← Go back Overwhelmed! Five Tips to Declutter after the Holidays
Published on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 by

If you are like me, you have probably taken down the Christmas tree, put away most of the decorations and really need to get outside to take the lights off the house (Lets just blame having snow for the last month ok?).

But why is it that this year, there seems like not just more Christmas stuff, but more stuff EVERYWHERE!



Here are Five Tips to Help Deal with the Post-Christmas Clutter

  1. Before you put your bins back into the crawlspace, the garage, or wherever they live for 11 months of the year, take a look at what is in the bins. I found that mine were half full of decorations we did not use, nor do we plan to use. Yes, we have red coloured decor and separate blue coloured decor, but I found some glass balls that I know we will never use again (thanks to having a baby or toddler around for the last 5 years and our hardwood floors) and a bunch of other Christmas knick-knacks that I was not particularly fond of. Immediately, I took out all of the decorations I was unlikely to use again. Off to the donate pile they go. Yes, we keep special treasures that our children make, they have a separate shoe box inside the bins, and while I may not display them all every year, they are something we will keep and always look, the boys marvelling at their past creations! Hopefully by scrutinizing your decorations, you will have made some room for the new stuff you just had to have this year! (I know you bought some, I did too!)
  2. Too Many Toys? Yes that is also a problem in my household. While we purged before Christmas, it seems as if the bins are overflowing again! While it sounds exhausting to wade through all of the toys, I find if you sort them first, and then purge, it is much easier to accomplish. I start with the crafts, playdoh, colouring books and markers. Dried out playdoh and markers hit the trash first. Well loved colouring books next.

After crafts we sort the toys, while I know what my kids actually play with, they will tell me they love everything and immediately play with something that they have not touched in 6 months. I often let them play with it, then put it in the purge pile later.

I also let my 5 year old have a say in the decision. If he wants a new toy or lego set, he knows he has to sell or donate some of his existing toys first. He is really good at putting his little brother’s toys in the purge pile (but we are working on him going through his own stuff too!)

We have a lot of costumes. Too many. While I am happy that they love to dress up, I know the fireman costume is no where near the top of the list when we now have power rangers and Kylo Ren. So the fireman and the other unloved costumes end up in the purge pile.

  1. Stuffed Closets. Somehow, no matter how often i purge, my kids have drawers overflowing with clothes (Ok I do too!) We are lucky to get so many hand me downs, and grandma bought a couple new pairs of PJs at Christmas. My 5 year old does not need 20 pairs of pants when there is only 7 days in a week! I tend to make it a numbers game. While all of his sweatshirts are cute, he does not need 7 anymore, when he will wear his favourite one two or three times a week! While some of his clothes are super cute, I try and leave my emotions aside and think of function and quantity. Otherwise the drawers would still be overflowing! The sock drawer gets a good cleanup too! Too small or no pair? Off to the garbage the lonely sock goes! 
  2. Eating Through the Pantry. I am not sure if this is a problem at your house, but it seems to be at mine. The pantry is stuffed full of dry and canned goods, semi-organized, yet there seems to be nothing to “eat.” I have made a commitment to eat through the pantry (well as much as possible) and the freezer every 6 months. So when the freezer has lots of food that needs eating, or if there are a few too many cans of kidney beans or diced tomatoes, I get creative with dinner, to use it all up. It is amazing how much money worth of food sits in our pantry or at the bottom of the freezer.
  3. Oh the Knick Knacks! Does Christmas mean more dishtowels, another cheese plate or some candle holders? Is your closet already full? Are your drawers overfilling? Only keep what you think you will use and what means something to you. Do you really need a dozen dishtowels when 6 will do. Consider purging the older ones, or even save and regift the new ones. Did I say regift? Yes, I did. There is no shame on passing on something that someone else might be able to enjoy and make use of. When you already have three cheese plates, consider taking one to your next ladies night and offering it to the hostess!

Happy Organizing!

Lindsay Nieminen – Lindsay is a freelance writer, photographer, lifetime traveller and a lover of learning. She resides in Langley with her husband and two sons and you will likely find her on the soccer field when she is not jet setting abroad. Follow her family travel adventures at www.carpediemourway.com

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