer clothes.
''Everyone has a different definition of what 'organized' means," Donofrio said.
Decluttering after the holidays can mean more than putting decorations away. Simple cleaning solutions can make homeowners' lives simpler, according to Melissa Driver, operations manager of The Maids Columbus in Columbus.
Driver believes that everyday household items such as paintbrushes or microfiber cloths can be ideal for cleaning an area.
"We clean areas with tiny crevices, such as computer keyboards and artificial plants, with paintbrushes. Feather dusters are so big they actually stir up dust,'' she said.
''With a paintbrush, homeowners have more control, since the bristles can get in between areas," Driver said.
Surface areas can also be cleaned safely with simple inexpensive items.
Trouble with streaks is a common problem when cleaning hard surfaces with cleansing agents. Driver said that drying a surface with microfiber cloths is ideal for preventing streaks.
"We use microfiber cloths after we clean a hardwood floor to wipe the streaks out. Homeowners can wipe streaks from surfaces such as mirrors, using a microfiber cloth. We also use microfiber cloths to clean fragile areas such as computer monitors and plasma LCD televisions," Driver said.
Amy Stoynov, merchandise manager of the Solutions Catalog operation in Hillsborough, Ore., said it's important for homeowners to clean a little bit each day.
"If homeowners packed away a little bit at a time with holiday decorations, it would help them carefully store decorations so they are safe for the coming year," Stoynov said.
Faith Smith stressed that homeowners can help themselves keep clutter to a minimum by simply going through their houses and asking themselves, "Do I really need this?"
"If homeowners have a lot of clothes or even knick-knacks, they should give these things away to an outreach shelter," Smith said. "If someone had five sweaters that are the same, why shouldn't they give two or three of those sweaters to someone who is in need? My parents always taught me to give to others."
Whether people are getting rid of the old or bringing in new materials for organization, having a decluttered 2012 is all about discipline, inspiration and drive, the decluttering experts said.