At the beginning of every New Year, the idea of purging the old and starting anew is on everyone’s mind. Organization comes right behind purging and it allows you to start your year off with a clean slate for your home and your mind. In 2011 let’s try and use organization as a tool to make our lives more productive, and easier to get around our homes. If you organize only for it to look pretty, or because it’s what everyone else is doing, you will not keep it throughout the year. Here are 10 organization projects to get the year started off right.

1.) Home office will clear the mind: With more work at home professionals, and home owners using computers for everything, the home office has become a room that is used just as, if not more than the kitchen. Make a plan for organizing last years, bills, papers, and purge what is not needed. Clear off your desk, and keep only necessities. Make your drawers and closets useful places for storage.

2.) Tackle the garage: The one room of the house that is meant for storage often gets overlooked and forgotten. Make an assessment of what can go, and what needs to stay. Consider having vertical shelving or ceiling mounted shelving installed to take advantage of hidden storage areas. Use clear bins to label contents, and bring excess storage from inside the house into the garage. If you can’t park even one car in your garage, it is time to purge, sell, or donate.

3.) Organize your point of entry into the house: Depending on how your home is set up, you may come in the front door, a side door, or even the garage to enter your home on a regular basis. This area is the point of entry and it gets most of the kid’s shoes, backpacks, and the adults work bags and gym bags. Use cubbies, seating, baskets, hooks and shelving to organize. If you have the space, consider a mudroom area that can store boots, coats, and allow for seating and space to unload.

4.) Laundry room efficiency: Whether you enjoy doing laundry or not, a large percentage of your decision is probably based on how organized the space is. For larger laundry rooms consider open shelving adjacent to the washer and dryer or cabinets. Smaller laundry rooms should utilize vertical storage with organizers on wheels that fir beside the washer and dryer and/or baskets for shelves. Keep cleaners and detergents up high, and keep varying sized containers for small items.

5.) Closets, closets, closets: Why is it that closets are THE hardest place to keep organized? Most people close the door and forget about the contents. Assess what is not working, and then make a new plan. Visit an organization store to get ideas or get inspiration online. There are hundreds of ideas for hanging clothes, organizing shoes, and stacking boxes.

6.) Kitchen organization will save you time: How long does it take you to prepare a meal? If the answer is a long time, and it’s not because you love to cook, look at your organization. Drawers with utensils and gadgets should be purged, and use drawer organizers to separate large and small items. Give your pantry an overhaul and throw out old food and space clutterers. Clean out the refrigerator/freezer and clear the majority of small appliances off your counters.

7.) Organize the entertaining spaces: After the holidays, the family, living, and multipurpose areas of your home have been party central. In this new year take the time and clean out old magazines, organize bookshelves, and tidy up entertainment centers with baskets, bins or drawers. Consider using less furniture, to allow for more space to move around. You’d be surprised how much more room you have when you remove big and bulky furniture.

8.) Bathrooms can be an oasis: If your bathroom is only a place to brush your teeth and run a comb through your hair, consider organizing it differently. Make your bathrooms an enjoyable space by adding usable storage around your sink and counter areas. Opt for vanities that have integral storage and shelving below. Around shower and tub areas, use creative baskets and urns to hold towels and toiletries.

9.) Help your kids get organized: Similarly to the other rooms of your home, assess what they have grown out of, what toys can be donated or thrown away. Most kids will not realize many of their items are missing that are under the bed, or lost way back in a closet. Use bookshelves, under bed storage bins, closet organizers and clear bins or open baskets for little hands to put away items easily.

10.) Hobby and recreation areas: Depending on your home, recreation rooms that house a ping pong table or pool table may be in need of organization. Choose furniture pieces, or have millwork built to house supplies, and recreation equipment. For hobby and craft rooms, use drawer storage with rolling casters, and utilize wall space for display. The more creativity you have with your storage, the more enjoyable the space will be to use.

Organizing your home in 2011 can be simple with some advanced planning and time preparation. Remember, it didn’t take one week for your home to become cluttered; therefore one week may not be enough time to tackle the entire house. Make your home the best it can be this year. Organize your home, organize your life, and enjoy your home for what is was intended for… to enjoy life!

Freshome readers what are you doing this year to organize your home? We’d love to hear your ideas for your new organized home for 2011!