You know how it is. The year takes its sweet time to pass, month after month, and then suddenly it goes from Halloween to Christmas in the blink of an eye. So, what can we do to prepare for the onslaught of festivity? Stock up on eggnog? Check. Dust off the ugly Christmas sweater? Also, check. Start untangling the giant ball of fairy lights ready for another frustrating installation? Begrudgingly check. Another thing that you should probably start thinking about, however, is organizing the home with a good old-fashioned decluttering. Because let's face it, it's going to be far more relaxing spending time at home without any excess clutter hanging around.
Now that we're feeling motivated (or at least pretending to be…), let's get started!
Let's start with the biggie. Living areas! If you like your living room to resemble an over-the-top festive extravaganza (or is that just me?) come December, you're going to need to make some room. Start by removing things from your bookshelves that don't really serve a purpose and clearing any other things that you've been looking at and thinking “why do I even have that?” for the last 6 months.
KITCHEN AND PANTRY CUPBOARDS
No matter how you choose to celebrate the festive season, there's one thing that pretty much every celebration has in common: food. This means that you should start to reduce your pantry inventory and use what you've got before buying anything new, and it's also a good idea to go through the pantry and check the expiration dates on canned foods or any other pantry staples stashed away. This will help you to clear some space for all those delicious festive masterpieces that you'll be creating next month. As for your kitchen cupboards, get rid of any kitchen items/gadgets/impulse buys because the less you own, the less you have to worry about storing or putting away.
The holiday season is a great time to do a bit of a closet review. Make sure that you're truly loving every piece in your wardrobe, and if you haven't worn something in a while (and don' intend to…) get rid of it! This can often be easier said than done but take it from someone who is speaking from experience here, you get a lot more wear out of your favourite pieces if there isn't a whole bunch of unworn impulse buys drowning them out. If you've got little ones in the house, do the same with their clothes. Get rid of anything that they've outgrown or just don't wear anymore. You'd be surprised at the amount of space you can free up just by taking a little time to properly look through your wardrobe. Once you've culled your inventory, pop your clothes in a bag and take them to a local charity drop-off centre or donation bin.
Speaking of little ones, holidays equals gifts. Kids are the real winners at this time of year. Whether it's toys, video games, gadgets or clothes, you can pretty much guarantee that even if you've requested that family and friends go easy on the gift giving, they'll still receive more than what they need come Christmas time. Take this as an opportunity to sort (and purge) the overflowing inventory before the onslaught of Christmas toys begins!
TIP: it's best to leave this one until your kids are either asleep or out of the house (unless you like a challenge, in which case I encourage you to attempt this while your children are in the room – good luck!).
The bathroom cabinet doubles as an excellent hiding spot for forgotten cosmetics, expired samples and unused impulse buys (that you have no intention of using). Take a look through your bathroom stash and bin anything past it's use-by date (if you're unsure about the expiry date, take a look at the back of the packaging and look for the icon with a number and 'M' next to it). Think twice about keeping anything if it's expired as certain products can be a haven for bacteria - not the kind of thing you want on your face!).
Preparation is key for a smooth holiday season, but sometimes there's surprises that arrive in the form of unexpected guests. In addition to decluttering your home, our handy list of tips for cleaning for unexpected guests is also a handy holiday resource - read more here.
Whilst sorting and decluttering isn't the most entertaining of tasks, getting it out of the way now means that you'll be fully prepared for some serious holiday downtime (or madness, depending on your style) when December rolls around. And, if you've had enough and want someone else to take care of the cleaning after all that downsizing, our teams are ready to help. Just book a service and we'll take care of the rest of it for you!