How to declutter your home by Christmas!
A few weeks ago we featured an article called It’s Midsummer. Time to start planning for Christmas?! We explored ways that you can start preparing for Christmas early by making a budget, saving money, and starting your Christmas shopping. Well worth a read as now Christmas is that little bit nearer; and the sooner you start getting ready for it, the more you will be able to sit back and relax in December.
There is one other way that you may also want to prepare for Christmas, and that is to get your home ready. Whether you are planning to have relatives stay over, entertain friends, or just have a cosy time together as a family, if you start preparing your home now it will be much less stressful nearer the time.
A key part of getting your home ready is decluttering. You will have much more space in your home for family, friends and fun if you get rid of all the stuff you don’t need and that is literally just gathering dust. Fans of decluttering claim that it not only frees up space but can bring a new sense of peace, calm and mental well being.
The recent Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo inspired many people to begin decluttering their homes. Marie Kondo is a Japanese author who created the KonMari method of tidying up. One of the key elements of this is to be ruthless and get rid of anything that either is not useful or does not “spark joy”. And whilst the phrase “spark joy” may raise a smile, it makes so much sense to only keep the things we either need or love.
But the thought of decluttering your home can be so overwhelming that you almost give up before you start! The trick is to do just a little bit at a time. And at this stage, you do still have time before Christmas. So here are six simple steps to declutter your home, bit by bit, in time for Christmas.
Six steps to declutter your home
Step 1: Prepare for take off
Like any kind of project, mental preparation is very important. To have a successful declutter you need to commit to it and gear yourself up to do it. Take time to envisage how you want your home to look, and how much better you would feel if you can just get rid of some of the clutter.
It’s also helpful to plan when you are going to do your decluttering. Even if you can only manage a couple of hours a week, try to ring fence that time in advance so it doesn’t get absorbed by other things.
Step 2 : Plan what to do when
Having a plan helps you to break down the task into manageable chunks. Even if you end up swapping things round as you go along, you will at least know where you are going to start.
Some people prefer to tackle a room at a time, others find that decluttering a category of items in different rooms throughout the home is more effective. For example you might want to sort clothes one week then over the following weeks move onto other items such as children’s toys and equipment, kitchen items, books / DVDs / CDs etc.
Whatever method you decide, it’s a good idea to start by clearing a space which you can then use to temporarily store stuff that you are getting rid of (see step 3 below).
Step 3 : Be ruthless
As you work through your plan, try to be really ruthless in what you get rid of. Many people tend to hoard stuff for years that never gets used. Don’t let this be you!
One thing that can help you to declutter more effectively is to put every item into one of three categories:
- In – you are definitely going to keep it.
- Pending – you are probably going to get rid of it, but are not completely sure.
- Out – you are definitely going to get rid of it.
As you declutter, move all the Out and Pending items temporarily into the space you cleared in Step 2 until you can deal with them.
Step 4 : Clean and reorganise your storage space
As you declutter, take time if you can to deep clean the storage areas that you are currently working on. Be honest, when was the last time your wardrobe or cupboard was completely empty and had a proper clean? Also if you do it now, it will be part of the process of getting your home lovely and fresh for Christmas.
You can then put back into storage all the items you have decided to keep. Don’t just put things back where they were before, think about whether there are better ways to store them that will help to make your life a little easier. Make sure that the items you use most are all easy to reach.
By the way, this reorganisation process may help to motivate you to get rid of everything in your Pending pile, when you see how great your wardrobes and cupboards look without all that stuff!
Step 5 : Redistribute your unwanted items
We referred earlier to the KonMari method of decluttering, and part of this is to give careful thought as to what to do with the things that you are getting rid of – even to the extent of thanking the item for its service to you before it goes.
We are all much more environmentally conscious now, so aim to avoid landfill where at all possible. Some ideas for redistributing your unwanted goods are:
- Give them to friends and family;
- Donate them to local charities;
- Take them to charity shops;
- Give them away on donation websites such as Freecycle;
- Sell them online, for example eBay or Facebook Marketplace;
- Have a massive car boot or garage sale;
- Sell them locally, for example through ads on community noticeboards.
Step 6 : Keep it going!
If you follow the five above steps then your home should be wonderfully decluttered by Christmas. You may also have been able to make a bit of money towards Christmas in the process, which is great news.
The trick now is to keep your decluttering process going. You won’t need to do it as often, but we all know how easy it is for clutter to build up quickly again. So why not draw up a plan for 2022, to perhaps declutter one room or category every month. If you’ve done a good job this time round there won’t be as much to do again, but you will have the satisfaction of keeping your home clear and uncluttered, and redistributing your unwanted goods to others who want or need them.
We hope that our six steps help you to declutter your home before Christmas without too much hassle, and end up with a home that is ready to be enjoyed over the festive season.
If the process of looking ahead to Christmas makes you realise that you are going to need a financial boost, check out our online personal loans to see if they may be able to help, rather than running up your credit card. And remember to check back here soon for more financial and lifestyle tips from Loans 2 Go.