Holiday Clutter

Dealing with post holiday clutter? Glad that the day went so well, but wishing there was less stuff to deal with? Feeling overwhelmed about assimilating your new items into an already crowded house?

Here is my best advice:

  1. Start with a trash bag in hand. Go around the house collecting all the boxing material, the wrapping, the torn off tags. Put it all outside as soon as you fill a bag. See yourself as a worker paid by the item. Work quickly and intuitively to get all the trash out.
  2. Turn your attention next to anything that has a designated home. Your new clothes go in the hamper to be washed. The new games on the games shelf. New books with the books. Ask yourself, as you survey the crime scene that is your living room, which item here has a home right now? If it does, put it there.
  3. For your housemates’ gifts, think in terms of piles. Make them each a pile in the corner of the room and have them deal all their things. Or do it yourself if that makes you feel better. Set a realistic date, in the future, for all their things to be dealt with. Announce the date and then think no more about others’ piles. Tend to your own.
  4. Go around the house and evaluate your holiday decor. Are there items you did not bother to bring out? Are there items that are out, but make you sad? Are there items that look sad because they are so old? Consider donation of anything in the decor category that doesn’t make you smile. Decor is for improving life, not weighing it down.
  5. Assess your gifts that do not have a home. Be ruthless. Ask yourself, do I love this gift today? If not, make a plan to be rid of it. Returns in one pile; donate in another pile. If you don’t love it today, you won’t love it tomorrow.
  6. Consider whether the new item is meant to replace an old item. Now is the time to deal with the old item. Put the new item in its place.
  7. Survey the common rooms. Are there items that could be removed to make the space feel more inviting to you. Use your energy of space clearing to get you to downsize, if that feels good. Now is a great time to take a hard look at decor, duplicates, and damaged items. All of which could be removed from your living space.
  8. Have fun. Put on music, a podcast, or a great movie. Move around the house in ease and with this intent: I keep what makes me happy.
  9. Don’t hesitate to be bold. Empty out a cupboard and use this rule to sort: Put the most used item in the prime location, the second in the second best spot and so on. Put it all back in with the least used items at the back, or at the bottom. See if you ever reach for the hard to reach. Dispose when it makes sense to you.
  10. Keep an open mind to seeing your spaces in new ways. Is there a better place for this? Can I put it away on a temporary basis and see how it goes? Can I find a better home for this? These are all better questions than asking yourself, where should I put this, which always conjures up a negative feeling and uncertainty.
  11. Go back to bed when you tire out of the clean up. Keep your bed made and tidy and say, here I have order and I can be in peace. Don’ t hesitate to spend the afternoon in bed basking in the serenity of one clean room.
  12. As you work, make an effort to replay in your mind all the best moments from the holidays. The smiles on faces. The gracious attitudes. The funny mishaps. The time together. Put them all on repeat and let your mind take you on a positive ride, rather than fretting about the Christmas clutter.
  13. Last, for any new item that has no obvious home, ask yourself where does it belong. Your first response is where you will look for it.

Leave a Reply