I picked a big Christmas tree this year.
I went with my Mother-in-law to choose our trees and may have got a bit carried away with Steve’s encouragement over Skype to go big or go home. So our not all that big living room is ever so slightly dominated by our 8 foot tall Christmas tree.
And I love it.
I love catching glimpses of it whichever way I look around the room. I love being able to smell it as soon as I walk through the front door.
But I do know that come the New Year I will be about ready for it come down. I’ll be ready for clear space again. To be able to walk through the lounge without needing to turn sideways in certain places.
When it comes to that time of year when the decorations come down I think we all have an urge to do a bit of decluttering and reorganising in our homes, and here are my 5 top tips for tackling the job.
1. Take down Christmas strategically
You really might not feel like doing it, but if you take your time to pack everything away carefully and with some strategy you’ll thank yourself when it comes to getting it all out again next year.
As you take down the decorations take some time to sort through them.
Get rid of any that are broken and donate any that you didn’t actually use this year.
Then pack things away so that the things you’ll put up first next year are the easiest to get to.
2. Rethink your storage solutions
Are the battered old boxes you use still the best option for your Christmas decorations?
You can buy special boxes designed to hold your precious baubles and ornaments which might be worth investing in if you know you’ll want to use them year after year.
It’s also worth thinking about where in the house you store all your decorations.
If you have the space it might be worth installing some industrial shelving in your garage or shed to keep everything organised and out of the way for most of the year.
Now all the decorations are down and you have your storage ideas thought out it’s a great time to declutter the house.
Work your way around from room to room with three bags or baskets. Use one for things that you want to throw out or recycle, one for items that you don’t want but that can be donated or regifted, and the last one for things you want to keep but need to put in their proper home.
Clothes that you don’t wear any more and toys that the children have outgrown can all be donated to the local charity shop. And if you have any electronics like iPads that you don’t need any more then there are companies like iPad-Recycle who make it really easy to recycle them and even make a bit of money back.
If you have big items that you don’t want to get rid of but don’t necessarily want in your home right now, then a self storage unit could be useful. If you live in West Sussex, for example, you might want to find a Henfield self storage in Horsham to store these items until you need to use them again.
4. Find homes for new items
Once you’ve decluttered you can start to find homes for all the new things that have made their way into your home over Christmas.
If you have children this’ll most likely be mainly toys, but you’ll also maybe have books, new clothes, photo frames to hang up, toiletries and all sorts of other bits and pieces.
Spend time now deciding where all these things are going to live in your home, so they don’t end up just floating around for the next six months.
5. Make a plan
The hardest part for lots of people, including me, isn’t the decluttering, it’s the actually getting the stuff out of the house once you’ve decided you can do without it.
So make a plan for everything you’re getting rid of, and act on it as soon as possible.
Put items to be regifted in a particular cupboard or box in a wardrobe. Make a date with a friend to get together at the weekend and take rubbish and recycling to the tip/recycling centre. Put the bag of bits for the charity shop into your car so you can drop it off next time you’re in town.
Gem from the organised mum calls this having an exit strategy and it is key to actually finishing off the decluttering jobs around the home!
With a bit of thought and some time spent working your way through your house, you can have everything cleared and organised ready for a fresh start in the new year.
Do you enjoy the house feeling more spacious and clear after Christmas, or do you hold on and enjoy having the decorations up for as long as possible?
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post