The spirit of the season is meant to revolve around giving to others, yet every year you might find your house riddled with holiday-themed excess on top of general household clutter. You haven’t a clue how you accumulated so much … stuff. Where did it all come from? Are you even using half of it anymore? You keep telling yourself you’ll get to it eventually, but the free time it takes to do so can be elusive.
Instead of waiting to start your spring cleaning list, get started now with these tips and methods to help you keep your home clutter free and organized through winter and beyond.
To begin, you need to get organized. Once you compartmentalize and separate, you can decide what to do with all of the clutter. But where to start?
Try the Four Box method. You have four boxes, labeled “Keep,” “Toss,” “Donate” and “Storage.” Take the four boxes to one area or room and begin picking up each item you find. With each piece ask yourself, “Do I want to put this away and keep it, donate it, store it or toss it?”
Take stock of what you have before you store it away. Rummage through the piles of lights, decorations, wrapping paper and bows and toss what isn’t working. There’s no sense in making room for garbage. Plus, what better time of the year to buy new decorations to replace the old than after the holidays, when many retailers offer huge discounts?
One last tip: Take photos of your holiday decorations before taking them all down. Tape them to the outside of the storage box so you know what’s inside.
Be Kind and Donate
Allow the decluttering process to become an activity involving the entire family. It doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, you can turn it into a valuable life lesson for the kids by illustrating the significance of being charitable. When children compose their wish lists, it’s a great opportunity to bring up the notion of making room for the new by donating the old.
Try implementing the Get One, Donate Two rule during any holiday gift exchanges. Basically, for every new toy or article of clothing the kids receive, two older items get donated to make space. This not only serves as a learning opportunity for children, but it aids in decluttering.
Pack toys and items your kids have outgrown before the holiday season and donate to some of the many charities serving children in need. Adults can do this too.
The holidays are a perfect time to start this tradition as the excitement of new presents helps cut the ties to old items.
Start New Habits
You now have a couple of easy tips for keeping your home clutter-free. Make following them a yearly habit. Set aside a special day after the holidays to clean and organize before the new year begins. Turn it into a family event, where everyone tackles a specific room in the house. Punctuate this new tradition with a small celebration afterward.
If you feel that this is a job too big to tackle, go ahead and splurge a little and hire a professional cleaner or organizer to come in for a half-day to do a few designated jobs or specific rooms. It’s the holidays after all – you deserve a break!
Have any suggestions or tips on making decluttering easier? Share them below!
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