The first few days after Christmas are always self-reflective for me. It’s a chance to look back at all that has happened and a chance to look ahead at all that is heading our way. But then, as I sit around a look at my house I cannot help but panic a bit. Empty boxes and bows still litter the floor, new gifts are on the coffee table and under the tree, warranties are covering my desk and holiday decorations are EVERYWHERE. I wonder how I am going to clean this all up, and more importantly where am I going to put it all? Yes, decluttering after the holidays can be a bit overwhelming.
With the new year fast approaching our thoughts always turn to goals and new starts. But it is a little hard to get motivated when you are still in the middle of holiday madness.
So what can you do? How do you deal with the here and now so you can get ready for the new year ahead?
Decluttering After The Holidays – Making Room For The New
Tip #1 Take out the trash
Whenever I am getting ready to declutter anything I always begin with the trash. You would be amazed at how much of our clutter is actually trash, paper, and empty boxes. To start, take a bag and walk around your home. Remove anything you see that is trash. If you are a holiday recycler, then don’t forget a bag to collect any ribbons, bows, and gift bags you may find as you are making your rounds.
Once done completely remove the trash Yep, take it out to the can right now so it is out of the way. Then take your recyclables and put them away as well. If you have a wrapping center you can put your bows there or you can purchase one like this amazing organizer to do the job for you.
Tip #2 Put items back in their homes
I am sure if you look around you-you will find dishes, socks, blankets, and other items that already have “homes”. I like to use a laundry basket for this tip because it can hold quite a bit of random shaped items and it is easy to carry.
SLCG PRO TIP: If you are new to decluttering, “homes” are simply the places where items are always housed. Glasses in the kitchen cabinet or toys in the toys box.
Take a few minutes to collect all those items. Once finished you can then take a stroll around your home putting things away. Clothes in the laundry room, toys in the kid’s room, dishes in the sink. Do not worry about doing the dishes at this point. Our focus is the big picture and we want to keep the momentum going. You can come back when you are finished to do actual chores later.
SLCG PRO TIP: If you are drowning in blankets and pillows in your family room, get yourself one of these awesome baskets. They are durable, big, and neatly hold all your extras.
Tip #3 Do a 10 minute declutter
I just love 10 minute declutters because they are simple and super effective especially when you are decluttering after the holidays. What you do is grab a box or clothes basket (just love to use clothes baskets to declutter too!). Set your timer for 10 minutes. Start grabbing things that you can remove from your room. With a short timeframe like this, your focus will naturally be on things that you have little if any emotional attachment to.
Remember, you are not looking to become a minimalist overnight, just make some room for your new things. If you received quite a few kitchen items, then focus mainly on the kitchen. Office gifts for you this year? Then spend your 10 minutes in the office. New clothes? Then you will be in your closet for the next 10 minutes. As much as you are bringing in, try to take at least that much out.
Tip #4 Sort it out
I love to declutter after the holidays. Crazy right? I am not sure what it is, but making room and paring down is very therapeutic for me. I wasn’t always this way, it took a long time to learn to let go. I was so emotionally attached to my things, even the silliest items stayed put for years. This helped to turn my home from a haven into a storage unit.
Then I learned about gradual decluttering and how to do things on my own terms in my own way. And the top tip I can give you from that lesson is, to always have a sorting area out. That visual reminder really does keep you moving in the right direction!
SLCG PRO TIP: No room for a full sorting area? Then just a donation box will work too! Keep a box, bin, or basket in each hot mess of a room and make a goal to put 5 things inside of it each and every day.
Tip #5 Get the family involved
When you are decluttering after the holidays it is important to get your family involved. When my boys were young I would always have them declutter their toy room themselves. They knew before the new things came in a few old had to come out. They also knew that the toys that were leaving were all going to new homes to be played with by new children.
It is amazing how much kids really want to help others and if given the chance will purge much quicker and easier than we can. Next, you will need to get Hubby out to the garage to do the same, but that might be easier said than done!
Holiday overwhelm especially right after the holidays can be quite a challenge. If you follow these few simple steps you will be well on your way to getting things back to normal.