Seven awesome tips to clear away the holiday clutter

Perhaps you have already put away all of your holiday stuff. Perhaps all of the Christmas presents have been accommodated into your house and all the decorations are up in the attic and you already vacuumed all the confetti up from your New Year’s Party, and the turkey has long since been eaten.

If so, congratulations! You are really cool!

On the other hand, perhaps your Christmas decorations are still halfway up, and starting to look a little dusty. Perhaps you still have leftovers from Thanksgiving in your fridge. Perhaps you have no idea where all your kids’ new toys are going to go because they have so many already. If that is you, then read on.

Step 1:

Give away some of your stuff. If you got a lot of new books, find some books to give away. If you got new games, give away some old ones. We got about 5 new games this Christmas. I just went through my game closet and found ten we had outgrown.


The games we really want to keep!

Step 2:

Give away some of your decorations. When you re-pack your decor, check the bottom of those boxes for the crumpled star, the broken lights, and the ugly ornaments. Toss ‘em. Trust me, you can do it. If you started the holidays with five boxes of decor, end the holidays with five boxes. Don’t buy new storage for your ornaments unless you really are just starting out in life and don’t have enough. If you are like me, though, you have enough. Set a limit (3 or 4 or 5 or 20) and stick to it. Your husband (or other attic-ladder-climber) will thank you.

Clean out your boxes and only put back the things you really like.

Step 3:

Start each day with filling one grocery bag of trash. This will get you moving and get you to see what is bugging you the most so you know what to tackle next.

Even a small bag of trash is better than none!

Step 4:

Clear out that fridge! If you have any leftovers that are from before New Year’s, now’s the time to toss them. Unless it’s chocolate. Then send it to me.

Yes, clean out the fridge.

Step 5:

Slowly catch up. Don’t spend 15 hours cleaning at a time. Do one more extra box, or one more extra area, than you would normally do in a day. I promise you (probably) don’t have an inspector coming by on January 15 who will kick you out of your house if there’s still a Christmas tree in the corner. Take your time, do it slowly. Especially if you have babies or toddlers running around. They need you more than the clutter needs you.

This kid is a good reason for me to take a break!

Step 6:

As you pack, try to make notes of what you wish you could do differently next year. If you have cards that you bought on clearance, rather than packing them in the attic with Christmas stuff, put them with your Thanksgiving stuff, so you actually have time to write them. Make a note on your calendar for next year about when you want to start working on projects and cards and gifts.

Make a list. Write your goals for next year.

Step 7:

As you clear an area of the holiday decor, check for other things that you don’t love anymore, you don’t use anymore, or you wish your kids wouldn’t play with. I know you have some toys lying around that make you trip and yell every time you see them. Pack them in your Salvation Army box and take them to the thrift store ASAP! And if it’s broken, just throw it away. I promise the people who shop at Salvation Army don’t want puzzles with 3 pieces missing or ratty jeans any more than you do.

Get your old stuff out of the house!