Does the clutter in your house feel worse at Christmas? It definitely does in mine.
And it’s not just all the new stuff we give each other, but also the physical and mental overload of being busy, busy all December.
With so much going on, the clutter gets to me: I get stressed and shouty and horribly, horribly anxious, deep down, about tiny things.
In the whirl of crazy chaos, I too often find I am struggling to feel the joy of Christmas.
But over the years I’ve found a quick declutter truly helps me enjoy Christmas more.
3 Big Benefits
A quick declutter can help us enjoy Christmas in three huge ways because it:
- Gives us our space back
- Calms our anxiety
- And keeps clutter out
But it’s got to be quick – very quick – and very focused. Yanking all our stuff out Marie Kondo style just before Christmas will only make us feel even more crazily out of control!!
So instead, I follow a simple 7 step declutter plan. Each step takes just half an hour.
Some steps seem weird but can truly help us navigate the over busy, chaos of Christmas and set us up for a big declutter in the New Year.
I will be sharing my new declutter diet in January so follow me on Facebook to join in.
But right now let’s get started with our Christmas Declutter Challenge.
Christmas Declutter Challenge
1. A Power Purge
OK so first up is a power purge.
It helps because it burns off lots of angry, pent up frustration but does not create more mess.
All you need is a timer and a bin (or recycling) bag. Set your timer for 30 minutes and go.
Whizz round your home looking for trash – or broken stuff – you can instantly bin. Grab paper clutter on surfaces – newspapers, magazines, catalogues – and empty all bins.
Don’t agonize over stuff. Move fast. And stop on 30 minutes exactly and get your bag in the bin.
You’re done until tomorrow because it only works if you stick to the 30 minute rule.
2. Blitz The Bathroom
Now onto step two, and it’s the bathroom. Really? Surely, there’s bigger stuff to shift.
There is but blitzing our bathroom helps:
- Us keep clutter out
- And feel more in control.
All we do is set the timer for 30 minutes and grab toiletries more than 12 months old:
- Body lotions
- Bubble baths
- Fancy candles
- Smelly soaps
- Etc etc
Anything open should be ditched. If it’s unopened and usable donate it.
We all hoard crazy numbers of barely started bottles in our bathrooms untouched for years. And lots, were Christmas presents.
What a crazy waste of money, huh?
So use your bathroom blitz to feel a bit more in control by easily ditching lots of stuff – without making a mess – but also as a whopping big reminder to stop throwing away money on clutter at Christmas.
3. Clear A Few Big Things
Clutter is stressful because it steals our space.
Sadly, we won’t solve this before Christmas but even a little more space will make life easier.
And give us the room to make stuff and bake stuff and put up a tree and play games and eat yummy food with loved ones without tripping over things every which way we move!!
So step three is: clear a few big things.
Use this list of 50 big things to let go to find a few big items to give away before Christmas.
4. Empty Your Make Up Bag
Step 3 was all about big stuff. Step 4 is about all the tiny bits of clutter that drive us mad.
I’ve decluttered more than 3,000 little things from my home over the last few years!!!
Letting them go helped me see how much all those little things mess with our head. Constantly losing stuff sky rocketed my anxiety.
Again, sadly we can’t clear the lot now. But sit down for 20 minutes, with a cup of tea – a must!! – and chuck out old, gunked up mascaras and lipsticks and the rest.
(Or go through a pot of dried up pens).
Right then, right there, its eases our anxiety.
And helps us believe we can clear the lot easily in 2020. Letting go 10 little things daily will shift over 3,000 pieces of clutter. Wow!!
5. Cook Your Cupboards
Stockpiling food rarely really saves money. We end up chucking food – and cash – away.
But we still stuff our trolleys full at Christmas.
Step 5 in our Christmas declutter helps us:
- Resist the temptation
- Reclaim lovely space in our kitchens
It’s been shown we are more likely to over shop if our cupboards are chock full. Crazy but true.
So set the timer for 30 minutes and chuck out expired food in cupboards, fridge or freezer.
Don’t try and clear the lot. Ditch what you can.
Then try and do a no shop week where as far as possible you just cook from your cupboards. Your free space really will grow.
6. Curb Kitchen Chaos
I don’t know about you, but we live in our kitchen in December so crazy kitchen clutter more than anything makes me yell.
It’s not nice but if we have to battle a mountain of junk to find a little space to be Christmassy and creative, it’s understandable.
So having made space on food shelves, do a half hour purge of the rest of the kitchen.
Without yanking lots out, spot forgotten items you can pop to a charity shop e.g.
- Unused mugs on the top shelf.
- And recipe books unopened for five years …
- Enough aprons for a restaurant.
- Old wellingtons etc etc.
This list of kitchen clutter prompts will help.
Your kitchen won’t be perfect but the reclaimed space will help you resist the chaos and actually enjoy Christmas!
Which brings us to our final step.
7. Sort Christmas Decorations
Christmas is about the old as well as the new.
In all the scurry of shopping for crazy clutter, it’s hard to find time to slow down and look back.
But we need to. And you know what? Slowing down quite magically protects us from clutter.
Put aside an evening to quietly cosy up with an old movie and slowly sift through the Christmas decorations cherishing the connection with the past as you let go the broken and unwanted.
Our memories of love and joy and people gone are worth more than all the gifts in the stores.
So fill up on those wonderful memories and this Christmas let’s all give love not clutter.
I do hope this quick declutter helps you enjoy Christmas more. For more simple Christmas ideas try:
- 25 Simple Handmade Gifts
- 18 Simple Minimalist Christmas Decorations
- 10 Lovely Christmas Traditions
- Enjoying Christmas On A Budget
- 101 Clutter Free Christmas Gifts