Motivation to help you declutter for Christmas and the festive season
Can you believe it’s nearly December already? This year has flown by!
The festive season and lead up to Christmas and New Year can be a busy time, with more visitors, people to entertain, and new thing coming into our homes. With this in mind, I’ve created an alternative advent calendar – 12 days of decluttering to help you tidy and organise your home ready for the festive season. 🎄
12 Days of Decluttering
I know, I know – an advent calendar that involves work?! But… hear me out! I know that this time of year I always feel the pressure to have my home ‘visitor ready’ and to make space for new gifts, especially for the kids. December is a busy month, and the festive celebrations can mean more rushing around, more belongings in our homes, and making space for extra people who might visit.
I originally created this alternative advent calendar as a personal decluttering checklist – a reminder of things I want to declutter for Christmas. The areas to declutter are based on the spaces in my home that get used most during the festive season, like our kitchen, dining area, and wardrobes.
While I was making this checklist I realised that it might be useful for you too, so I’ve also created a printable version.
Download the 12 Days of Decluttering printable (A4 size)
If you’d like to clear your home a little before Christmas and New Year too, here are my 12 days of decluttering.
Day 1: Living room and kitchen surfaces
For day one, let’s clear and organise the main surfaces in our living room (lounge) and kitchen. This is the perfect place to start, as it means that your surfaces are nice and clear for organising on the days ahead.
Some of the key areas to declutter today are your:
- Kitchen worktops
- Coffee tables
- TV stand/media centre
Day 2: Fridge and freezer
Let’s stick with the kitchen for today’s decluttering session and concentrate on the fridge and freezer. In our house December is a month where we indulge in more treats and buy more food in general, so it’s a good time to have a proper clear out.
Here’s how I usually declutter and organise our fridge and freezer:
- Take everything out of the fridge/freezer (do these one at a time)
- Sort through any food that’s out of date or has gone bad
- Properly dispose of any unwanted food (in food waste bin) and packaging (recycle if possible)
- Clean the inside of the fridge/freezer
- Clear away any ice
- Put food back into the fridge/freezer and organise in a way that works for your family (I like to group similar items together)
- Clean and organise the fridge/freezer door (if you have magnetic boards/meal planners)
Day 3: Art supplies and stationery
It’s day three and time to tackle the art and stationery supplies cupboard. We keep all of our art supplies for the kids, notepads, and other stationery in boxes in our kitchen/diner and it’s always a mess. If you have lots of festive arts and crafts fun planned, organising your supplies now can make it easier to find what you need.
It can be challenging to organise supplies when everything’s a different shape or size, but here are my storage solutions right now:
- A4 Zippa Bags for loose papers or flat materials
- Kuggis boxes for general arts and crafts supplies (you can stack two per cube in IKEA’s Kallax unit)
- Drona boxes for anything that’s too tall for the Kuggis boxes
Day 4: Seasonal clothing
It’s Winter, it’s cold, and it’s time to store away any seasonal clothes and accessories from the warmer months. I’m guilty of having swimwear and Summer hats lying around the house in January, when they could be stored away in a cupboard out of the way instead.
Before you pack up your seasonal gear, check that you still need them – if you don’t, consider donating or recycling them.
Day 5: Toiletries and makeup
Moving onto day five, and let’s tackle a collection that can quickly mount up – toiletries, skincare, and makeup.
It’s a good idea to regularly revisit your toiletries because some items, especially makeup, should be disposed of after a certain length of time. December is an especially good month to do this because many of us receive toiletries, fragrances, and makeup as gifts this time of year.
As you look through your collection, see if you can recycle your empty toiletries instead of throwing them away.
Day 6: Dining table
In our home our dining table becomes the ‘dumping ground’ for post, paperwork, school bags, and shopping. During the festive season this can easily get worse as it also becomes a place to wrap presents, make hampers, and do festive arts and crafts.
If this is the same in your home, today’s the day to declutter your dining table – and introduce a new habit to keep it free from clutter for the rest of the month (and beyond).
Day 7: Toys and games
With two young kids at home, Christmas usually means a stack of new toys, games, and things to play with. While we’re cutting back this year and focusing on gifts we know they’ll love and play with the most, it’s still the busiest month for new toys.
As new toys and games come into our home, it’s time to have a clear out to make way for them. If your toys and games are in a good condition and still playable, here are a few places you could donate them:
- Charity shops
- Local nursery, preschool or playgroup
- Local primary school for a Christmas fayre/tabletop sale
Day 8: Kitchen cupboards
It’s day eight and we’re back in the kitchen. Today’s task can be as big or as small as you want – you could declutter and organise one shelf, one cupboard, several cupboards, or even all of them. Start with the cupboard that makes you say “oh, not again!” every time you open it for the most impact.
My process for cleaning and organising cupboards is pretty similar to how I organise our fridge and freezer, but with extra attention on where things go. If you have the extra time, you could re-shuffle your cupboard contents to make a system that works better for you.
Day 9: Shoes and accessories
Today let’s take a look at your shoes and accessories like scarves, bags, and umbrellas. Similar to Day 4, sort through and store any seasonal items that you no longer need like sunhats, sandals, and sunglasses. If you have them in storage, bring out your Winter gear if you haven’t already, and make a place for those must-haves like an umbrella and a cosy pair of gloves.
Organising your shoes and accessories in a small space can be tough. Our entranceway is small, but we’ve used the Hemnes shoe cabinet which works perfectly. The top drawer is a handy place to keep spare change, batteries, a torch and a small umbrella. If your storage isn’t working for you, make a plan, measure up and look for a storage cabinet or solution that fits your space and how you use it.
Day 10: Receipts and paperwork
The festive season is a busy time for shopping, which means more receipts, gift receipts, vouchers, and paperwork. We’re still finding our feet with a paperwork system that works for us, but in the meantime it’s time to organise any receipts and paperwork that’s lying around.
Here are a few tips to help you eliminate as much paperwork as possible:
- Ask for bills and paperwork to be emailed to you instead of sent via post
- Scan and then shred any paperwork that’s not essential to have in paper form
- Store all your important files in one place (like a lockable fireproof box)
- Sort through incoming post and papers straight away and recycle anything you don’t need
Day 11: Wardrobe
We’re almost at the end of our alternative advent calendar now, and day 11 is one of my favourites – it’s time to declutter your wardrobe.
If you have a lot of clothes (or a big family) this task could take some time, but it’s also possible to do in sections if you’re short on time. There are lots of resources available on how to declutter your wardrobe – here’s a good place to start.
Day 12: A space of your choice
Welcome to day 12! Today’s an easier day – a cheat day if you will. Take some time today to declutter a space in your home of your choice. This might be your dining room, your bedroom, your loft space, or another room or cupboard that you want to tackle.
If you only have a few minutes, try one of these mini decluttering moments instead of a whole room.
Declutter for Christmas and New Year
I hope you’ve found this decluttering advent calendar useful and uplifting. Don’t forget to download your printable checklist version below!
If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend or someone who’d like to take part.
You can click the image below to share this on Pinterest.
How have you found this decluttering calendar? Are you tempted to declutter for Christmas? Let me know with a comment!
Header image by Unsplash