Christmas decluttering

5 simple but effective tips to help you declutter before Christmas

In case the sound of Noddy Holder hollering didn’t tip you off, it’s Christmas.

Ah yes, Christmas: a time of joy, festivity, and panic cleaning when your relatives are coming round and your house looks like Santa’s grotto after a reindeer got loose.

You don’t have to run around shoving stuff in cupboards and kicking trinkets under the bed though, oh no. With a bit of forward planning and dedication, you’ve still got time to declutter before the big day ”“ and you could make a little cash at the same time too. Perfect!

So, how best to approach this decluttering lark? Glad you asked…

Set goals

Before you so much as pick up an old CD in anger, make sure you have a plan. Otherwise, you’ll end up hovering around like a headless chicken before getting bored and watching Lionel Blair’s 100 Greatest Christmas Music Videos for four hours.

Your plan doesn’t need to be complex. You just need to write a list of simple, achievable decluttering goals, like ”˜tidy up the living room’ or ”˜go through the DVDs and pick out anything I haven’t watched for a while’.

Setting goals will help you stay on track and ensure your relatives aren’t eating their Christmas dinner while buried under a pile of stuff.

Little and often

Have you ever tried to tidy up in one go? It’s boring. Honestly, give it a go and see how long you can last before giving up and watching that fictional Christmas video compilation show we mentioned in the last section.

The secret to effective decluttering is doing it in little bursts. Dedicate half an hour every night to tackling clutter; it could be organising a bookshelf or tidying an entire room, but do something.

If half an hour sounds too much, try ten minutes instead. Anything is better than nothing, and it’s more important to foster a habit than force yourself to work longer than you want to.

Stay positive and daydream

When you’re knee-deep in clutter with no end in sight, it’s easy to lose hope. But, as Harvey Dent said before he became a two-faced fate-obsessed maniac, it’s always darkest before the dawn.

He was talking about surviving the schemes of a mad clown with the help of a bloke dressed as a bat, of course, but his advice applies to decluttering too. Whenever it feels too much, take a minute to imagine how great your home will look once you’re done and much cash you’re going to make.

If you want even more motivation, imagine how proud your mum and dad will be when they pop round for a spot of turkey and crackers. They might even give you a pat on the head.

Get someone to help

Decluttering on your own is perfectly reasonable but there will come a time when you need to throw your hands up, pick up the phone and enlist the help of some friends. Or just shout the kids down and bribe them with sweets and gifts. Whatever works.

Either way, getting a few extra hands to sort through your stuff will help you smash through your decluttering, giving you precious extra time to enjoy a few mince pies and a glass of eggnog. Make sure you share them with whoever helped though. It’s only fair.

Do the easy stuff first

The hardest part of decluttering is getting into the mood. Faced with a room full of junk, your natural instinct will be to turn around, walk away and do literally anything else.

A good way to get into the swing of things is to tackle the easy jobs on your list first, like organising your CDs or tidying a drawer. After, you should feel ready to tackle the bigger jobs.

Beware of falling the ”˜just doing easy jobs’ trap though. Treat yourself to just one a day.

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