Christmas is one of those times in the year when even the calmest and most minimal of homes can get out of control very easily if you’re not careful.
There are so many ways that your home can get filled up with Christmas clutter that it’s almost impossible to prevent – I say almost because I want to look in this post at some ways that you can at least be more aware of what clutter there will be, and try and calm it before it starts.
© Igor Stevanovic | Dreamstime.com
So let’s take a look – hopefully there are some ideas here that will help you to have a clutter free Christmas this year!
#1 Wrapping paper clutter
Once the presents start getting opened, wrapping paper can get EVERYWHERE! – often disregarded while moving on to the next present or admiring what you’ve just opened.
Make it easy to put the wrapping paper away straight away. Get lots of bin bags or a large cardboard box into the middle of the room so everyone can reach it – and make sure paper is put in when each present is opened.
TIP – children can easily be asked to help – and usually enjoy this job!
TIP – recycle all paper, and if you can salvage any in good condition then keep and reuse for next year
#2 Food clutter
It’s all too easy to go overboard for Christmas – there’s so much in the shops and so many offers that it seems silly not to stock up – but this usually means that there’s loads of leftovers and waste come new year.
Write a menu plan for the days that you are eating or catering for others at your home over the festivities. Work out what you need, and whether you can make use of leftovers, and create your shopping list from there.
TIP – Shop online so you don’t get tempted by offers in the shops for things that you didn’t really need
#3 Time clutter
Christmas is a time that can really stretch you in so many ways – not least being trying to see all your friends and family within a short few days. It can get very busy very quickly, and you can feel daunted and guilty about not spending as much time as possible with everyone.
Plan the time you have available and don’t forget to add in time for just you and your immediate family as this is important as well. Work out what you can do, and accept that you may have to say no to people – just to keep your sanity!
TIP – Do you really need to see everyone over the few days of Christmas, or can you see a few in the weeks before or weeks after? It may work better for everyone to elongate the holidays a little and have things to look forward to.
TIP – Group people together – for example have a party for all your friends, invite your family for a full day together. This may also help them by getting them to see everyone at the same time as well.
#4 Present clutter
When you have received presents and opened them, they need a home. This is where a lot of people come unstuck as there simply isn’t room to put new items away.
Before the holidays start why not declutter kids toys, toiletries and other places where you may be lucky and get new things. Take things to charity that you simply don’t use or want anymore. This is a lovely tradition to do with children, who can give away some of their older toys to the less fortunate and understand what Christmas is all about.
TIP – Why not ask for less? – you could get children to ask for one bigger thing and get family to club together to get it rather than lots of little presents.
TIP – Vouchers can make a great present for older children and adults – and then the person can buy something in the sales that they really want
© Valda Tappenden | Dreamstime.com
#5 Card clutter
Everyone sends cards to everyone at Christmas. There are cards from family, friends, school friends, neighbours, the list goes on – and while this is a lovely way of sending good wishes to people, the cards that you are given can not only take up a lot of room when displayed, but also create a lot of paper waste come the new year.
One great way to eliminate card clutter while still sending those good wishes would be to use ecards for people that are on their computers a lot. This cuts down on paper, you spend less on the card and postage, and you still get to say Hi over the festive period.
Only send to a few people – tell everyone that you are going to donate to a chosen charity what you would have spent on cards this year, and you may start a trend!
#6 Decoration clutter
It is all too easy to go mad with decorations, and I for one am a sucker for anything sparkly around the house over Christmas – but it can get out of hand.
The issue comes when decorations literally take over every surface – they have to be dusted, kept tidy, stored when not in use, electric bills can go sky high from extra lights etc… all of which can add to the stress of the holidays which really isn’t the point!
Less is most definitely more where decorations are concerned. A few key pieces can make much more impact than loads of bits and bobs as you can see them more clearly and appreciate them more.
TIP – Have something special each year such as a new tree decoration – make this a tradition and you will love to look back in years to come at what you bought as it will bring back memories.
TIP – get the kids to make a decoration to make it even more special
#7 Mind clutter
It can be a stressful time of year – with all the pressure to be creating stunning homes and amazing feasts, along with gorgeous family scenes and happy faces everywhere. It seldom happens like that, but it seems that in the build up to Christmas we all forget this fact and let ourselves get overwhelmed by trying to create the best Christmas ever seen.
Know your limits! – Of course we all want an amazing Christmas, but if you know that you hate cooking, then order food that’s pre-prepared, or get some help from the rest of the house and delegate a little.
You will create a Christmas that’s perfect for your family – and that’s the most important thing in the end. They will want to see you enjoying yourself on the big day rather than stressed out.
TIP – Don’t try to please everyone – it seldom works as you may not really know what they want anyway!
TIP – Keep things simple
#8 General clutter
Christmas is stressful – it brings mess, people, noise, a break from the daily routine, more food, and more stuff everywhere – and this can cause mayhem.
Accept that this will happen – make a plan if you need to for how to get back to normal after the big day – and enjoy yourself! Christmas is, after all, only a few days and it will be over before you get a chance to enjoy it.
TIP – having a full declutter of the entire house (and not just kids toys etc..) will work wonders to alleviate that feeling of overwhelm that Christmas in your home may bring on. Throw away food past it’s best before date, give food parcels to charities of items you won’t be eating, look through your wardrobe for items for charity, and go through each and every cupboard in the house to look for things that are no longer needed or wanted. You will feel so much lighter knowing this is already done, and will be ready to welcome the holidays with open arms.
Do you worry about clutter over Christmas? What kind of clutter do you dread the most? I’d love to know so please leave a comment below – thanks in advance x