I am the biggest fan of Christmas, the love, the family time, the happiness. But do you know what gives me more happiness? The post-Christmas clear-out. I may be the only one, but I was just itching to get our house back to normal.
I am a minimalist anyway (apart from notebooks, I have millions of those) and I regularly minimise our belongings. Not only does it make your house an easier place to live in, but it clears your mind too.
Here are my top tips for decluttering your home after the festive season:
It may not be spring, but once you can see the surfaces in your house again, it is a good time to give the house a proper clean. Wipe floors, give the kitchen a good scrub, and dust away the remnants of Christmas.
Sort through coats and shoes, anything not being worn more than a few times a week – put it away. Have a box or crate by the door with hats, scarves and gloves in to make leaving the house in these winter months easier.
Whatever you go to put away, clear it out first. If you got a 3-pack of socks, then clear out 3 pairs first! If you got a duvet set and you already have 10, sort out which ones you still need, and which ones your don’t. You get the gist…
Minimise Your Wardrobe
Now is the perfect opportunity to minimalise your wardrobe. Everybody likes a fresh start to the new year, and that includes what you wear. Aside from summer clothes, if you haven’t worn it for 3-6 months, be ruthless and get rid. Once you’ve been through everyone in the family you’ll have plenty to fill a charity shop bag, they’re desperate for donations at this time of year, or just simply pass it on to someone else who needs them!
If you’re reading this as a parent, you will know that Christmas makes it look like Toys ‘R’ Us has thrown up over your house. If you are organised enough then having a toy cull before Christmas is your best bet. I had a bit of an inventory a couple of weeks before and anything that isn’t played with anymore, any books that don’t get read, or any ‘tat’ (I’m talking Happy Meal toys, party bag toys that have seen their day etc) is gone. Again, pass them on, sell them, provided they are still in good condition, or donate them to your child’s nursery or pre-school. Try and keep toys to certain areas of your house, we have turned a bedroom into a playroom, and then have a corner of the lounge with toy storage. Once the kids are in bed, its nice to feel like you have your own space. Finally, and this bit might be frowned upon but any duplicate toys? Put them aside to gift onwards. Rather than them going to waste, somebody else could benefit from them!
De-Christmas Your House
Most people end up with boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations, now is your chance to sort them out whilst erasing all signs of Christmas from your house. Save any big boxes from presents and make that your new decorations box, try and get as much into as little amount of boxes as possible. Anything you didn’t put up this year? Then get rid. If it’s not sentimental and is looking a bit tired, then get rid. Can you tell how ruthless I am yet?!
Spruce Up Your Kitchen
Kitchens always take the brunt of Christmas, I find. Once you’ve had a good clean, organise your fridge and cupboards. Clear out any post-Christmas food which is either out-of-date or is not going to get eaten before it expires, and make a list of all the foods you have in your cupboards to avoid over buying at your New Years food shop. If, like us, you received a ridiculous amount of chocolate and sweets over the festive period, create a ‘naughty foods’ snack cupboard, which is preferably out of reach of little hands (and big hands).
Get Them Involved
My top tip? Get the children involved! As well as creating an activity and preventing you getting stressed racing around doing it on your own, it gives them some control too. I found by explaining what we were doing and why we were getting rid of some toys, it prevented any meltdowns!
Repeat this minimalism every 3-6 months and you are onto a winner – tidy house, tidy mind. I just love how satisfying a day of organisation can be, and how calming it is to look at a tidy house, even though it doesn’t stay that way for long…