Author: Deirdre Dolan Nesline

January 12, 2021 by Emily Huddleston

In 2020, many of us used our homes like we never had before. We converted them into home offices, schools for our children, gyms, and much more. Unfortunately, with all these activities going on inside one space, keeping our homes tidy may have become quite the challenge. 

So while we continue to spend much of our time inside until things get back to normal, it’s important we declutter our homes and start the new year fresh. 

To help you get started tidying up, we reached out to organizing experts across the country – from Dallas, TX to Boston, MA. They shared their favorite home decluttering projects for the new year, along with a few quick tips to help you purge, create more space, and set yourself and your home up for a clean start in 2021.

colorful tidy living room

Decluttering Projects for a Tidy Home

These home organizing projects are guaranteed to help freshen up your home and create more space. Give one or all of them a try! 

The neglected basement

My favorite home organizing project for the new year will definitely be our basement. Our storage room is so disorganized, I’m intimidated to even start, but I know how rewarding it will be to see everything categorized in labeled bins. It’s going to be worth the time and energy. – Oh So Lovely

The grimy garage

If your car is not in the garage, you really should start here. Do you really want your expensive vehicle outside, exposed to the elements, while unneeded belongings enjoy the prime square footage of your garage? Besides, a garage organizing project is encouraging and satisfying as most of the items are large and progress is swift. – Ideal Organizing + Design

tidy home kitchen

The unkempt kitchen 

My favorite home organizing project of the year is always the kitchen and pantry. After the beating it takes during the holidays, my kitchen and pantry are one of the first things I reset in the New Year. Step 1: Take everything out, sort, purge, and clean the entire space. Step 2: Donate what wasn’t used in the past year. Step 3: Add bins and drawer organizers and only put back what you absolutely use and love. A fresh start for the heart of the home. – Neat Freak McKinney

2020 was tough, so this year especially my favorite project for the New Year would be getting your kitchen and pantry in check! No doubt the MOST used space for most families in general, but last year was on another level. Don’t let the clutter of last year stop you from making a fresh start in 2021. – Project Neat

Countertops.  To achieve a more clutter-free and open feeling in your kitchen, consider “batching” your counters or kitchen surfaces. Designate half of the counters in your kitchen as “clutter-free zones” where you cannot keep clutter, and consolidate the appliances you use regularly and wish to keep out on the other half. – Abundantly Minimal

Appliances. If you have a gadget or small kitchen appliance that you have NOT used during the pandemic it is time to set it free! Do not clog up your kitchen real estate with the nonsense that you never use. You do not have to feel guilty about it either. Great Aunt Joan gave you that bread maker for your wedding gift ten years ago so you feel tied to it for life? No thank you. Donate it and feel satisfaction in knowing that the new owner will be so happy making bread. – The Home Sanctuary

kitchen appliances

Dry goods and spices. Alphabetize and check the expiration date of your spices as you take them out of their home base so you can easily see what can be consolidated, thrown away, or needs to be purchased.  Return the spices in alphabetical order so you can quickly grab them while cooking. Check dry goods for expiration and intruders then consolidate, throw away or purchase replacements. – DeClutter By Deirdre

Want to keep your pantry dry goods fresher longer? Transfer opened boxes/packages to clear plastic or glass airtight containers. Not only does it save you money in the long run, but it also looks very nice and uniform. – Neatly Nic

Fridge. Decanting my condiments into squeeze bottles has created more space in my fridge and the bottles can even be refilled from bulk/zero waste stores or you can make your own condiments. Don’t forget to write expiry dates on a piece of masking tape with a sharpie and stick it on the bottom of the bottle. – Tiny and Tidy Co

Let your fridge get really empty every two or three months. This makes it easier to take everything out and clean the inside. Get rid of anything expired or unidentifiable. – The Betty Brigade

bright home office

The overrun home office

Personally, the first thing I tackle every New Year is my desk and/or home office and all things in it. I don’t just mean cleaning out the drawers. I’m talking about prepping the first few months in my planner (yes, I even bought one for 2021) and re-evaluating our budget to make sure we are on track with where we want to be by the end of the year. – The Fun Sized Life

Disorganized photos

Still finding boxes of photos you don’t know what to do with? I am taking the remaining physical photos I have and scanning and editing them to preserve and share with my family and friends. I am also soliciting family members for older photos to scan and post in a shared family album. – Sayess Photo Organizers

Digital frames let you declutter by organizing and displaying many treasured photos at once in a single slideshow. You won’t need to disassemble multiple frames to change your images. Visit Picture This Organized for recommended frames, how to set them up, and update photos with family members using a Cloud application. – Picture This Organized

Print photos should never be stored in a basement, attic, or garage – the extreme temperature fluctuations and dampness in each area can permanently damage photos. Loose prints can be stored in acid-free, archival, photo-safe boxes and kept in closets or other cool, dry places out of direct sunlight. Consider scanning the vintage contents of old photo albums to add to your digital family archive (and old albums can be stored in the aforementioned photo-safe boxes as well). – Past Present Pix

tidy home closet

The crowded closet

Let’s all concentrate on making 2021 a healthier year than 2020. A good closet design can not only make it easier to keep things organized, but it can also go a long way towards making our homes healthier by getting rid of the germs and dust bunnies that lurk in the corners of our closets. Use tight-fitting cabinet doors to cover hanging and shelving sections inside your walk-in closet when possible to keep out the dust — and maximize closet corner storage with a good rotating shelving system. –

Organizing Tips to keep in mind for a Tidy Home

These quick decluttering tips can go a long way while you’re clearing the chaos in your home. Keep them top of mind and you’ll be well on your way to a more organized and peaceful home in 2021. 

Before you start organizing, set your intention 

What do you want to accomplish? What’s your vision? How will it make you feel? Where will you store the overflow? Who can you donate it to?  – Savvy Zen Organizer

Try a ‘regret reflection’ exercise

Get a piece of paper and walk around your house, listing anything you want to declutter but you’re scared you’ll regret. Then, be brave and declutter something you’re scared to regret throwing away. Our brains make us hold onto the strangest stuff because it’s trying to protect us. Is there something like a skirt you haven’t worn in years or a box that could be useful? Be bold and declutter one thing you are worried you’ll regret. In a month’s time when you’ve realized that nothing bad happened – you’ll be amazed by how free you feel. – Suzy Kell

clean entryway

Create a drop off station

Everyone needs a drop-off station in their home – preferably near the front door. This is where your cell, keys, mask, and purse/wallet will stay until you’re ready to grab them again on your way out. Having this space and creating the habit of using it for its purposes allows for stress-free exits. – Organize With Lia

Organize with a three-tier cart

Carts are popular and for good reason: they can tuck into small spaces, they’re mobile, and they make smart use of vertical space. Use a cart in a kitchen to add storage, in kids’ rooms to corral books or craft supplies, or even in the bathroom for towels and toiletries. – That’s Neat! Organizing

Create negative space

The new year brings so many opportunities to start fresh. As a Professional Organizer, creating negative space for my clients is my top priority.  Decluttering your home and introducing negative space will not only give your eyes a place to rest, but it will immediately bring your stress level down. Give it a try! – Home Method Co@homemethodco

Get rid of gifts you are only keeping out of guilt

They don’t reflect your personal taste, style, values. Your only obligation to the giver is a sincerely expressed “thank you”. –  Anne Lyons, Step1Organizing.comShare on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on pinterest


Emily Huddleston

Emily is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about real estate trends and home improvement. Her dream home would be a charming Tudor-style house with large windows to let in lots of natural light. Email Emily

“Don’t talk me out of my feelings”~Ethel Anne Roome-Certified Grief Recovery Specialist

Dealing with the loss of a loved one during COVID19

Consider Creating A Second-Best Funeral

Condolences and how to comfort others

Lack of traditional support

Ways to create the 2nd best way to comfort yourself AND honor your loved one

Virtual support or support by mail

How can we lean on others, so many are afraid of grief

Condolences Focusing on positivity- Ethel Anne’s take on this

Do hobbies help and how do we determine what benefits us

Favorite ice cream: vanilla with caramel sauce

Song that reminds Ethel-Anne of her youth and why: The Stroll, American Bandstand with her dad

Leisure time: Flower Arranging

Book mentioned: Feelings Buried Alive Never Die, by Karol Kuhn Truman

Ethel-Anne Roome
Certified Grief Recovery® Specialist

Phone: 203-262-8326

Go to the Grief Recovery Institute website for more information on funerals and other grief topics.

DeClutter By Deirdre

To get in touch with me write to

Thank you for listening, I appreciate YOU!!

My guest today is Stephanie Dalfonzo who has spent more than 20 years researching holistic, natural, and scientifically proven ways to more than just manage stress and anxiety but build emotional resilience and truly break free from its vice-like grip. Stephanie is the author of  Goodbye Anxiety, Hello Freedom: How to Build Resilience and Overcome Anxiety I thought it was important to speak with her now that stress and anxiety have a tight grip on a lot of us. 

“When listening to someone, ask what’s going right, right now?” ~Author Stephanie Dalfonzo

Stephanie Dalfonzo- Holistic, Natural Assistance for Anxiety Tips from today:

  • Statistic- Prescriptions for anti-anxiety have increased by 34.1 percent in February 2020
  • One size anxiety relief does not fit all
  • Simple works
  • It’s a practice; never too late to start reducing anxiety
  • Know that you can get past this- it’s a rough spot
  • When listening to someone, ask what’s going right, right now?
  • Don’t create your own PTSD
  • High power, two-minute pose- body language impact
  • Smiling creates happy hormones
  • Rest, digest and relax

Favorite ice cream: mint chocolate chip and butter brickle

Song that reminds you of your youth and why: Got to be Real

Her book is Goodbye Anxiety, Hello Freedom: How to Build Resilience and Overcome Anxiety found on

To contact Stephanie Dalfonzo:

To get in touch with Deirdre at DeClutter By Deirdre, you can email me at

Thank you for listening, I appreciate you!

My guest today is Cynthia Perthuis who leads and owns the Senior Care Authority offices in New York City and Southwest Florida. Cynthia has a passion for helping others and advocating for those that do not have the ability to speak for themselves. Her own personal experience with her parents and her entrepreneurial background has helped so many family members with the stress of helping and caring for aging loved ones. 

I thought today we could chat about “The Talk”.  The Talk is having a discussion with a loved one about being alone in their home is no longer an option, it isn’t safe.

Are you trying to help someone who needs more care to make the decision to move out of their home? 

Helping an older person choose to move from their home to assisted living is never easy. She answers:

         What are the steps to having The Talk

             What are the ways to have The Talk

             Who should have The Talk

             What are some things to watch out for

Cynthia is an advocate, providing guidance on elders staying at home, or seeking assisted living options, here are some of her suggestions:

  • The talk with a parent/parents may require more than one conversation
  • Baggage regarding the conversation- might be fear, other factors
  • Begin the talk with pen and paper; record what you’re thinking
  • Identify the players, before the talk- may include siblings, Attorney- they all need to be on the same page with the person impacted by the decision to move or stay in place
  • Identify any challenges- financial, misinformation
  • Teachable moments- 911 calls, for example
  • Selfless phrases- it is about the person and not whoever begins the discussions
  • Choose the correct time for the talk
  • In-person tours of locations/virtual tours, and stipulate what is offered- trips, activities, food on offer

Favorite ice cream:  Halo Top mint chocolate chip

The song that reminds you of your youth:  Boys of Summer

Leisure time activity:  Cynthia has recently discovered pickleball, yoga

Connect to Cynthia at

You can connect with me at  or listen to the Magnificent Aging Podcast.

Thank you for listening I appreciate you.

“When you open yourself up to the possibility of things that could be, and the moments that they appear, there’s great joy that comes from that.” ~Tim Bailey

Tim explains:

  • how empowered he felt doing relief work
  • what discoveries he learning from others 
  • the many facets to the term social work
  • the importance of focusing on community efforts in needed areas of the world
  • how to open yourself up to things that could be
  • appreciate how fate can provide you with opportunities

Understanding a deeper meaning of community, humanity and true connection with others.

Laughter is the universal language

The Power of the Unexpected

Take important risks, not poor ones.

The joy of being open to what could happen instead of sticking to a rigid plan

“The most amazing experiences come from taking a risk.”

I feel your experiences make you the perfect person to work with seniors, they too have had the most amazing experiences!!!

Favorite ice cream: pumpkin

Song that reminds you of your youth and why: anything 90’s, Counting Crows, Smashing Pumpkins

What do you do with your leisure time?  Gardening, being with the dogs, Anything on Candlewood Lake. Dream trip: Drive through Canada and down through Maine

Dream: To own The Dapper Dachshund Inn

To get in touch with Tim Bailey or to visit Church Hill Village:

Tim Bailey

Church Hill Village Premiere Newtown Senior Living

2 The Boulevard

Newtown, CT 06470

This episode is sponsored by DeClutter By Deirdre, A Senior Move Management and DeCluttering for Aging In Place Company. Helping You and Your Loved Ones DeClutter, Move & Live a Fuller Life. Look at my website and contact me to work together at 

**Download~Like~Positive Review Magnificent Aging**

Call Today: 203-733-1073

“It’s time to remodel and redesign your life the stylish, successful, and soul powered way.” Kelly Lynn Adams

Together, she helps you design your work, your play, your side projects, and your shoe collection the new haute couture way so you are runway ready without all the drama.

We discuss:

Mindset shifts and how to better manage stress

Tips to make money now

Pivoting your business

How can you serve?

Soul Powered Business: what are you being called to do?

Need vs Want

Rubber band mindset

Favorite ice cream:  Cookie Dough

Song that reminds you of your youth:  Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Leisure time activities?  Meditation, Podcasts and, this week, The Kardashians

If you’re a modern gal who feels:

Overstressed, overbooked, overworked, overwhelmed…you need Kelly Lynn Adams

How to get in touch with Kelly Lynn for Private Coaching or Speaking:  Kelly Lynn Adams

This episode is sponsored by DeClutter By Deirdre, A Senior Move Management and DeCluttering for Aging In Place Company. Helping You and Your Loved Ones DeClutter, Move & Live a Fuller Life. Look at my website and contact me to work together at 

**Download~Like~Positive Review Magnificent Aging**

Thank you for listening, I appreciate you!

“We have to watch the THOUGHT we have about the “things” as we DeClutter.” ~Christine Maziarz

3 Areas that people dread and do not know how to deal with:

  • Pictures and other memorabilia
  • Household Paperwork
  • Time Management

Your Empty Nest Coach, Christine Maziarz

Association of Personal Photo Organizers is now: The Photo Managers and can be reached at  

This episode is sponsored by DeClutter By Deirdre, A Senior Move Management and DeCluttering for Aging In Place Company. Helping You and Your Loved Ones DeClutter, Move & Live a Fuller Life. Look at my website and contact me to work together at 

**Download~Like~Positive Review Magnificent Aging**

Thank you for listening, I appreciate you!

Deirdre Speaks to Certified Elder Law Attorney Ann Fowler-Cruz about Wills and Trusts

“This is a gift to your loved ones…to do it the right way.”

“Inheritance is a gift, not a right.”  ~Ann Fowler-Cruz, Attorney

In this episode Deirdre and Attorney Ann Fowler-Cruz discuss:

How to find the courage to create a will

How Ann chose her Elder Law career

Certified Elder Law Attorney explained

Why people resist created a will

The reasons you need a will

Which age you should create a will?

Intestate explained

The importance of title on asset

Ways to inform beneficiaries who gets what

Who holds the will?

Legal requirements for a will

Can you appoint someone to be your executor without them knowing?

If you are the executor of a will is this written in stone?

Nomination vs appointment

The importance of a backup

Creditor period, what is it?

Do you need just a will or a will and a trust?

Living Will vs Healthcare Directive vs Power of Attorney vs Trusts explained

The important reason you need a will or a trust if you have children under the age of 18 years.

Check your state laws

Will contests explained

The reason you should engage a Certified Elder Law Attorney

What is probate? Delay and cost avoidance.

What is a creditor period?

Favorite ice cream: Maple Pecan

Leisure time activity: Any water activities, Kayaking

Song that reminds Ann of her youth and why:  Nothing But A House Party, J Geils

Contact Attorney Ann Fowler-Cruz 203-749-5570 or email

“Ann has been a staunch advocate for the elderly and the disabled for more than a decade.  She has the distinction of being a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation* and is accredited to practice before the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her extensive knowledge in the area of elder law enables her to assist the elderly and the disabled in realizing the very best quality of life.  Her elder law practice focuses on long-term care planning, asset preservation strategies, Medicaid applications, disability planning, utilizing conservatorships/guardianship and special needs trusts. Her estate planning practice includes the creation of wills, trusts, and advance directives. Ann also handles probate administration. ” Copied from

This episode is sponsored by DeClutter By Deirdre, A Senior Move Management and DeCluttering for Aging In Place Company. Helping You and Your Loved Ones DeClutter, Move & Live a Fuller Life. Look at my website and contact me to work together at 

**Download~Like~Positive Review Magnificent Aging**

Thank you for listening, I appreciate you!

Deirdre Speaks to Author/Speaker C J Golden About Caregiving

“Our resolutions are only as powerful as the ways in which we tackle them.  Sitting back and wishing things were different/better/happier/more peaceful doesn’t cut it.  Digging in and being active participants in creating the changes we aspire to in our lives and our world is the way to make our declarations move from vision to reality.”   C J Golden, One Pedal at a Time

“No one tells you to care for yourself.” C J Golden

“You get bitter or you get better:

It’s that simple. Take what has been dealt

 to you and allow it to make you a stronger

person, or allow it to tear you down.

The choice is yours. Choose wisely.”

~Rehabilitation Gym at Spaulding Hospital

C J Golden relied on her husband Joe to be her caregiver after back pain caused her to be immobile, then the tables were turned.  Deirdre talks to author/speaker C J Golden about:

  • The balance of caregiving before Joe got ill
  • The progression of illness
  • Magical Thinking explained
  • How a strong person learns to be vulnerable
  • Joe and George Clooney
  • How CJ handled caregivers stress
  • The Cracks
  • The importance of asking for help
  • The importance of accepting help
  • Gratitude & attitude & acceptance
  • Anger that tears us down the most
  • The large and small ways C J took care of herself
  • Do for yourself
  • When forgiveness steps in
  • Our choice to be a caregiver
  • Ways to help the caregiver in your life
  • The difference between doing what you want and what the caregiver wants
  • The importance of asking for the type of help you need.

C J’s Favorite ice cream: Ferris Acres Creamery Pumpkin

Favorite Song: anything by Bobby Darin

Leisure Time: Cabin in the woods, hiking, guitar playing, exercise

“As the author of Tao of the Defiant Woman: Five Brazen Ways to Accept What You Must and Rebel Against the Rest,  and its subsequent book for teen and pre-teen girls, Tao-Girls Rule: Finding Balance, Staying Strong, Being Bold in a World of Challenges, Golden has been writing, blogging, speaking and facilitating workshops for national and local women’s and girls’ organizations.  She continues to help women and teens find joy along their life paths despite the struggles they may encounter

Golden’s latest writing remains focused on her new life as a caregiver to her husband, Joe. Paramount are the lessons she has learned, the emotional and physical strain upon her heavily-burdened shoulders, and the realization that, while their roles as husband and wife have been altered, their connection and love have grown stronger.”

C J Golden books available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble

How to get in touch with CJ Golden, to learn more 

This episode is sponsored by DeClutter By Deirdre, A Senior Move Management and DeCluttering for Aging In Place Company. Helping You and Your Loved Ones DeClutter, Move & Live a Fuller Life. Look at my website and contact me to work together at 

**Download~Like~Positive Review Magnificent Aging**

Thank you for listening, I appreciate you!

Deirdre Gives 5 Tips to Help You Prepare For a Move

Listen in for an explanation of each tip.

Here are your 5 tips to prepare for a move:

  1. Assess your abilities
  2. Invite a trusted friend or professional to help you
  3. Be honest with yourself regarding how much you can handle
  4. Start with one very small area of your home, especially if you are decluttering on your own
  5. Give yourself double to triple the amount of time you think it will take you

Good luck, contact me if you to want to engage a professional, it will just take a minute to get you set up and on your way to an easy move.

This episode is sponsored by DeClutter By Deirdre, A Senior Move Management and DeCluttering for Aging In Place Company. Helping You and Your Loved Ones DeClutter, Move & Live a Fuller Life. Look at my website and contact me to work together at 

**Download~Like~Positive Review Magnificent Aging**

Thank you for listening, I appreciate you!

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