6 top Christmas decluttering tips

Christmas is coming, which means you're no doubt stressing about presents, food and visiting relatives.

You may also be stressing about getting your house ready in time for the big day. Even if you're not having visitors over the festive period, getting your house in order is an important part of the Christmas build-up; not only does it give you more space for the tree and all those presents, but it generally makes your home a little more pleasant to be in.

However, decluttering isn't as simple as picking up a few things and throwing them away. Here are some top tips to help you declutter as effectively as possible this festive season.

Set goals

You don't need a plan to declutter, but it helps"¦ a lot.

Before you even think of picking something up, sit down and decide what exactly you want to achieve. Do you want to clear out the dining room or sort out the bedroom? Have you finally had it with that shelf of DVDs that you haven't watched in five years?

Having a plan will make your decluttering sessions much more successful and efficient, so make it your first step.

Don't do everything at once

Decluttering in one marathon session is never a good idea, unless you have inhuman levels of dedication and patience. For most people, distractions and life in general usually get in the way eventually.

Instead, grab your calendar and block out a few 30 min-1hr decluttering sessions over a couple of weeks. Base each session around achieving one of the goals in your plan.

Make sure you pick your session times wisely too. You're more likely to have a productive session at the weekend rather than after a hard day's work.

Get someone to help

A problem shared is a problem halved. Ask a friend to help you declutter and you'll get the job done much quicker.

Just remember that you'll probably have to return the favour one day…

Question everything

The central premise of Marie Kondo's game-changing book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is to ask one question of everything you own: does it bring you joy?

Asking this simple question will change the way you tidy up. It'll help you make some difficult decisions and make your decluttering sessions much more effective.

Stay positive

It's hard to stay motivated when you're knee deep in clutter and the temptations of Christmas – the food, the drink, the movies – are looming large.

That's why it's important to stay positive. Visualise what your home will look like once you're finished, or promise to treat yourself when you achieve a certain goal. Stick on some Christmas tunes if that helps too!

Don't chase perfection

No matter how hard you try, your home is never going to look like an IKEA showroom because life will always get in the way. So, don't worry about it; just declutter until you're happy then stop!

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