Every year around this time, I reflect on the year that just passed. This one has gone by much too quickly. Some of my most memorable moments include being chosen as the godmother to my nephew, celebrating my first wedding anniversary, hiking all over Kauai and traveling to Japan.

To say 2015 was a great year would be an understatement. Not only did I enjoy wonderful experiences, but also I learned plenty of new things along the way. When it comes to the home, I picked up some quick tips that I already have put into use:

• Guard your fabric. For protecting furniture, rugs and other upholstered items, my mother-in-law suggests using Scotchgard. After following her advice for our area rugs and couch, I can back up her suggestion. The fabric protector comes in a can, which you spray on clean surfaces the way you would spray protectant on your shoes. The protectant is clear, and repels dirt and liquid without changing the look or feel of your fabric.

• Pick up before vacuuming. Tiny pieces of debris — from glitter, garland or other materials — are not always easy to vacuum. Sometimes, the vacuum can push the debris around rather than pick it up. Instead, use a lint brush and roll right on the surface before vacuuming.

• Rethink reorganizing. I read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The book is filled with innumerable tips for tidying your home, but for me, the biggest game-changer was this: Organize by category, not by location. For instance, when tidying your clothes, instead of starting with your closet, then moving to the closet in the spare room and so on, start by gathering all of your clothes, from all over the house, and placing them in one spot. This will allow you to see everything you have all at once and make it easier to pare down.

• Swap out photos. Store extra photos of the same size in picture frames behind the ones on display. This will allow you to switch up the photos on display much easier, and also will help to alleviate any guilt you might feel taking down a picture of a relative.

• Clean in a pinch. If you find yourself with a large stain on carpet and no carpet cleaner, make one yourself. Mix baking soda, vinegar and water. Pour the mixture on the stain and blot (do not wipe) with paper towels. Repeat until the stain is lifted.

Have a question or comment for Joanne? Email her at thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.