During the holiday season, clutter always seems to be lurking around the corner. The food, gifts and guests suddenly fill your home to the brim with new stuff you just don’t have room for, so what usually happens is you pack the closets, basement and garage with junk until your home looks more like a storage shed than a livable space. Before Santa fills your home this year, here are some useful tips to stay clutter-free during the holidays.
More Storage isn’t Always Better
It’s great to have adequate storage space in the home, but more isn’t always better. Think about it; the more storage areas you have, the more stuff you’ll shove into these spaces – much of which will sit there unused for weeks or longer.
Instead of resorting to additional storage areas in your home, get rid of stuff you don’t use to make room for the new stuff obtained during the holidays.
You Don’t Need a Backup of Everything
Why have three toasters, two blenders and old electronics you never use anymore? If you get a new blender for Christmas, get rid of the old one. There’s no reason to shove an old blender in a box in the garage when you know it’ll sit there unused for months or years.
This ideology comes from the “one-in-one-out rule,” where you get rid of an item every time you bring a new similar item into the home. This can greatly reduce the accumulation of clutter throughout the year.
Remember the Spirit of the Season
…“Giving”, in case you didn’t know! Rather than trashing all of your old clutter, consider donating it to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Toys for Tots or any other local charity. Donating during the holiday season is extra special because it allows people less fortunate to enjoy the holidays a bit more, especially children.
If you’re interested in a reduction on your income taxes, be sure to keep your receipts when donating goods to a charity.
There’s a good chance clothes were on your Christmas list. This new clothing needs some closet space, which makes for the perfect time to revamp your closet. Get rid of anything you never wear – definitely consider donating any clothing that is still in decent condition.
If you have trouble parting ways with your beloved clothing items, here’s a great strategy that can help:
- Turn all of your hangers the same way in your closet.
- Each time you wear a piece of clothing, wash it, and put it back in your closet with the hanger facing the opposite way.
- After at least 3 or 4 months, have a look at your closet. You’ll find that many of the hangers are still facing the same way as when you started. Why keep clothes you never wear?
Prepare to be Overwhelmed, but Don’t let it Bother You
…Easier said than done! The holiday season is definitely a stressful time of year, especially if you throw in a project like decluttering your home. There’s no way around the stress, but there are ways to manage it more effectively. Here are a few quick tips:
- Take a break: Don’t let yourself get rundown; that is counterproductive. A break for one or two days can help big-time.
- Downsize the job: Instead of trying to tackle the entire project at once, divide it into smaller more manageable projects. This could involve setting a goal to declutter one room at a time, or go as far as dividing a single room into sections and cleaning each section one by one. Each time you complete a section, you’ll get a sense of satisfaction that can help motivate you to keep going.
- Recruit Friends and Family: Ask a few close friends or family members to assist you with the job. It not only provides extra hands to get the cleanup done faster, but the added support also helps keep you from going nuts from all the stress of the holidays!
- Hire a Pro: If the cleanup is just too much for you to handle, consider hiring a junk removal company to do the cleanup for you. Most companies will get the job done within a day, and many of today’s junk haulers recycle or donate the majority of the items they remove, even giving you receipts for the donated items so you get a tax benefit.
It’s also helpful to know that you’re home isn’t the only one in America in need of some decluttering. A 2008 survey found 66-percent of homes had at least one room in need of some decluttering. 70-percent of these homeowners agreed that cleaning up this clutter would ultimately boost their productivity and save them an average of an hour-a-day.
Just remember that a clean home is a happy home, even during the crazy holiday season!
**Guestblogger: Joseph Eitel is a blogger and editor for HometownDumpsterRental.com, a free online service helping connect people with reputable dumpster rental and junk removal companies in their hometown.
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