As the holidays wind down and the company dwindles, the new year is a great time to hit refresh and create goals for the new year. Many of my goals were made alongside my roommate, Meg, to help organize the living spaces we share in our apartment. Since moving in together, we struggled to find a balance in keeping our items organized in a way where we could both enjoy our living areas. What better time to finally find this balance than the new year?

The following are resolutions Meg and I made for our home as we head into the new year. While our resolutions focused on our shared space, we hope that our goals for organization inspire you to adopt some into your New Year’s organizational plans!

1.  Always be prepared to entertain.

When Meg and I first moved in together, we had all of our wine and liquor piled precariously on top of our fridge. All of our bottles would rattle every time we opened the refrigerator door, and we had to break out the stool to reach the top whenever we needed to mix some drinks for our guests. We would often joke about our bar arrangement, and for the new year, we made a vow to find an adequate cabinet that would make entertaining easier.

For the new year, we thrifted this Ethan Allan cabinet, cleaned it with an oil-and-vinegar mixture, and set up a sophisticated bar section in our apartment. We added a fun sign and a glass container to fill with old wine corks. We even draped the beads from the Fall 2021 box into our display. Inside, we have our wine and liquor clearly organized, ready to impress our guests for the new year!

To organize your bar cabinet, I suggest placing wine bottles on one side and liquor/mixers on the other. You could even incorporate a wine bottle holder if needed. Keep shakers, mixers, shot glasses, and other loose items together in a basket for easy storage and retrieval. 

2. Curate a library.

After grad school, Meg and I brought TONS of books with us when we moved in. We had boxes filled with textbooks, chapter books, and cookbooks we could not stand to part with. Instead of keeping them boxed away in our rooms, we created a library display in our living room. There are a lot of fun features in our library, including pictures, knick-knacks, and even a home for The Child inside the woven basket from the Summer 2021 box. Meg loves The Mandalorian, and we thought it would be fun to put him up on display. I mean, look how snug he looks inside his basket!

Though bookshelves are a great way to fill space in your home, they also offer an opportunity to personalize and decorate! To create a bookshelf worthy of display, be sure to incorporate artwork, photographs, trinkets, and signs along with books. This will help fill shelf space creatively while also adding a personal touch that both you and your guests will enjoy. 

3. Take photos and display more household memories. 

An easy way to turn a house into a home is to capture moments and decorate with them. Both Meg and I live far from home (she is from Chicago, and I am from New York City), so it was important to showcase our new memories away from our families. One of our New Year’s goals is to capture more of the memories we are making in our new home and put them on display! We took a thrifted window frame and made this DIY display with snapshots from our time in and out of grad school. We even thought to hang inspirational cards and messages-- we kept the art print from the Summer 2021 box up because we love it so much!

Love this DIY display? Guide Patterns gives 19 ideas on how to transform a window into a picture frame. Try your hand at a project just in time to display all your holiday memories!

4. Keep the shared space organized.

Last but definitely not least is the golden rule for sharing an apartment: keep the shared space organized! While Meg and I have our own rooms, sometimes the chaos of our day-to-day lives overflows out into the living space. We both agreed that our #1 resolution for the new year was to keep the living room, dining room, and kitchen organized. This way, we can both respect and enjoy our shared spaces.

If you’re looking to organize your shared space, be sure you agree on designated places for storage and maximize usability. For example, Meg and I keep our extra blankets inside this thrifted trunk that doubles as our coffee table. In the kitchen, we use baskets to store kitchen towels and rags, and glass containers to store our respected coffee and sugar.  Looking for more ideas? Homes and Gardens has some helpful tips for living room organization, and HGTV put together a list of 25 organization tips that will help conquer any messy kitchen!  

We hope these resolutions inspire you to organize your living spaces this new year!

About the Author

Danielle Pierce is a first-grade teacher, adjunct writing professor, and copywriter. She began as an intern for Decocrated during summer 2021. Danielle is an avid equestrian, and when she is not prepping for her classes or writing blogs for Decocrated, you can probably find her at the barn.