The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner. Most people love to plan the parties and get-togethers they’ll host, the memories they’ll make with their family and friends, and the delicious food they’ll cook. However, when it’s time to execute those plans, sometimes it can get a bit frustrating.
For instance, your giant batch of fruit salad doesn’t fit in your fridge; Perhaps, the guest rooms look more like a storage area, or your living room is just too cluttered and messy for entertaining guests. And just where are you going to hide your kids’ presents?
To minimize the holiday chaos, you’ll want to clean and declutter your home first. And to help you with this, this article shares essential tips for cleaning and organizing your home before the holidays arrive.
Establish A Sorting System
Before starting, make sure to establish a system for sorting items. Experts recommend the popular three-box method, which forces you to make decisions per item and prevents you from making a bigger mess.
To start, gather three large boxes or storage bins, and label them as follows:
Items to be placed in this box are useful things in your daily life. It can also be items that have sentimental value that you don’t want to throw away or seasonal items you’ll need for a specific time of the year.
To Donate Or Sell
In this box, you’ll put items that you no longer need or want, but are still in good condition. It may also include duplicate items in your home, which are often seen in your kitchen. For these items, you can earn good money by selling them to your local thrift store.
On the other hand, since it’s the season of giving, you may consider donating unwanted supplies. From old clothes to unwanted holiday decorations, these items may still be useful to someone else. What’s more, some organizations may also offer a free donation pickup service to make donations easier.
To Throw Away
The last box will include all useless things, from broken toys to damaged items that no longer work or can be used. If you’re creative, you can recycle some items. Otherwise, you can throw them in the bin.
Learn To Prioritize
It can be difficult to get everything done with the little time you have to organize your home. Thus, prioritizing can help. You probably have some rooms in your home that are more cluttered than others. You’d want to start with those areas first. On the other hand, you can also start with areas that will be used more frequently during the holiday season.
For instance, if you’re expecting close relatives to spend a week with you, then you should work on the guest room first. Meanwhile, if you’re planning on just inviting some friends and having a holiday feast, then you’ll need to get the living room, kitchen, and dining room in order.
Knowing where to focus your efforts can give you a starting point and makes the whole endeavor less stressful and daunting.
Set A Cleaning Schedule
The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year. As such, you’d want to plan and set a cleaning schedule around your priority list, and having a timeline can show you which tasks need to be completed first and how long they should take.
This can go a long way in helping you stay on track and ensure that you don’t miss anything along the way. Setting a cleaning schedule also prevents conflicts which are quite common with so many things going on at this time of the year.
Get Your Family Involved
There’s no such thing as a one-person task in terms of decluttering and organizing a home. The more hands you have to help, the faster you can finish the job. After all, it takes a whole family to make a mess, so all members should lend a helping hand.
If you have kids, you can turn it into a game so they won’t complain as much. This allows them to have fun while helping with house chores, making cleaning a great activity.
Find a Specific Home For Everything
Once you’ve cleared excess clutter and know which items to keep, you need to give it a home. This will help you stay organized while also ensuring that you’ll always know where to find a specific item.
You can use clever container ideas or modular storage solutions for organizing your drawer while maximizing storage space. You can also make use of boxes and baskets to store smaller or loose items. Additionally, you can add hooks on walls for your keys, install floating shelves to display sentimental decorative items, or invest in multi-functional storage options such as ottomans that can double up as seating.
The holidays will be here before you know it. While it conjures feelings of coziness and fun bonding, it can also be quite stressful if you don’t plan ahead. By learning how to simplify, organize and declutter your home, you can minimize the stress of the season and having people over to celebrate. This way, you can still enjoy the wonderful moments this season brings.
To make spaces appear bigger, keep flat surfaces neat
Flat surfaces are quite prone to be cluttered, especially if they serve as a handy place to dump the mail or put the groceries when you first enter the house. The items from our daily routines are sometimes the hardest to keep organized.
Start by clearing everything off of your counters, then clean them. Sort out each object that has a specific place and put it there. Sort key items into piles that must be kept in the kitchen and donate or store the rest.
Clean the Kitchen and Check the Spice Cabinet
The kitchen is the center of the home in any season. Give this area of your house special attention as you do your holiday cleaning. This season, you will undoubtedly spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so try to pay extra attention to it.
It is time to hang the seasonal break décor after cleaning, wiping, and organizing your kitchen and cupboards. Keep an eye out for the glass-fronted cabinets that hold and showcase your seasonal dinnerware. Consider giving the family relic to your daughter or niece if a festive porcelain pattern no longer brings you joy or you want to replace it with something fresh.
Toss Unwanted Holiday Décor
You most certainly have a variety of Christmas decorations that you have accumulated throughout the years. That slightly discolored plastic pumpkin or fake Christmas tree that doesn’t light up is only taking up room, whereas your traditional magnolia wreath will always remain a front door staple.
Get rid of any décor you do not enjoy or intend to use anymore. Consider donating your old Halloween decorations to a family with small children who may be decorating for the first time this year if you no longer want to decorate for the holiday.
Reorganize and Decorate
Now that your home is tidy and devoid of everything you don’t need, focus on arranging the things you have preserved. Paying attention to parts of your home that are often used, such as your chat nook or your vintage painted secretary desk where you complete schoolwork, are all excellent locations to start organizing.
It is advised to give each object you keep a specific location. By paying attention to the color scheme and mixing the same foundation of colors with other seasonal home elements like cushions and carpets, you can create an eye-catching focal point by concentrating on a piece of furniture to exhibit a collection of books and memorabilia.
Declutter the toys
Before the holidays, it is usually a good idea to organize the toys if you have children. It is simpler to be more ruthless as you organize before the holidays when you know your kids will probably receive new toys as gifts. Make room now to avoid feeling overloaded with new toys after the holidays with your children.
Any toys that are unwanted or are not being used anymore are a terrific idea to get rid of now. Perhaps they are damaged, missing components or your kids outgrow them.
Making a place for new toys that will be received as gifts is a great approach to getting kids to help organize their toys.
Also, you might urge your children to give some of their gifts to children who are less fortunate than they are. The holidays are a particularly perfect time for this.
Simplify your makeup collection
Go through your cosmetics collection as you prepare ready for Christmas parties or gatherings to identify what you no longer use, need, or love. Also, keep in mind that makeup fades with time.
Keeping additional makeup on hand for fancier or special events is simple. This is a great opportunity to assess what you actually use and get rid of excess, expired items, or those you just never use.
When you prepare for this year’s holiday gatherings, consider once more if you will ever utilize whatever it is you do not use this year.
Declutter your mindset
Even if this is not a typical decluttering project, it’s crucial to decide to clear your thoughts before and throughout the holidays.
Attempt to let go of any unreasonable expectations or standards you may have developed for yourself during the holidays. Over the holidays, adopt a “perfectly imperfect” mentality instead.
Give yourself a break and make the holidays enjoyable for your family as well. Instead of attempting to meet some unattainable perfectionist standards that will only leave you feeling overburdened, burned out, pressured, and fatigued.
Finally, minimizing your holiday obligations is a fantastic approach to simplify the holidays.
It is quite enough to just decide to reduce your activity level during the holidays. In reality, opting to do less over the holidays may frequently result in a season of the holidays for you and your entire family that is far more fun, carefree, and stress-free!
Keep reminding yourself that every time you say yes to one thing, you must also say no to another. Make sure you reserve your “yeses” for the issues that are most important to you. Not the events you feel compelled or shamed into going to.
Why should you declutter before the holidays?
To make space
Even while we aspire to limit the quantity of STUFF entering our homes, the Holiday season may make this seem almost impossible.
Unavoidably, guests will bring food and presents when we host friends and family for a celebration.
To ensure you have adequate space to put all the stuff that enters your house during this time of year, it is advisable to declutter before the holidays.
It is important to have some unoccupied space in your house when visitors arrive so they have a place to sit, unwind, and enjoy themselves.
To free up time
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we are always on the go. We may free up time to focus on the holiday celebrations by clearing out the clutter a month or two in advance.
To make yourself happy
The fact that cleaning out your house before the holidays makes YOU happy is, of course, what matters most.
Doing this small pre-holiday decluttering gives you a terrific sense of success as you walk around your tidy home.
To give back to those in need
Although we enjoy giving back at various points throughout the year, the holidays are perhaps the best time.
By cleaning out your closet now, you could discover winter accessories, unopened presents, and toys that can be donated to people in need of Christmas presents. After clearing up your stuff, visit your neighborhood soup kitchen or charity store.