Did you wage a wrestling match to wrangle those new holiday toys into the kids' already glutted toy closet?
Are your kitchen cupboards so disorganized you can't find soup or nuts, or anything in between? Is that desk trembling under the Mount Everest of papers piling up on top of it?
Nothing like a fresh new year to tackle the age-old problem of household clutter.
Quicker than you can say "Where are the scissors?," we rustled up eight organizational experts and asked them to share their best tips for cutting clutter in 2011. From overstuffed garages to messy junk drawers, they've seen it all.
Take away five
Choose any room in your house, look it over and pick out five items of clutter to remove. These might be things that never get used or that simply don't belong in this room, says Marilyn Bohn, owner of Get it Together Organizing in Bountiful.
Or they may be items that don't "light you up," she says: "Everything in your home should light you up, make you feel good, have a purpose."
Phone a friend
We only wear 20 percent of what we have in our closets, says Vickie Hansen, yet it can be difficult to get rid of the remaining 80 percent.
So get a brutally honest friend to help you with the task, recommends the owner of North Ogden's My Organized Life. Try everything on and let your friend help you decide what stays and what has to go.
Try small bites
Tackling a large project like cleaning out the garage can be overwhelming, says organizer Kelly Rhea of Providence, so try decluttering just one drawer or shelf at a time.
"You use the same process with a junk drawer as you would a whole house," says Rhea, first, by sorting the contents into piles of like items and then going through each pile and cutting it down by at least 25 percent.
Follow the rule of one in, two out
Clutter creeps into our lives as new things enter a household, but no old things ever leave.
That's why Linda Isom abides by the one-in, two-out rule: "I buy one thing and get rid of two things," says the owner of Clearing Space By Design in Layton.
If she gets a new sweater, for example, she'll toss two other pieces of clothing she no longer likes or feels good wearing. Or if the kids get a new toy, it's time to donate others or pass them down to other children in the family.
Make a regular mail call
Tackle the influx of mail, newspapers and magazines daily, suggests Ann Henderson of Brigham City.
"I try to open them, recycle them and pay them so I deal with it immediately instead of piling it," says the family consumer science agent for the Utah State University Extension Service in Box Elder County.
Henderson keeps a recycling sack handy for junk mail and catalogs. Incoming bills are scheduled for payment online right away, the specifics of the bill are recorded in her computer, and the bill itself is shredded.
The routine is helpful, she says: "The piles are getting a little lower and they're not growing."
Incorporate the daily 15
Work on decluttering for 15 minutes a day, on any place you choose. Pick a messy area that's bugging you, says Becky Edwards, or move systematically through, say, the living room, tidying the lamp table one day, then the area next to the chair, then the bookcase.
"Fifteen minutes a day doesn't sound like a lot to give up, but you make a lot of progress when you focus for 15 minutes," says Edwards, who runs a part-time organizational business in Syracuse.
Sort, then store
Storage containers are on sale this time of year, but don't go crazy buying all kinds of boxes before you start decluttering, says Tiana Yonan of South Ogden's Operation Organization.
The boxes will just add to the clutter, especially if you don't even know what you are using them for, she says. Sort first, she says, then: "See what you have left and then buy boxes for what you have left."
Don't buy impulsively
Organizer Cheryl Chandler says she sees plenty of homes packed with items folks can't resist because they were on sale, on clearance or offered to them for free.
Clothing, bedding, office supplies, holiday items -- just because it's a bargain "doesn't mean you should have it," says Chandler, a Salt Lake City organizer who works in the Top of Utah.
"Only buy what you need and you're actually going to use," says the owner of Tao Organizing.
INSIDE THE BOX
For a clutter-free life, think inside the box. Our experts share their ideas for using boxes to get organized.
* Keep a "goodwill box" in your car and also one in the house, says Kelly Rhea, a Providence organizer. Toss clothing that doesn't fit or other items to give away in the house box; when it gets full, take the items to the car box and drive it through the thrift store drop-off.
* A "withdrawal box" can hold items that are difficult to part with, suggests Becky Edwards, a part-time Syracuse organizer. Once the box is full, tape it shut, write a date on it -- say, six months away -- and store it. If you miss something during that time, you can take it out of the box, Edwards says. "Most likely you'll forget what's in it ... and you would give it sealed to the secondhand store."
* Boxes, baskets and other containers by nature contain clutter, says Marilyn Bohn of Bountiful. Since a container will only hold so much, Bohn says, you are in effect deciding "this is the amount I'm going to keep in here."
* A "return box" in the car is a good idea for collecting borrowed books, the neighbor's casserole dish or store-bought items that need exchanging, Edwards says. Next time you're out running errands, you are all set to handle the returns.
* Use Bankers Boxes (or other sturdy cardboard boxes with lids) and sticky notes while sorting clutter, Rhea recommends. You can work on an area a little at a time, then easily stack the boxes, with their contents labeled, until next time. "You can stop and start easily," says Rhea, without leaving a mess.