As always seems to be the case after Christmas, my home feels like it’s bursting at the seams!
Twelfth Night has been and gone, so we’ve taken the Christmas decorations down.
We haven’t stored them yet though; I’m still tidying and sorting through them – just to make my life a little easier when it comes to putting them up again next December.
This Christmas I felt I spent far too much time detangling strings of fairy lights before being able to put them up. Has this ever happened to you?
I’ve also bought some new decorations in the sales, so it’s time to get rid of a few old baubles that have seen better days.
Some of the lovely Christmas gifts we received have yet to find permanent ‘homes’, which is probably another reason why the house is feeling a little more cluttered than usual.
My plan is to tackle one room of the house each week in January, clearing out items that have been replaced with new ones or that are no longer needed – and, most importantly, finding designated spots for everything that’s staying.
Are you having a storage re-jig and/or decluttering this January? Let me know how you’re getting on.
Meanwhile, here are my top six post-Christmas storage and decluttering tips – I hope you find them helpful.
Tangled fairy lights
My favourite tip for avoiding tangled fairy lights (and/or strings of decorative beads) is to wrap them around a strong piece of cardboard – problem solved!
If you use the lights to decorate specific areas of your home, you can also write reminders on each cardboard strip so you’ll know which lights go where.
A few years back I invested in some clear plastic boxes from a budget shop in the January sales and have stored our Christmas decorations in them ever since.
I’ve labelled the boxes and sorted decorations by colour, and because I can easily see what’s in each box it’s so quick and easy to find the exact bauble I’m looking for.
Protect delicate decorations
If you have any decorations that are also family heirlooms or particularly delicate, you can keep them extra safe in freezer bags or shoe boxes lined with tissue or cotton wool.
Empty egg boxes can also be reused to keep smaller decorations safe until next December.
One in, one out…
For every present I receive, I consider whether it has made something else I own redundant.
If the answer is yes, I ask myself if I still need that item.
For items I don’t need, I decide to take them to a charity shop so someone else can make use of them, recycle them or (if it’s the only option) throw them away.
Don’t be afraid to regift
In fact, if you don’t have a use for (or don’t like) a gift that you received this year, think about regifting it or donating it to a charity shop.
It might seem a little hard-hearted, but I find this one-in-one-out policy helps keep the ‘stuff’ we have in the house to a manageable amount.
It’s also worth removing any bulky packaging from gifts and recycling it.
Even if you’re not going to use the item immediately, just getting rid of excess cardboard will save you so much drawer and cupboard space!
Use the old before the new
If you received consumables such as toiletries for Christmas it can be really tempting to crack them open before you’ve used up your existing products – especially if they’re a bit posher than the ones you usually buy for yourself!
I’ve done this so many times and my bathroom shelves end up cluttered and messy, so I now do my best to resist the call of shiny new things…with varying amounts of success.
As I always say, getting Christmas organised is a gradual process – one improvement at a time!
Happy new year to you all – I hope you had a wonderful festive season.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for next Christmas!