It is just us or do you also feel like the closer we get to Christmas, the more your home seems to get smaller and smaller, and more cluttered? We’d like to think this was all in our imagination (or an eggnog induced hallucination), but in all honesty, between the stuff we already have, the Christmas tree and holiday decorations, baking, shopping and gifts, the need to free up space is real.
We often don’t even realize how cramped we are for space until Christmas is here or the festivities have just ended, which is often when we finally get to kick back to relax and enjoy ourselves. It can be almost impossible to relax because our home feels claustrophobic with so much stuff and so many people in it.
So how do you make sure that you enjoy the holiday season in your own home? You declutter! Decluttering right before Christmas may seem like a crazy odd thing to take on now, especially given how busy this time of year is. But, it really can help you create a more organized, spacious, inviting, and relaxed home for the holidays, with room for you, your family, your guests and for all the new items that will be gifted to you (or you plan to gift to others).
The elves here at Storage Solutions have decided to spread some extra holiday cheer by sharing 10 ways to declutter your home in time for Christmas:
- Make a declutter plan and mark the calendar with designated ‘decluttering’ times.
- Include the whole family as some (or most) of this clutter belongs to them and working together can help speed things up.
- Prioritize the rooms that need decluttering so that you focus on the ones that you will be using the most over the holidays.
- Follow a decluttering system, like the one below, to help you sort through your belongings:
- Put Away: Designate one container for all items that already have or need to have a place in your home.
- Repair: Designate one container for all items that you genuinely use, and have space for, but they need mending or fixing before they can be used again.
- Return: Designate one container for all items that are borrowed and are to be returned to their owner.
- Donate: Designate one container for all items that you or your family no longer need or want, which are in good condition still, and could benefit another person or family.
- Garbage: Designate a trash bin with bag for all items that cannot be repaired, donated or recycled or can immediately be tossed in the trash.
- Recycle: Designate a recycling bin or bag for all items that can immediately be put out for your next recycling day.
Having trouble parting with some belongings? A suggested rule of thumb is to donate, toss or recycle anything that has not been used in 12 months. The honest truth is that if you or a member of your family has not used something inside your home during the full year, it’s likely not going to get used at all, and is just taking up space. That being said, #10 below may be a great solution for how to handle items like these...especially if there are future plans to use these things, when there is time and space.
- Work on one room at a time, using the decluttering system in #2 above:
- Trying to tackle all rooms at once can lead to unnecessary mess and stress.
- Don’t ignore drawers or closest. The items inside these may be out of sight, but they may also be helping cause clutter in other areas of your home, because the contents are no longer needed or organized.
- Only clear out one drawer or one area of a closet at a time so that you don’t end up with a huge pile of stuff sitting in the middle of the room, making you feel overwhelmed and frazzled.
- Invest in inexpensive storage bins for drawers, shelves, and closets.
- Dollar stores and discount stores often carry a variety of inexpensive baskets, bins and containers that can help you quickly make your closets, shelves and drawers more organized.
- Return what does not belong to you.
- Having another person’s stuff in your home can often create or add to existing clutter.
- If you’ve borrowed something from a family member, friend or neighbour, return it.
- If you’ve been storing things for family (like grown children) or friends, reach out to them and make a plan to return these items to them or move elsewhere (like #10).
- Clean out your winter wardrobe.
- The weather outside is not terribly frightful (yet), but winter is here, and winter clothing is in season
- By now you will have a fairly good idea of what winter clothing fits and does not fit you or your family.
- Donate or discard the winter clothing and outerwear now so that you have room for clothing that fits.
- This will free up room in closets, drawers and storage rooms.
- Make room for new toys before new toys arrive.
- Christmas is a popular time for kids to get new toys, so making room before Christmas is ideal.
- Toys that are in good condition could be donated to local charities or families in need, which increases the chances that these will reach families in need just in the time for the holidays.
- Toss anything that is broken or has missing parts that prevents the item from fulling being utilized and played with.
- There will be keepsakes that your child (or you) will not want to part with. Designate a separate storage container for these items for safe keeping.
- As you decorate for Christmas, sort through your holiday decorations using the same decluttering system.
- It’s super easy to quickly accumulate mass amounts of holiday décor, which over the years takes up more and more space.
- Sometimes what we keep are broken decorations (like lights or ornaments), which never get used again or fixed. These end up getting buried when holiday décor is packed away and trick us when we try to use them again the following Christmas. It can be an endless cycle.
- This year, as you trim the tree and deck the halls at home this year, take the time to declutter your decorations. If you have left over items at the end of your decorating, truly ask yourself why you have not used what’s left in the boxes and bins, and why you’re keeping them. If they have sentimental value, store them separately to prevent them getting damaged.
- Make a meal plan for over the holidays
- There will be tons of yummy treats, snacks and dishes coming in and out of our home that will fill your fridge, freezer, cupboards and counters.
- This can quickly make a kitchen feel messy and cluttered.
- Planning snacks and meals ahead of time and buying accordingly, will help keep your kitchen warm and inviting and minimize spoilage (and wasted dollars).
- Rent a self-storage unit to make instant space.
- Renting a self-storage unit is a fast, easy and affordable solution to gain space for as little or long as you need.
- As you declutter for the holidays, you may discover that there are items that you can’t bear to part with that are causing clutter. These items are commonly seasonal items, sports equipment, collectors items and items that hold sentimental value (like the baby clothing your children were brought home from the hospital in, or your grandparents family photo collection).
- You may also find the decluttering process to be too stressful and time-consuming and want more time to be able to really assess what you have before you get rid of things for the sake of decluttering. That is 100% understandable!
- Renting self-storage instantly gives you more space and time to sort and organize your personal belongings, while at the same time, helping you cut down on clutter in your home so you can stay more organized through all seasons, especially Christmas.
- And when you choose a reputable self-storage facility, your personal belongings will remain safe, secure and accessible to you whenever you need access.
At Storage Solutions, our goal is to help make life, and the holidays, easier for you so that you can spend more time doing and enjoying what matters most to you.
If you find yourself needing more space this Christmas, we’ve been known to perform a Christmas miracle or too. If you have any questions, want to tour our Milton or Woodstock facility or are ready to reserve or rent a self-storage unit, call, text or email us.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from everyone here at Storage Solutions!