Have the holidays left your home feeling more than a little bit cluttered? If the answer is yes, we think you’ll be relieved to hear that post-holiday clutter is a common problem. You can thank the slew of new toys and gifts, the chaos of holiday décor teardown and lots of leftover wrapping paper (plus all of the bows, bags and tissue paper that goes with it) for all of the extra stuff around the house.
The thought of tackling it all can see overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a few proven tactics that you can apply that will help you clear the clutter and get the New Year off to a more organized start.
Purge before you put away
Before you begin to pack up your holiday décor, take a look in the décor storage boxes to see if they contain any broken or otherwise unused décor items. Broken candles, shattered ornaments, and outdated decoration could be taking up room that any new items may need. Once the unused stuff has been cleared away, take a moment to prep your storage totes or boxes for easier usage next year. This can mean storing decorations by colour, adding ornament seperators or taking steps to ensure that your lights remain entangled.
Invest in a good toy storage system
Even after removing toys that are no longer played with, the combination of new toys and beloved toys can really add up. So, to tame toy mountain it’s essential to invest in a good storage system. For a good idea of what works, always look to daycares and kindergarten classrooms. They have clutter taming down to a science.
It all starts with a good cubbie system. You can find some great systems at stores like Ikea, Home Depot and even Walmart. Begin with the shelving system and then add loads of bins. Organize toys by theme or type. Large, frequently played with items can be showcased in their own cubbie or placed on top. Smaller items can be placed into bins. Be sure to label those bins, to make cleanup as easy as possible for your little ones.
Don’t keep gifts you won’t use
This one can be extremely difficult for a lot of people, because it feels as if we’re throwing away someone’s good intentions along with the unwanted gift. However, the thing to remember is that no one gives a gift to make another person unhappy.
If someone gives you a gift that you won’t ever use, don’t hold on to it. It’s just going to take up valuable storage space for another item or article of clothing in your closet.
First, if it came to you with a gift receipt, use it! Just think of it as permission from the gift giver to exchange the gift if you don’t like it.
No receipt? That’s ok. You might still be able to return the item. First, ensure that the tags or stickers are still affixed to the item. Then, go online to view the store’s return policy. You will find that many stores will allow an exchange or provide store credit –even if you don’t have a receipt.
If the item can’t go back to the store and you really don’t have the room to keep it, then you may need to look at donating it or giving it away as the solution.
Your closet counts too
Did you get some new clothes last month, as gifts or to take you through holiday party season? Either way, you’re going to need to make room for them in your closet.
Once the decoration and toys have all been put away, be sure to take a moment to focus on your closet. Get rid of anything you do not wear. If the items are in good condition they can be donated. If they are stained or damaged beyond repair downcycle them into cleaning rags or throw them out.
Yes, this includes those old jeans that you can’t fit anymore. If you have a goal to lose a few pounds in the new year, you’re going to want to reward yourself with some new clothes anyway. So, start making room by ditching the old stuff.
That’s a wrap
Of course we can’t talk about holiday clutter without mentioning gift wrap. If you have lots leftover, if you overstocked for next year at recent boxing day sale, or if you happen to be a gift wrap saver, you’re going to need to come up with a strategy for taming the horde.
To keep open giftwrap rolls from unraveling, secure them by slitting open an empty paper towel core and then wrapping it around the open roll. Add a bit of tape to secure the core and the roll will be ready to store.
There are many great ways to store rolls of wrapping paper, including tall totes, hanging garment bags, and plastic grocery bag keepers, to name a few. Tissue paper, bows, tags and bags can be neatly tucked away into one of those plastic storage drawer systems. They keep everything easy to find and organized for next year.
Need a little help getting it together? Check out our listing of local decluttering and organization experts!