Declutter for Christmas and make room for the celebrations with our expert tips for tidying up before the festive rush!
The Christmas season is upon us and you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of new things that’ll be arriving. Don’t fret! We’ve been speaking with Victoria, owner of award-winning Surrey Decluttering and house-organiser extraordinaire based in North West Surrey UK, for her best tips on how to declutter ready for Christmas and the new year beyond.
The Benefits of Pre-Christmas Decluttering
Decluttering before Christmas isn’t just about making space for holiday decorations. It’s about creating a calm, serene atmosphere for the festive period, ensuring that your home feels inviting and cosy for you and your guests alike. Plus, your post-Christmas clean-up will be so much easier!
Victoria points out that decluttering and the organising of your home is not a one-off job. It’s something that continually will require some effort, but with the right systems in place, it can become less tiresome.
However, every now & then our homes can do with a deep cleanse of “stuff”. Victoria recommends the autumn (i.e. before 1st December) and springtime are the best time of year to do this. If you have the time ahead of Christmas to do a thorough declutter, that is obviously ideal (as undoubtedly there will be an influx of new items that will need a place to be stored after Christmas).
And if you are able to go through room by room in a systematic declutter – congratulations! That’s brilliant.
But any time you can invest in getting your home in order ahead of the holiday season will pay dividends next year.
7 Simple Tips For Your Pre-Christmas Declutter
As Victoria says, decluttering and organising is a very personal thing – a method that suits one person may not suit the next. So, here’s her top tips to get you started:
1. Start Small
The key is to actually START! Start small. Be realistic about how much time and energy you have. Decluttering one drawer, section or room is one more than you had sorted before and your new year self will be grateful. So be proud of any progress you make and don’t keep procrastinating until you have time to do the whole house in one go.
2. Clear Space To Work
It might get worse before it gets better, so don’t give up! As well as boxes and bin bags for sorting, recycling & disposal, you will need to clear an area for sorting and folding.
3. Group Items Together
Keep “like with like” and allocate each category of things a permanent home. For example, spare light bulbs and batteries live in a (labelled) box under the stairs. You’ll be grateful you sorted those batteries come Christmas Day!
4. Take Lots of Breaks
With a lot to sort through, ‘Decision Fatigue’ can quickly overwhelm you. Work through the decluttering process with someone else if you can so you can take turns leading the decision-making. And try to break the process down into manageable sized chunks so you don’t get overwhelmed. Little and often, as the saying goes.
5. Clear Items Out Straightaway
Deal with the “aftermath” of a decluttering session straight away. Go to the recycling centre, charity shop and local food bank immediately. Start listing any items for sale ASAP. This way, the results will be immediate and you don’t risk undoing your hard work accidentally. Check out Victoria’s suggestions for the best places to sell your unwanted items.
6. Don’t Strive For Perfection
Remember that the end result doesn’t need to look like a picture in a magazine or an Instagram post. It’s OK to use old shoe boxes to store things in but be sure to label them.
7. Ask For Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – whether it’s family or friends or a professional organiser – there is no shame in admitting you need a helping hand. And having someone to help guide your decluttering goals can increase the chance of you being successful.
Pre-Christmas Decluttering Quick Wins
We all know life can feel frenetic on the run up to the festive season. So if you don’t have a lot of time but want to try and declutter before Christmas, here’s Victoria’s suggestions for where to start.
Focus On Gifted Items First
Focus on the items you (and the rest of the household) normally get gifted for Christmas. Things like books, beauty products, socks, toys, and food. Pass along anything no longer needed to a new home to clear space for new gifts that will be arriving.
There are so many creative ways now to give our old things a new lease of life; from selling items in good condition, to donating and upcycling pieces. Even a sentimental item like a teddy bear can be given a special new family.
Get The Kids Involved
Involve the whole family in decluttering, especially the kids’ rooms. Donate toys they’ve outgrown to make space for new ones.
You may find your children enjoy delivering the donation box themselves, sharing that holiday spirit, and seeing their old toys being appreciated by their new owners.
For older children eager to sell items they’ve outgrown, understanding the value of second hand toys is particularly important at this time of the year when they may be treated to some new toys under the tree.
Target Other Easy Wins
If you’re short on time, look for other easy win areas to focus on first. Just a little time spent in one of these places can give you that much needed extra space for the inevitable Christmas clutter and also make you feel more in control of your home. You can always continue the job in January but at least you’ll know you’ve started!
A few suggestions would be:
- The junk drawer. As mentioned above, add items to other storage areas of the same, get rid of things being saved for a rainy day you know will realistically never come, and clear down the drawer to just the essentials.
- The spare room. If you’re expecting guests for the holiday, clearing out the guest room will make them feel more welcome and you feel more in control.
- Winter items. Whilst your hats, gloves and scarves are out, take the opportunity to go through them and pass along any that are surplus to requirement.
- Table tops. Clear off the tops of coffee tables, sideboards, kitchen counters and the dining room table. You’ll be needing the extra space over the festive season anyway. So it’s the perfect time to dispose of those old magazines, put the books away and actually start burning and enjoying those candles that have been gathering dust.
- Kitchen cupboards and freezer. Clear out expired food and items you know you won’t use to make way for the extra food coming in for Christmas meals and guests. And use up items in the freezer to create space for new purchases, food you prep in advance for Christmas Day, and the leftovers of course as well so they don’t go to waste.
How To Keep Track Of Gift Purchases
Whilst you are busy clearing things out of your home, you may also be bringing items in. Victoria shares some easy ideas for how to keep on top of arriving purchases for the big day.
If you have inquisitive children (or partner?!), ensure you have a space to hide away & store the gifts. Perhaps it’s the loft, perhaps a box above the wardrobe?
Remember, you may have to further declutter or reorganising an area in order to find storage room for this.
Keep a list of items already bought (and who for) to avoid forgetting what you’ve got stored away and hence to stop you overbuying and succumbing to last minute panic buys!
Looking for more Inspiration?
- Where To Sell Unwanted Items & Other Ways To Pass Them Along
- Get Holiday Ready With A Christmas Planner
- Simple Ways To Turn Everyday Décor Christmassy
And be sure to check out our 101 ways to enjoy Christmas on a Budget.
The key to successful decluttering is taking small, intentional steps towards a clutter-free home. By applying these expert tips, you can create a more inviting and organised space which should help you enjoy a more peaceful and calming festive season. With huge thanks to Victoria (Surrey Decluttering) for sharing her expert tips and tricks with us…
More Christmas Inspiration
Embrace self-care this winter with our Mindful Moments guide: 30 simple activities for daily rejuvenation. Perfect for post-Christmas calm!
11 easy hacks for Christmas decoration storage to keep them secure and make life easier for yourself next year too!
Supercharge next Christmas by shopping smart in the post-Christmas sales! Our top savvy tips for what to buy after Christmas.