It happens to all of us - that moment in late December or early January when you look around your house and see the accumulation of post-holiday clutter. It is the day where your attitude can shift from jolly and joyful to grinch. Holiday decor is still up, new gifts are laying around waiting for a "home", recycling bins are stuffed to the brim, fridges are packed with uneaten leftovers and tinsel and wrapping paper bits litter your floor.
The nature of bringing new items into your home always creates post-holiday clutter even for the most organized of us. If you would like to curb a lot of it now, we are sharing our favorite Neat Little Nest strategies for how to set yourself up for success before any gifts have even been opened.
declutter + purge clothes, toys and tech
For the time-strapped (most everyone this time of year), focus your decluttering in areas of your home where you're likely to see the most new stuff come in. According to a study by Retail Me Not, the top four gift-giving categories for 2021 will be clothing (58%), gift cards (54%), toys (40%) and small electronics (38%). For that reason, closets, dressers, toy bins and gadget drawers are where you might want to focus your pre-holiday decluttering + purging.
For tips to declutter toys, check out our Neat Little Nest blog post on decluttering with kids: toys edition and lego organization + creative types. Teaching your kids the art of letting go of things they don't play with anymore is an essential part of growing up.
Decluttering tech can be intimidating, but with our blog post on how to declutter + discard your technology devices we provide you steps with just how to do it.
adopt a gift-giving strategy
A gift-giving strategy for families is one way to help you from overbuying. It's different than a gift-giving budget, but they are connected. A popular gift-giving strategy is the four gift rule, which is buying one gift from the following four categories:
one item they want
one item they need
one item they wear
one item they read
You will see that more gift-giving strategies have come out since (5, 6, 7 and even 8-gift rule), but those strategies seem to have lost the point of trying to buy less. You know what would work best for you and your family, so follow your heart and budget.
check inventory + sort decor as you put it up
Before you buy anything new - holiday decor, wrapping supplies, specialty foods or hostess gifts check on the inventory you already have including any gifts you might have purchased last year to have something for any last minute gift-giving needs but didn't. So often, clutter comes into the home because you're buying a duplicate of something you already have on hand.
And since I mentioned holiday decor, the holiday season is the best time to declutter your decor because it's usually the only time of year when donations sites will take those items. Any decor that has grown weary, is outdated or broken can be retired. Pro tip: keep a box or bag near you so you can put anything that might be useful to another in your car as soon as you are done decorating and drop off at a donation center.
clear out your fridge + freezer
If you are planning to entertain or have guests over during the holiday season, then it is likely that your fridge and freezer will be working overtime for all the delicious treats and eats. Before you begin squeezing in the goodies, pull out everything currently living in both places and discard any item that is out of date or that you no longer need.
If you need more support around decluttering your fridge, head to our the fridge - how to organize it, how often and 5 things you could throw out today blog post.
start a weekly reset routine
I'm often asked what is the one thing I do to keep my home organized and tidy and my answer is usually the same - The Weekly Reset. It is a weekly routine that helps our family keep clutter at bay and if you institute it this holiday season it can have a great impact on both pre and post-holiday clutter.
You can learn more about the weekly reset and download a free checklist by reading our weekly reset | how one routine can transform your home blog post.
Set the stage and make room for the inevitable growth that the holidays bring to your home. Being intentional by making space now for all that comes with "tis the season", you can feel less overwhelmed ahead of the holidays and oh so much more merrier.
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