We really don’t like joining all those big stores in announcing Christmas before we’ve even made it to Halloween but, with time seeming to rush past our ears quicker than ever, it will only take a couple of shakes of some poor lamb’s tail and we’ll be walloped all the festivities – houses decorated to the rafters, kids running around like wild animals, guests coming in and out of the front door like it’s a catflap and spending all sorts of quality moments with our nearest and dearest. But above all this, the arrival of Christmas means one thing: you’re about to get even more stuff.
We know we shouldn’t really complain, but consumerism is now so rampant we’re all getting gifts we don’t even need just because people don’t want to seem like they don’t care. It’s kinda crazy. Of course, that’s only part of the reason a pre-Christmas cleanup is probably needed. If you’re anything like us, your spare room is probably a glorified storage space that needs clearing to make space for guests, you kitchen is housing bits that you won’t use or can’t eat and that won’t do because you have a big dinner to make, and everywhere you look there is clutter you’ve collected over the past year.
But whatever the reason, now really is a great time to get the ball rolling, make a to-do list and begin cracking on with your massive pre-Christmas clear out. So, without further ado, here are our top tips to make sure this big clearance goes as smoothly as possible. Enjoy.
- Always Have A Plan Of Attack
Before you start tucking into a clear out of any kind – especially a pre-Christmas one – you really need to have a plan in place otherwise you’re going to end up throwing back aspirin to soothe your headache. Think about which rooms need the biggest clear out, which spaces will be used most come the holidays, how long you should spend clearing and cleaning each room, what bits you really don’t want to throw away and what really can go. Doing this will help you stay focused and know what is still left on your to-do list. Another great way to plan is to think about any potential problems before they pop up. After all, we’re talking about a big home clear out here, and that means thinking about things like getting a skip for hire and make sure you’re doing your clear out on a day when your entire family is home. Not only will this save you a lot of time and hassle when disposing of old and broken belongings, but you also get to say what your parents used to say to you: many hands make light work.
- Be A Green Machine
The last thing we want is for our clear out of stuff we don’t want or need to go into those already overflowing landfills. So, while you’re clearing out your home, try and consider the impact your old belongings might have on the environment, feel a bit guilty about it and then start sorting your waste into recyclables, non-recyclables, donations and green waste before getting rid of it. The same should go for your actual clean-up. We know this may sound like a lot of hard work, but that’s what the internet is for. Trust us, it only takes a quick search to discover some great online resources about how to make your cleaning routine uber eco-friendly. For instance, instead of just chucking old, everyday household items out, such as vinegar and baking soda, try using them to make cleaning products out of. The world will love you for it. On that note, steam cleaners are another great way to get your clean on minus the chemicals. Oh, and another green thing you can be doing is looking for ways to reuse and up-cycle your old belongings, even if it’s just to sell online or give away as presents. It could be turning an old bath into a sofa (remember Breakfast at Tiffany’s) or even spray painting a pair of old wellies to make some fun and colourful flower pots.
- Give What You Can To Charity
One person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Remember that when you are cleaning out because as much as it might feel like your home is full of old and unused possessions, you’ll be surprised at just how much of a difference these tidbits could make to someone else this Christmas. That’s the whole point of charity shops. That’s why they are always on the hunt for bits that will perfect for those who are less fortunate or great items that someone else will love. It’s doing a good deed (and it keeps these out of landfill, again) So, while you’re clearing out your spare room or wherever, keep an eye out for old toys, unwanted furniture, books you won’t read again, kitchenware that’s so last year or clothes that are still in good condition but you haven’t worn for six years and then donate them to a local charity shop.
- Declutter Is A Must-Do
Before you really start clearing out your house, spend a few hours/days/weeks going through any old belongings that you no longer use but are taking up a chunk of much-needed space. Yeah, we’re talking about decluttering. There is only so much stuff anyone needs before it just becomes a mess of bits and you fall into the category of ‘mindless hoarder’. Of course, decluttering is not easy (especially if you have trouble letting go of stuff), which is why you should take a peek at these handy ways to declutter your home, closets, bedroom and kitchen. This makes your big clean much easier and more time-efficient simply because you won’t have so much stuff to step around or reorganise. As a little starter point, try clearing out any overflowing dresser draws first, then do the kitchen cupboards, any rail-bending closets, bathroom cabinets, messy bookshelves, linen cupboards and then, the worst of the worst, the garage and attic. These will really put a smile on your face during your pre-Christmas clear out.