When you think of de-cluttering, you will probably automatically think of spring-cleaning or a having a good New Year clear-out.
However in actual fact the best time to start emptying cupboards and clearing drawers that havent seen the light of day for several months is during the weeks leading up to Christmas.
If your home is anything like mine, its already full to the brim with toys, with every cupboard and chest of drawers threatening to burst open at any moment.
How on earth are you going to fit in all your new things if you havent made room for them? Here are five top ways to de-clutter your home before you enter the festive period.
Check What Youve Already Got Before You go Christmas Shopping
How many times have you rushed out to get a few last minute Christmas Presents for the kids, only to discover they actually already had 3 of the same thing sitting unused in their wardrobe?
Thoroughly check what youve already got before panic-buying things you dont need.
Have a Toy Amnesty
My childrens rooms are full of environmentally-friendly toys they no longer want, never play with, or are broken beyond repair, and I suspect anyone else with young children can sympathize with me here.
By sorting through these toys and getting rid of any that fall into one of the above categories, youll be amazed how much extra room you will create.
This is a great job to complete with your children. By encouraging them to sort through their own toys, donating any they no longer want to someone less fortunate than them, not only will you be teaching them the true meaning of Christmas, you will be creating some much needed storage space in your home.
Charity shops, Christmas shoebox appeals, and a number of other places welcome unwanted toys around the festive period.
You could also consider selling unwanted toys on an online auction site to raise some much-needed funds to help pay for your own Christmas. Use courier companies like uShip to help deliver larger items to their new homes.
Sort Out Wardrobes
My mum used to religiously change her wardrobe whenever the clocks changed, moving effortlessly from summer to winter wear, and using the opportunity to have a good sort out of her clothes in the process.
In the process she donated anything she hadnt worn that season to charity, arranging for coats to be dry-cleaned and trousers to be repaired before their long hibernation.
I dont know of many people who still do this, possibly because clothes have become much more of a disposable commodity. However, it is a really great discipline to adopt, and removing your winter clothes and glittery evening dresses from their storage boxes feels like Christmas has come early, which in my book, can never be a bad thing.
Clean and Tidy Kitchen Cupboards
Each and every year without fail I go to make my Christmas cake and pudding, reach into my kitchen cupboard to use the mixed spice or cinnamon, and realize they went out of date in August.
If youre in charge of cooking Christmas dinner for any more than two people, clearing and cleaning your kitchen cupboards is essential to keeping last minute stresses at bay
It also makes the creation of the Christmas shopping list much easier. Youll feel so much calmer knowing all the essentials can be quickly located in your uber-organized cupboards.
Defrost the Freezer and Clean the Fridge
This is another essential pre-Christmas job, especially if youre cooking for large numbers of people. We all know that the more you can prepare early and then freeze, the more you can relax on the day.
The benefits of having a clean, frost-free fridge and freezer cannot be underestimated. Try to do this in November, and then start to make batches of mince pies and home made sausage rolls to enjoy throughout December with a nice glass of sherry (or two).
So what are you waiting for? Go and find some empty boxes, a feather duster and a whole pot of elbow grease and de-clutter your way to Christmas.
Do you have any tips or suggestions to add to this topic? Why not share them with our readers in the comment section below?
About the Author:
This article was written by Kathryn Thompson, a freelance writer and mum to three, very messy daughters. Kathryn started de-cluttering in July in order to give herself any chance of having it completed by December!