The holidays are a special time of year. It’s when we gather together with family and friends to celebrate the year that was and look ahead to the year to come. And while we all love the holidays, there’s no denying that it can be a hectic time of year, especially if your home is cluttered. That means before the sleigh bells ring and the snow starts to glisten, you need to get organized and declutter.
1. Make a plan to declutter one room at a time
The best way to guarantee your success getting organized is to start by making a plan on how to declutter. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to clean up the entire house, or are you simply trying to organize the living spaces your guests are most likely to frequent? Whatever your goals, write them down. Putting pen to paper increases the odds of getting organized by two fold.
2. Start with small projects
Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves?” It’s true! When it comes to getting decluttered before the holidays, you don’t need to rush – at least if you start far enough in advance. Starting small will help you declutter faster. Pick one thing a day to organize, like your junk drawer, and you’ll be done in no time.
3. Eliminate trouble spots where clutter gathers
We all have one (or more) of those spots in our homes where clutter just accumulates. Maybe it’s the kitchen counter, or maybe it’s the coffee table. Your job is to identify those areas and keep them clear. Being mindful of these spaces will help you make better choices in regards to where you dump your stuff.
4. Keep flat surfaces clear to make rooms look larger
It’s really easy to cover flat surfaces in clutter, especially if it is a convenient spot to throw down the mail or groceries when you first walk in the door. Start by removing everything, yes, even the appliances, and put it all in a pile. Sort out each item with a dedicated home and put it in its place. No home? Go through and pick out what’s important – a MUST keep – and get rid of the rest.
5. Organize the kitchen before the holidays begin
Before inviting friends and family over for a feast, you need to get your kitchen in order and declutter. Don’t panic! It’s easier than you think. First things first: do the dishes, clean off the counters, and return your kitchen to it’s “normal” state. Start cleaning drawer by drawer, cupboard by cupboard. Organize each so that like goes with like until only the odd men out remain. Are you finding items without a home? Ditch them, or move them into storage.
6. Clear out the hall closet for guest’s coats
The hall closet is one of the biggest culprits of clutter. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s so easy to just toss your junk in and then close the door. Our advice is to start from the ground up. Pick out what can stay and what needs to go. Organizational baskets are a great idea for separating out like items. Does it get cold in the winter? Keep your gloves and hats together in one basket. Are you a beach bum? Store sunscreen, towels, and goggles together for quick and easy access.
7. Inspire the kids’ to clean their rooms
Oh boy. Here’s the tough one: getting your kids’ rooms in order before guests show up. First things first, you have to pick up all the toys and store them in their designated home. Then you can start to tackle the garbage. Pick up broken crayons, candy wrappers – if you can throw it away, do so. The next step is to organize seasonal clothing so that only the essentials are out. Bit by bit, you’ll see your kids’ room get cleaner and more organized.
8. Use clear plastic totes to identify things you use frequently
This is one of our favorite tips. If you get claustrophobic thinking about storing your precious belongings in boxes and then losing track of them, clear plastic totes are an ideal solution. Not only can you see what you’ve stored in each individual tote, but they’re also easy to stack and you don’t have to worry about the sides buckling.
9. It’s easier to declutter when you recycle
Not everything you need to get rid of has to go in the trash. Many of these items, like paperwork or mail, can be recycled. (Remember to shred any document with your personal information on it.) Bottles, jars, and jugs can all be recycled with your weekly recycling service, as well as aluminum or steel tins and containers. Speak with your local waste management team to learn more about electronics recycling.
10. Donate what you don’t need or use frequently
At Metro Self Storage, we believe in doing the right thing. That means donating little-used items that may be of benefit to other families this holiday season. Reach out to local charities, or even list your belongings in the “Free” section of Craigslist.
For more information on decluttering for the holidays, speak with Metro Self Storage. We have a storage unit to help you get organized!