For some, Christmas can be really stressful. From the financial burdens to the tidy up before (and after) the big day, it all adds additional pressure. Packaging retailer RAJA UK discovered that 35% of Brits found decluttering their home to be a therapeutic experience; and one that can help people feel less stressed around the Christmas period. They’ve put together some tips for decluttering your home in the run-up to Christmas to make sure you’re not overwhelmed when the time comes.
The costs of a cluttered home
A cluttered home can be a massive burden on your mental health and physical health. Here are some of the costs of a messy home that you may not be aware of:
- Sleep deprivation. Attempting to sleep in a cluttered room can result in a higher risk of developing sleep problems, such as trouble falling asleep and waking up in the middle of the night.
- Unhealthy habits. Mess can lead to bad coping and avoidance strategies like excess snacking and binge-watching TV shows.
- Feelings of guilt. Clutter creates feelings of guilt and embarrassment when your house isn’t clean and tidy, especially when you have guests over for Christmas.
- Heightened anxiety. It provides the mind with excessive stimuli, making the senses work overtime on things that are not important.
Tips for decluttering your home
By donating, recycling or selling items that you no longer need, you can create more room and make yourself feel calmer. In fact, 16% of Brits say decluttering can benefit their mental health. Here are some tips for decluttering your home:
Take it one room at a time
Pick one room and work through it until it’s clean. This reduces the risk of burnout that might occur if attempting to clear it all in one go.
This allows you to see an impact faster, which makes you more likely to carry on cleaning.
Use three piles
Divide your stuff into three piles: things you’ll keep, things you’ll throw away or recycle, and things to donate to charity.
These tasks are actionable and help you to know what to do with each pile when you’re finished.
If you haven’t used the item in the last six months – and you don’t envision using it in the next six months – donate it.
Keeping a tidy space can help make you more productive and prevents you from falling into bad habits.
Make it a lifestyle change
Incorporate five minutes of decluttering into your day to help establish good habits.
Provides momentum as it’s easier to maintain a tidy home.
Your calendar to declutter before Christmas
Studies say that 54% of UK adults worry about the mental health of someone they know at Christmas. One way to make your Christmas less stressful is to be prepared. RAJA have pulled together a schedule for the whole year for the decluttering process.
- Take down all of your Christmas decorations and pack them into cardboard boxes so they’re organised for next year.
- Dispose of your unwanted boxes and cards by recycling them.
- Return or donate any unwanted Christmas gifts.
- Reorganise the kitchen by checking the expiry date on foodstuff and putting anything that is out of date in the food waste bin.
- Tackle the junk drawer. Recycle old takeaway menus, find proper storage for receipts and manage other miscellaneous items.
- Take an inventory of your small appliances and cooking utensils and get rid of items that you no longer need.
- Clear out your toilet including your medicine cabinet. Check to see if medicines are still in date and dispose of items that have expired. Store them by medicine type, such as liquids, pills and emergency first aid.
- Clear out your vanity drawer by assessing if creams, make-up and bath products are still okay to use.
- Go through your closet and cut your winter wardrobe down. Pick out anything you didn’t use and donate or sell them.
- If you have children, do the same for their closet. See what clothes fit them (and will still fit in the next six months).
- Go through your storage space such as a garage, shed or attic. Sort your space into specific zones, one for household tools, sports equipment, seasonal decorations and garden supplies.
- Craft items such as paints, pens and other bits can create clutter quickly. Store various craft items in cardboard storage boxes.
- Sort out all of your books, boardgames and DVDs in your living room or games room.
- During the summer holidays, cull your linen cupboard. Recycle thread-bare towels, sheets, blankets and linens or donate them to your local animal shelter.
- Take time to organise your home office space. Invest in some desk organisers, such as pen pots and filing systems for documents that you have to keep.
- Cable organisers are an easy way to ensure that your desk looks tidy.
- You’ll want to repeat the process you did in April with winter clothes. Look at the items you didn’t use and sell, donate, or repurpose them.
- Store away your sandals, flip-flops and other summer shoes. Get rid of the ones you won’t use next year.
- Go through the decorations that you packed away in January. Donate or sell what you won’t use.
- Again, make sure you’re up to date with what is in the kitchen cabinets since you organised it in February.