Holiday clutter is a fact of life. The holidays are a time when people gather. Friends and family visit. Some even stay over. The problem is that when people gather, stuff gathers too. This can result in a lot of clutter and clutter tends to breed stress.
1. Deal with mail and packages as soon as they arrive
This is easier said than done. Sometimes mail or parcels arrive just as you are leaving the house or you are in the middle of something. Okay! Deal with it as soon as humanly possible.
Sorting through mail takes only a few minutes. Junk mail can go in the recycle bin. Bills go in your accounts drawer or folder. Cards can be displayed immediately.
Similarly, parcels and packages can be dealt with ASAP. When on line orders arrive, unwrap and deal with them immediately. If they are groceries or toiletries, put them away in appropriate drawers or shelves. For shoes and clothes, trying them on immediately and deciding if you need to exchange or return not only prevents clutter but saves you precious time too.
Of course, having waste and recycle bins in easily accesible places forms the basis of this tip.
2. Keep a track of belongings
If you are visiting, it is a good idea to pack a small roll of masking tape and a thick felt tip pen. Label your belongings if they are going to be stored in a common area. This will save a lot of confusion and clutter. When you have visitors over, if they bring platters of food etc, out comes your handy masking tape and marker; you label the utensil and avoid mix ups later.
3. Scout recipients for surplus food and other items
You buy and prepare lots of food for holidays and festive occasions. You like to be prepared for unexpected guests and you love to lay out a spread when entertaining. But sometimes all the food does not get eaten, so what happens now? Again, you might end up with other items like decorations or extra presents etc.
It is a good idea to search for local charities or shelters that are operating in your vicinity during the holiday season. This can take care of your unwanted stuff and leave you with a good feeling too.
4. Designate “a place for everything”
Like I said before, if you keep waste and recycle bins easily accessible, it keeps clutter at bay. You might consider designating a donation box where unwanted items can sit before you take them to a charity.
Remember your grandma who used to say “A place for everything and everything in its place.” You might have sniggered then but once you have a home of your own you can realise that it makes a lot of sense.
5. Regular tidy up sessions
It pays to have tidy up sessions throughout the holidays. Then you won’t have to face a massive clean up at the end of the season. It pays to go around the house with an empty carton or laundry basket to pick up unwanted or displaced items. Then everyone can reclaim their belongings from it.
I am sure you already know all this but when you are stressed out or pressed for time, it pays to be reminded.
It would be fun if you shared some tips of your own. Please leave them in the comments section below.
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