12 Steps To Declutter Your Home Before Christmas
Christmas is right around the corner!
After a challenging year, Christmas 2020 is a chance to spend time with loved ones and celebrate friends and family (and of course, food).
It’s tough to enjoy the festive season though when your home is filled with excess clutter and junk. Maybe you have relatives staying over, or your kitchen needs a cleanout to prepare for the big Christmas cook-up, or there’s no space in the yard for a game of backyard cricket.
With the countdown to Christmas well underway, now is the time to clear your Western Sydney home from top to bottom. Your reward for rubbish removal is a stress-free lead up to Christmas and an uncluttered home to wake up to on Christmas Day.
In the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas, here are the 12 steps to declutter your home before Christmas.
#1 - Old Toys
If you’ve got a young family you already know how many new toys Santa will be dropping off this year.
In anticipation of this explosion of new toys, clear out any old toys that have seen better days. Go through the house and throw away anything that’s broken, missing wheels or isn’t being used anymore.
As a family business we know what it’s like asking kids to throw away old toys (hint: not easy) but you can use this opportunity to speak to your children about Christmas.
Explain to your children that some kids won’t get any new toys for Christmas but they might enjoy playing with older toys that have been donated to them.
#2 - Unused appliances
We bet there’s a couple of appliances gathering dust in your kitchen right now that you haven’t used all year.
It’s natural to say “I might use it one day”, but if you needed to use it – then you would have used it already. Ask yourself if you need those old appliances or if they’re taking up storage space in your kitchen.
If appliances aren’t needed, you should get rid of them when decluttering. The same goes for white goods that have seen better days.
You don’t want to fill a fridge full of food only to find it’s broken, so run your eye over your white goods and make sure there’s nothing that needs to be shipped off before the big day.
#3 - Summer clothing
Christmas in Australia means hot sun, seafood and ice cold drinks.
This is the perfect time to cull your summer gear by removing what you won’t be wearing. It’s difficult to throw away clothes when you’ve loved wearing them in the past, so take a leaf from Marie Kondo’s book and ask yourself two questions:
- When was the last time I wore this item?
- Does wearing this item bring me joy?
If you haven’t worn your summer gear and the items don’t bring you joy, it’s time to throw them away or donate them to charity to save yourself from needing a full hoarder clear out service down the track.
#4 - Papers & Magazines
Despite everything moving online, random papers have a way of appearing around your home and filling your drawers.
Go through any loose paper and separate it into two piles:
You only need those two labels for your paper clearout. If an item is a bill or important document you need, put it in a clearly marked box and place it out of sight. If the loose paper is anything else, it can go into recycling where it will be given a new purpose again.
#5 - Electronics
E-waste should be disposed of when decluttering with almost all old electronics able to be recycled; plugs, power cords and batteries are all perfect for reuse.
There’s a good chance you or your family member will be getting some form of technology – maybe a new iPad, laptop or Xbox, so using the time leading up to Christmas to remove e-waste is a great place to start decluttering.
With technology improving each year, consider recycling any of the following electronic items:
- Mobile phones
- Gaming consoles (Xbox and Playstation)
- Video Games
- HDMI cables
#6 - The backyard
No Christmas morning is complete without a game of backyard cricket, a BBQ in the sun, or a lawn full of kids enjoying their new toys.
If Santa is bringing a trampoline or blow-up pool you’ll need your lawn clear of debris and ready for action. When decluttering your home you should get rid of anything in the backyard that’s taking up space or posing a safety risk. As rubbish removal experts in Penrith and Western Sydney we often see yards where damaged white goods and built up green waste cause problems.
Not only do these forms of backyard junk take up valuable space, but they also create comfortable homes for spiders, snakes and rodents looking to escape the summer heat. For families celebrating Christmas in the Blue Mountains, removing backyard rubbish also helps remove fire hazards during bushfire season.
Find out how to protect your home during bushfire season here.
#7 - The kitchen
Christmas memories often start in the kitchen. Whether it’s cooking a feast for the whole family or unwinding over a (well earned) glass of wine on Christmas eve, a clean and clear kitchen sets the atmosphere for a stress-free Christmas day.
Problem areas where clutter builds up in your kitchen includes:
- Storage cupboards
- Cabinets & drawers
- Pantry items
Preparing food is easier and less stressful when you have room to move and you’ve disposed of any kitchen items you don’t need.
#8 - The garage
Does your garage look like a monument to broken toys and unwanted belongings?
“Throw it in the garage” is a great space saving tactic until you can’t fit any more junk in there. Clearing out your garage as part of a pre-Christmas cleanout will give you valuable storage space leading up to Christmas day.
You can hide presents in the garage that curious kids can’t find, or set up new gifts where kids can play on December 25th in the form of a temporary playroom.
#9 - The fridge
Enjoying Christmas leftovers is one of the best parts about a lazy Christmas day.
Whether you’re enjoying fresh seafood or a traditional Chrissie roast, you’ll need space in the fridge to keep everything nice and cool until you wake up from your nap looking for lunch.
You can help save a few extra dollars to spend on presents by eating as much of your existing food currently in the fridge and pantry. You’ll be able to declutter your fridge by throwing out as little as possible, enjoy the food you already own, and slash your grocery bill in the leadup to Christmas.
#10 - Knick-knacks
Removing unwanted items, old furniture and paper will help clear space in your home for Christmas day, but don’t forget to throw out any knick-knacks or unwanted decor that’s built up over the years.
It’s easy to bring the odd knick-knack home, from a new throw pillow to a piece of art that caught your eye. But after 12 months of collecting household rubbish, your home can look like a mess of different styles and decor.
By removing unwanted decor you’ll give your house a stripped back and stylish feel that’s perfect for adding new decorations – or just leave it stripped back for a minimalist charm. In both cases your home will look and feel better without dead plants, outdated decorations, and dusty vases that don’t reflect your style.
If it doesn’t make you happy, it’s time to donate or toss your excess clutter and household waste.
#11 - Christmas decor
Your Christmas decorations wait patiently in a box for 11 months before adding a splash of colour and charm to your home.
Without fail there’s a few stragglers at the bottom of the box that don’t feel like they have a place, or maybe they’ve lost their shine. If you’re not using Christmas decorations it’s for a reason – and it’s time to clear them out of your home.
If you haven’t used a decoration in the last few years, what’s going to change next year? With the Salvation Army and Vinnies accepting donations from Parramatta to the Blue Mountains, you can donate your unneeded decorations and help brighten someone else’s Christmas instead.
#12 - Gifts from last year
It’s a Christmas tradition to receive at least one gift you don’t want.
Maybe you smiled and popped the gift in a cupboard to be polite, but with Christmas approaching fast now is the perfect time to say goodbye to the gifts you didn’t want in the first place.
If you haven’t used a previous Christmas gift, find a new home by donating or recycling it, that way someone else can enjoy it instead.
No need to feel sad saying goodbye to an unloved gift either, there’s a 100% chance you’ll get something new this year that you didn’t want.
How can I declutter in one day?
If you’re looking to remove excess rubbish quickly in the build-up to Christmas it’s tough to find the time to organise council pick ups, pack rubbish for the tip, contact charities or sell everything online.