Everybody wants to have a tidy house ready before company arrives. Though this can be a major challenge when you’ve got clutter in the way. It’s even more daunting during the holiday season as your family’s general clutter from their daily lives tends to get mixed stubbornly with a vast array of holiday decorations and other seasonal items.
Having a plan to declutter your home before your family arrives is essential. Your best-laid plans are also easier to execute with less stress when you tackle the mess with thoughtful organizational solutions at your fingertips.
If you’re looking for great ways to make your holiday and household clutter gone, but not completely forgotten, you might want to try one or more of the following tips.
Deal with Daily Clutter Before Putting Up Decorations
Your everyday clutter is a hassle and perhaps an eyesore on any given day. Though it becomes even more of a problem once you start festooning holiday decorations throughout the house. So make a point to tackle your daily clutter items in advance like
- Crafting supplies
- Pet Item
- Chargers & charging cables
- Papers & bills
- General disorganization
This will let you enjoy a clean slate for putting up your decorations. It also makes it much easier to make changes without wondering how your kid’s charging cable and game console became inextricably linked to the holiday garland.
Update Your Holiday Decorations
Every year there’s a lot of joy that goes into putting up holiday decorations. Then when the season is over, they tend to just get shoved in a box and crammed into storage for a long 10 or 11 months of slumber. When you take them out again, you often find that your holiday string lights are tied into a knot that cannot be explained by our modern understanding of geometry.
At the same time, a lot of holiday decorations get held onto for a few years more than they were meant to. There’s a point where things stop being memorable and traditional, where they are simply outdated.
You don’t have to update or fully 100% refresh your holiday decorations every year. Though you should be prepared to replace one or two items every year, just to keep the thing looking fresh while letting disorganized decorations fall by the wayside.
Organize The Kitchen First
If you stop and think about it, the kitchen is arguably the most used room in the house during the holiday season. It’s the place where all the special meals are cooked, all the holiday desserts are made, and everyone saunters through to get their hands on some first-class holiday beverages. Not to mention all those long-lost relatives who traveled all that way to see you, who absolutely must come to visit you in the kitchen to watch your work your magic.
Organizing your kitchen and decluttering before the family arrives requires a multi-stage approach.
Clear All Flat Surfaces & Countertops
Whether you’re baking Holiday cookies or preparing a banquet for the masses, you need vertical workspace on your counters, islands, and other work areas. Start out by being as spartan as possible, to strip your vertical surfaces of all unnecessary clutter.
Then you can stock them back up with essential items that you are sure to use. This might include things like:
- Flour & Sugar Canisters
- Coffee Maker
- Beverage Station
- Spare Cups & Mugs
- A Small Wine Rack
- Condiments Dispenser
- Tools for Cooking & Baking
Keeping the essential arsenal of kitchen items sparse in the beginning leaves your room to add a tasteful degree of holiday decorations. All while ensuring that you have everything you need right at your fingertips.
Tackle the Pantry
The pantry is one of the most useful food storage places in the kitchen other than the refrigerator. Taking the time to make a seasonal sweep to remove outdated items and organize shelves not only makes it easier to find what you need when you’re cooking holiday delights. It also gives you more space to store holiday items. This includes pumpkin spice mixes, seasonal baking supplies, and holiday canned goods.
Ways to maximize the space in your kitchen pantry include:
- Shelf dividers
- Installing adjustable shelves
- Ceiling hooks
- Placing lazy Susans in the corner
- Suspending metal items with magnetic strips
- Installing wire baskets under shelves
Clean Out the Refrigerator
The refrigerator is more than just a cold storage food device. It’s a place where everyone goes to stash their holiday beverages. It’s where massive bowls of leftovers get stuffed, and it’s the one place everyone is going to see.
Taking an extra half hour to dig into the fridge, take out everything that is even remotely close to expiring, and wiping it all down will be a godsend when the family arrives. It also ensures that there isn’t any unnecessary clutter in the way when you need to move raw items and cooked ones, thus reducing the risk of accidental cross-contamination.
Declutter the Kid’s Rooms & Hangout Areas
If you have kids, especially teenagers in the family, then you need to give them their own space to hang out, play games, and connect with their cousins. It also helps minimize the total number of people in the main family room at one time.
Giving your kids a playroom, or making sure that their bedrooms are spot-on perfect gives the young people a place to congregate. It’s also easier when you implement intelligent storage solutions such as:
- Closet shelf dividers
- Drawer dividers
- Game console storage
- Toy bins
- Fold-down art tables
- Under-shelf wire baskets
Getting Clothes Sorted & Put Away
One of the best ways to declutter your home and bedrooms is to get all the spring and summer items put away for the winter. One of the fastest ways to make extra storage space in your closets and coat areas is to simply store away summer clothing in flat, stackable totes. You can then slide them under the bed in each bedroom.
The remaining storage space in your bedroom closet, hall closets, and dressers can be used for seasonal items, as well as decoration storage.
Give Gift Wrapping Supplies Their Own Space
It can be maddening to start wrapping a gift for that special someone, and you suddenly find yourself wondering where the tape is, or what happened to the bows. Worse still is discovering one of your kids couldn’t get the tube of wrapping paper back in the corner correctly, so they just crammed it in, leaving you with a lot of wrinkles.
Creating space in a hall closet or linen closet to keep gift-wrapping items isn’t just convenient. It makes sure that everything has its place, and everyone in the family knows where to put everything when they’re done wrapping their own special gifts.
Separate Out Seasonal Gear
Just like how putting away seasonal clothes helps make space in your closet, tucking away summer fun equipment gives you more room for storing all sorts of things. Including gifts that you want to cleverly hide in plain sight.
Pool items, beach gear, swimming towels, portable grills, and hiking gear can all be stored away safely in stackable totes. You can then label the contents on a piece of paper taped to the outside before storing them away in a corner of your garage or your basement. This will give you tons of storage space to break out holiday decorations and keep in-season items close at hand.