In a few weeks your house will be filling up with wrapped presents, friends, family, food, and then—once the presents are opened—empty boxes, ripped wrapping paper, and piles of new stuff. Are you ready for the onslaught? We’re here with a few tips to help you get your home in shape for the holidays by doing a massive declutter campaign. When you follow these tips your home will become a much tidier place to spend the holidays with family and friends. The first step is always the hardest—getting started. So let’s dive right in.
Early bird gets the decluttering worm
The job of decluttering your home can be time consuming. Get a jump on the job by starting early to get as much done without anyone interrupting your efforts. You’ll also have more energy to tackle this project if you do it first thing in the morning. Plunge in and get started.
Piles, piles, piles
Pick a room to tackle first and start sorting clutter into piles. You’ll end up with several different piles: things to throw away, things to donate to charity or sell, things that belong somewhere else in the house, things you’ve borrowed from someone that you need to return, things that need to be repaired, mended, or altered, and things you’re not sure what to do with yet. Don’t worry if your biggest pile is the one you’re not sure what to do with. Simply organizing things into piles is a great start.
When in doubt, throw it out
Or as Marie Kondo would say, if it doesn’t spark joy, get rid of it. We won’t ask you to carefully touch each item in your closet to see if it speaks to you (or sparks joy), but the general idea is the same. Take a look at your piles of stuff and figure out what to keep and what to donate to a new home. Be strong, you can do this. Split second decisions about whether to keep or toss an item are something you rarely get wrong. Be ruthless and go through all your hidden storage spaces, those spots where you’ve stashed things that you no longer want to see but can’t bear to part with. Today is the day that you will make a clean break from those forgotten items.
It’s easier to attack your clutter when you don’t have various people weighing in on the pros and cons of keeping or donating something. Make your own decisions and stick with them. Find a time when you’re by yourself and then grab some trash bags and get started.
Use it or lose it
If something isn’t being used, you can safely get rid of it. All those things that you stashed away need to be pulled out and reviewed. Allow yourself one year of not using the item and then donate it. If you haven’t worn that belt in a year, chances are you’re never going to reach for it again. Or that pair of boots. Or those dresses. Go through your closets and kitchen cabinets to discover things you didn’t even know that you had, and then donate those unused items to clear out space.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
Everything you own has a proper place where it is stored, where it “lives.” You’ve done the hard work of paring down your stuff to a manageable level, and now you’ve got to figure out where to put things. After using an item, it has to go back to where it lives or else it immediately clutters up your space. The biggest culprits in our house for clutter are jackets, bags, and mail. When coats come off in the house, hang them up in the coat closet. Backpacks and bookbags should go into the kids’ rooms or the home office. Flip through the mail when you bring it in and toss junk into the recycling pile, culling any bills or things that need attention. Your house will be 100% less messy when things are returned back to their proper storage spot.
We hope these tips help you get a handle on the clutter in your life. If you need more inspiration, check out our Clutter Control ebook. Happy decluttering, and happy holidays!