We all love the holidays, but there’s no denying it can be a hectic time of year, especially if your home is cluttered. Before the sleigh bells ring and the snow starts to glisten, use these quick tips to declutter your home before the holidays arrive.
1. 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 your home. 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 greatly increases your odds of getting organized.
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! It will be easier to declutter your home before the holidays if you don’t need to rush. So start far enough in advance.
Starting with small projects 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
Think entryways and hall closets … 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. For example, setting out large baskets for each member of your family will create some space to dump their 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 toss the mail or set down the groceries when you first walk in the door. It is the things from our day-to-day activities that are often the most challenging to keep organized.
Start by decluttering your countertops by removing everything and then cleaning them. Sort out each item that already has a dedicated home and put it in its place. No home? Go through and pick out what’s important – a must keep-in-the-kitchen pile and a donate or store the rest.
5. Organize the kitchen before the holidays begin
Before friends and family arrive, organize your kitchen to make holiday meals more enjoyable. 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 seldom-used items are left. Remember, if cabinet space is lacking in your kitchen, to use ceramic jars or large mason jars to hold kitchen utensils.
6. Clear out the hall closet for guests’ 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
Christmas time is the ideal time to declutter your child’s bedroom. Why? There needs to be room for new toys Santa is bringing. Your child will surely be motivated to stay on Santa’s “nice list” and pick up all of their toys and put them away.
The next step to organize kids’ bedrooms is to separate 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, see-through containers are an ideal solution. Not only can you see what you’ve stored in each individual box or 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 your home 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
Here at Metro, 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.
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.
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