How to deal with Christmas Clutter – New Year, New You!

You’ve had a lovely relaxed Christmas at home but reality is looming. The Christmas decorations are boring you now and as you look around your house you are wondering where the hell that toy mountain in your living room is going to go, what you are going to do with the novelty pressies you gave your husband that seemed like a laugh at the time and which drawer you can shove the jumper from your auntie that she is going to expect to see you wearing.

Sound familiar? Depressing isn’t it?

In short, you need to find a place for everything and hopefully at certain times of the week have everything in its place.

Not rocket science, I know, but you are going to have to let some of your stuff go to make room for the new stuff. So it’s time for some serious decluttering but you have little or no idea where to start.

You’re not alone, That’s why professional organisers are more and more in demand with each passing year. In the UK we love to shop but are less eager to see perfectly good stuff go to waste. If you want to get organised, check out the tips below and you will be well on your way to a calmer, more inviting home and hopefully a less stressed you!

Have a plan of attack. Choose a room, drawer, wardrobe and stick to it. Don’t get waylaid putting stuff back into other rooms until the end.

Use it, need it, love it? If you don’t use it regularly, need it sometimes or love it all the time, it’s time to question whether it should stay.

Be realistic. It’s taken months or sometimes years for the clutter to build and it will take time and effort to sort it out. About 4 or 5 hours decluttering a day is more than enough.

Choose your destinations. Know beforehand where you can offload the things you choose to lose. Choose a charity shop you feel passionate about and where it’s easy to park. Know how your local recycling centre works. Make sure your sister, mum or friend needs, will use or love your cast offs. If you plan to sell, find someone to do it for you or ensure you have the tools and the time to do it yourself.

Get started. There’s no easy way. Tackle visible clutter first on surfaces or the floor to give yourself space to work. Then work clockwise around the room until it’s done.

Colour code. Use different coloured bags for different things so you don’t get confused. You can go through a lot of black bin liners in a day. I use blue for Charity, green for recycling, clear for family and friends etc.

Out the door. Plan to offload everything on the day you declutter. That way there’s no chance of it reappearing. I have never had a client with regrets.

Keep a vision. However you envisage your newly decluttered space, keep that firmly in your mind all day long to keep your motivation high.

Save storage till last. Don’t buy storage until you have fully decluttered and are ready to organise. That way you can get exactly what you need.

Organise for your lifestyle. Choose a system that works with your lifestyle. Be realistic and don’t micro-organise. Then sit back and take it all in!

Call in the professionals. If you really can’t see yourself ever getting there alone, call in a professional. We guide you through the process psychologically and practically and keep you focused until the job is done

Hopefully by now you should have some empty drawers, cupboards and shelves to store your Christmas goodies. Oh and don’t let guilt get the better of you. If you are never in a million years going to use or wear that Christmas present, take it back, sell it or regift it. Someone else will love it!

Just one last little Clutter Fairy tip – next year, tackle the decluttering before Christmas – it makes a massive difference!

Declutter your bathroom for Christmas!

Somewhere amongst all the Christmas pressies there is going to be something you need to store in your bathroom. If you’ve been really good this year it might be some Jo Malone, if not it might be some bath salts from the pound shop. Either way, it’s the thought that counts and somehow it’s going to need to fit into your bathroom cabinet, baskets or  shelf.

If the contents of your bathroom storage are thrown rather than placed, haven’t seen the light of day for many a year, and there’s rust from the bottom of your deodorant can all over your shelves, it’s time for some action.

Rule number 1 – Be ruthless. Be honest with yourself. If it hasn’t been used in 6 months, chances are it won’t ever be.

Rule number 2 – Don’t feel guilty. By keeping that expensive perfume that you never liked because it’s too strong for you, all you are doing is prolonging your guilt by reminding yourself each time you open the cupboard.

Rule number 3 – Be realistic. If the ambience in your bathroom is more My Little Pony than Molton Brown, having all your expensive potions and lotions on display might not be practical. Your spa sanctuary will come one day!

Rule number 4 – Be hygienic. Make up, perfume, toothbrushes, bath oils. They don’t last forever and can harbour nasties if kept too long. Check the bottles for advice. You’d be surprised how short the recommendations are and how fast 5 years goes by!

Rule number 5 – Be frugal. If you use the item in question but have ten half empty bottles, don’t throw them away. Do a bit of a David Beckham and line them up with the bottles with the smallest amounts at the front or, if you can, decant into one bottle.

Rule number 6 – Be different. Just because you always buy a 48 pack of loo roll every time you go to Costco, ask yourself whether the money saved is worth the hassle of storing it.

Rule number 7 – Enjoy. The bathroom cabinet is one of the first things we see in the morning. make sure your day starts off on a positive note.

Happy decluttering!