The holidays may be over, but your home may still be cluttered by them. Whether you are procrastinating putting away decorations, or looking for places to put the little knick-knacks you were given as gifts, it is important to declutter and refresh your home when the holidays are over. Decorating is fun, but taking it all down is not. So, we have put together these tips to declutter and refresh your home after the holidays to help you get started.
Before You Start Decluttering
Before you get started decluttering your home after the holidays, set up four important boxes. One is the “donation” box, where everything you decide not to keep that is still in good shape, and you can donate.
The next box is your “maybe” box. When decluttering, there are going to be things that you are not sure about keeping, and the best thing to do with those is to have a box you can put them in and come back to later.
The next box, which could be a garbage bag instead, is your garbage box. This is where everything that you are not keeping that is not in good enough shape to donate will go.
The final box is your “keep” box — everything you plan to keep will go in this box. However, with the keep box, do not lump all of your holiday decorations into it; you will want to break those down by type of decoration to make it easier on you next year.
Go One Room at a Time
It is also important to make sure you focus on one room at a time. It can get overwhelming if you are constantly running around the house while decluttering. That is where the keep box will come in.
If you pick up a little knick-knack that is in your living room but belongs in your bedroom, stick it in the keep box. When you are done in the living room, you can go around the house and empty the keep box to put everything away in other rooms. Doing it this way will keep you from getting sidetracked when you take items to each room as you find them.
Also, by doing this one room at a time, it is easier to allow yourself breaks. You do one room, take a break, then move to the next room. Breaking things into chunks like this can make it easier for your mental health, too, since you are looking at pieces instead of the entire puzzle all at once.
The Two for One Method
One great method for decluttering is to try a two for one method. For every one thing that you decide to keep, choose two things to get rid of. This can help reduce clutter in your home overall. Of course, this method does not always work, but it is a good idea to keep in mind.
Does it spark joy?
You can also think about if each item “sparks joy” as you sort through them. If you do not feel like you love the item, it is time to let it go. Make room for new items that make you happy, and let the items that do not do so get donated to someone else who will love and appreciate them.
The Fastest Way to Declutter Your Home After the Holidays
The fastest way for you to get your home decluttered after the holidays is to recruit the entire household to help. Everyone can take a room and work on it. You can even try to turn it into a game with your kids to motivate them to help more.
Getting rid of holiday related items can feel harder than it actually is because they are linked to a special holiday. But try to think about it in the same way you would for other items in your home. If it is broken or you do not love it, it can go.
Start with the Decorations
Once you get all of your holiday decorations taken down, lay them out and organize them. Are there any that are damaged? Maybe it is time to get rid of them.
Were there any ornaments or decorations that you did not put out this year? Think about why you did not put them out this year. You might have been trying something new and did not have room for them, you just did not want them out this year, or maybe they are not in the best shape, and you are only keeping them for sentimental reasons.
If you leave them out because they are old and in bad shape, it is time to let them go. You may have some new decorations that you need to make room for in your storage, so letting something old go might be the best choice.
When you finish evaluating what items you are keeping and what items you are not, you can begin putting away all of your decorations.
For your holiday decorations, have a box for indoor lights, outdoor lights, ornaments, and other items. You want to put all like items together and label them clearly so you will not have to spend time hunting when you need them next year. Try to think about what will make things easier on future you.
What worked last year?
What items worked or did not work for you last year? Did you have some decorations that you or your family just did not like? Get rid of them. Save your storage space for things you love.
Declutter the Kitchen
Did you do a lot of holiday baking this year, and now your cookie cutters and baking dishes are taking over all of your cupboard space? Sort through all of your baking dishes and cookie cutters and pull out the ones you do not need. These can either be stored until next year, or you can donate them if you do not think you will be using them again.
Do you have special holiday dining sets or serving dishes? These are other things that do not need to clutter the kitchen all year. A great tip for storing all of these is to keep the boxes that they came in so you can make sure they are all packed away properly and are less likely to break while they are in storage. Since they are in their original boxes, you will also know exactly what is in the boxes, and you can find them easily.
Decluttering the Kids’ Toys and Clothes
Kids tend to get a lot of new toys during the holidays, and that means you may be able to get rid of some of their old ones. However, it is best to involve your kids in this decision process, so sit down with them and go through their toys together. Give them their own boxes to organize their toys with. Encourage them to get rid of broken toys that they never use anymore.
Ask them when the last time they played with certain toys was, and if they cannot answer the question, encourage them to give up the toy. You can even explain to them that those toys will be going to another child who will love them as much as they did, so the toys will continue being loved.
This can make it easier to convince them to donate old toys. By involving your child in the process of decluttering their toys, you are helping them develop a healthy skill that they can take into adulthood.
Since kids also tend to get a lot of new clothes during the holidays, so after you declutter their toys, it is time to tackle the closet.
The first thing you need to look for are clothes that do not fit them anymore; those can go straight to the donation box. After you eliminate the clothes that they no longer fit into, go through everything else with your child and get rid of things they no longer wear to make room for the new clothes that they got during the holidays.
Also, pack up any holiday clothing they will not be touching again until next year. Again, this is a healthy habit to teach your kids when they are young so they carry it into adulthood and can be a little more organized.
Declutter Holiday Clothes and Accessories
Do you have a love for ugly sweaters or cheesy holiday shirts? What about some fun and festive accessories? Are you going to wear them all year? If your answer is no, then why not pack them up for storage until next year?
Make sure you use the box system for storing your holiday clothes and accessories. If there is something that you did not wear this year, consider donating it. Try to make room for your new things by getting rid of the old things that you no longer wear.
You want to make sure that you do not have too many holiday outfits and accessories, to the point that you cannot even wear all of them in a single holiday season. Try to keep that in mind when decluttering your clothes.
If you have some holiday themed clothes that you are unsure of, you can always keep them, and then next year, when you put them in the closet, you can have the hangar faced inward, then as you wear them, put them back with the hangar the normal way, so you can keep track of the shirts you did not wear and you can get rid of them when you declutter your closet next year.
Declutter the Gifts You Won’t Use
Now that you have packed up your decorations, dishware, clothes, and your kids’ toys, it is time to begin going through all of the gifts you have to decide what you want to keep.
A lot of the time, people will hang onto gifts that they got but do not like out of guilt because of who gave it to them, but this can lead to having a lot of unnecessary clutter in the house.
Unless the gift giver is someone who will give you a guilt trip if they do not see the item when they come over, you can donate or regift the items you know you will not use as part of your decluttering process. Just keep in mind that you can be grateful for the gift without keeping it.
Once you decide what you are keeping, spend time looking for places to keep everything. As you do this, evaluate the items currently out on display and determine if any of them can also be donated or even just taken down for now.
Clean Out the Pantry and Freezer
There is a lot of food made and purchased during the holiday season, so at this point, there is probably a bunch of leftovers in the freezer or canned goods in your pantry.
Take some time going through your freezer and getting rid of anything that you know you are not going to eat.
If you dislike gingerbread cookies, for example, but you ended up sticking some in the freezer, you may as well get rid of them so they are not taking up valuable space.
For canned goods, you can donate any leftover cans of pumpkin and cranberries to your local food bank.