It’s that time of year again, you know the one where we never know what day of the week it is, we are still eating Christmas leftovers and we can’t remember what the living room floor looks like. It is also the time when most of us begin to think about reorganising our homes, having a good clear out and regaining a bit of normality before the New Year arrives. This can often feel daunting, overwhelming and may bring on a little anxiety but with my top tips, you will be well on your way to having a productive and positive New Year declutter which will feel liberating rather than stressful.
Before you start:
- Set aside the appropriate time for this
- Get childcare help if the job is really big
- Don’t try and tackle everything in one day
- Make lists and tick them off as you go
- Tackle one room/area at a time and only move onto the next task once this is finished
- Always accept help
Clear Away Christmas Decorations
Let’s start with the obvious and the one job that can sometimes end up lingering on well into January. I am all for clearing the decorations away quite quickly after Christmas because they begin to feel messy, they can start to look messy after the big day and I like to have a clear area for my declutter and clean up. Take this time to carefully tidy your decorations away safely so they are ready to use the following year. Check them for damage and repair if you can, wrap up the delicate ones, organise your lights, box them all up nicely and you will be grateful to past you come next Christmas.
Right now your biggest problem is probably the gifts you and your family have received. Your house has more stuff laying around, the bins are overflowing, the cupboards are fit to burst and that stress can really get to some. Begin by sorting each person’s gifts into piles and using a large clear flooring area to see what you have. Clothing can easily be put straight away as can books and toiletries but what about all those other bits? I’m sure there will be gifts that are unwanted and that is ok, I have a whole blog post on what to do with those here. Once you work out which are keepers, which aren’t and what you can do with them, you will start to see the fog lifting.
Now that you have new items, you will probably want to take this time to decide what items could be sold or donated in order to make some more space. The key thing to keep in mind here is does it get used? Take each item and really consider if it is of any use to you now. When was the last time it was used or worn? Will it be used in the future? Would it be missed? If you can say that it wouldn’t ever be missed, add it to the sell/donate pile. If it is handy and gets used or could be used in the future, don’t be brutal, keep hold of it. If your item may well be handy much further down the line, box it up and store it in the attic or garage instead of allowing it to take up valuable cupboard/wardrobe space.
Bin It? Keep It?
Next, let’s tackle that huge pile of boxes, wrapping paper, tags, tissue paper and whatever else you’ve thrown to one side. Get yourself back into that mindset of organising into piles. You will want a pile that you can keep for future gift wrapping, a pile for future arts and crafts use, a pile for recycling and a final pile for the bin. By working through your items this way you will be preventing needless waste going to landfill or incineration, you will be preparing for the future and helping your wallet too! However, if you find that you do need a lot moving out of your home you should hire a reputable man with a van who will be able to take your “rubbish” away and find it new homes.
As long as your cards don’t have glitter on them, they can be recycled. However, if you have other ideas for them, such as crafting, then why not tie them up with ribbon or string and store them away? Oh, and don’t forget to put those special ones away into your memory box.
The amount of food we purchase, are given, cook and allow to go to waste each Christmas is honestly insane but we don’t have to let it be like this. I know the day is over but what do you have leftover? What can be used up all week in different meals? What can be donated to a food bank? What can go into a compost bin rather than a normal bin? And what can be frozen and used at a later date? Once the food has been tackled, take this opportunity to wash your fridge out with warm soapy water… And don’t forget those mucky finger marks on the doors!
Ok, now we should have some very clear surfaces to work with which means we can finally get cleaning! Take a reusable cloth and either some warm soapy water or you could try my natural surface cleaner recipe and get a good deep clean started.
Create A New Look
What I love about this period is that it all feels like a new start and what better way to kick this off than to rearrange some pieces in your home, to move furniture around or maybe even begin to plan a whole new look? With clearer floors, surfaces and no clutter, now is a great time to think about redecorating.
And finally, let’s get the mess we’ve created on the floor vacuumed up and cleared. Always vacuum at the end because all the time you are moving items, rummaging, cleaning surfaces you will be stirring dust up which will eventually settle on the ground. The vacuuming is the last bit of satisfaction and you’ll know by the end of this activity that the job will now be done.
Now you can sit back with that well-deserved cuppa and feel ready to go into the New Year with a lovely decluttered home.
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