Post-holiday cleaning is the new spring cleaning.
You’re already taking down holiday decorations, rearranging your kitchen or closet to make room for new items, and cleaning up after guests leave. What better time to organize your home?
These seven post-holiday home organization tips cover areas most of us struggle with after the holiday craziness.
So, shake off that cookie and pie coma and get organizing. I’ve done every one of these tips, so I know that the struggle is real. Taking down my holiday decorations took me four hours. Four hours. But I promise that the spacious and streamlined home you’ll have afterwards is worth it.
1. Take down your holiday décor
Time to undecorate! The rule of thumb is to keep your holiday décor up until the first of the year, but mine has already been down for days.
It’s so refreshing to put away all of your holiday decorations and take down your Christmas tree. You get your space back and a chance to start fresh. I feel like I have so much more room to breathe now that all of the stockings, trees and knickknacks have vanished.
Just don’t be tempted to shove all of your decorations all willy nilly. If you take the time to organize your ornaments and put decorations away neatly, you’ll thank yourself next year.
2. Make room for your gifts
Resist the urge to stuff all of those gifts you received into drawers, closets or onto shelves. Take some time to go through your possessions and purge what you don’t need. You’ll make more room for your new items and won’t add unnecessary clutter.
Right now I’m really into an organization method coined by Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”. Her theory says to discard anything and everything that doesn’t “spark joy.”
It might sound strange to think about socks sparking joy, for example. But I know you have favorite socks. Do you always reach for the fuzzy pairs that you love? Then, why are you keeping those itchy, grey ones banished to the back of the drawer? Get rid of them and move on.
3. Repurpose holiday cards
Are those holiday cards you received muddling your refrigerator door? Maybe they’re stacked in a messy pile on the kitchen table?
If you’re like me, you can’t cope with the guilt of throwing them away. So, you procrastinate deciding what to do with them and they sit in a pile on the coffee table well into February.
Stop that! Last year I finally came up with a solution to the card conundrum by starting a Christmas card scrapbook. Now, I can save my Christmas cards in a meaningful way. They’re not just stored in a box or tossed in a drawer.
You could also save the cards to cut up into gift tags or to decorate presents next year.
4. Get a planner
One habit from school that I haven’t—and probably won’t ever—cut is keeping a planner.
I like the feel of a physical planner. If you prefer digital, then go for it. To me, there’s just something about writing down dates, planning the year and flipping through the pages of a tangible planner that appeals to me.
Start the New Year off right by getting organized. Transcribe all birthdays, anniversaries and other dates you want to remember into your new planner. Don’t get lazy halfway through. Jot down everything you can now.
You’ll feel more prepped and organized for the coming year.
5. Recycle magazines
It’s so so so hard for me to get rid of the holiday issues of my favorite magazines. What if I need the ideas for next year?
But I usually feel worse when the clutter starts to take over. First, they sit in a pile on my coffee table. That bothers me, so I relocate the pile to my desk. After all, I can’t keep them on the coffee table all year, right? Then, the pile on the desk starts to bother me. Why don’t I just get rid of this pile of magazines that’s driving me crazy?
If you want to remember an idea or two, rip out those specific pages and start an idea journal. Paste the pages and some notes into the journal. It’s a much more effective way to organize your ideas.
6. Don’t procrastinate those to-dos
It’s hard to get your home organized when too many items are in limbo. Write thank you notes, return or exchange unwanted gifts and put away (or use) all of your new gifts right away. Don’t procrastinate.
The longer you wait, the longer you’ll have receipts piled up waiting to return gifts or the longer that jar of homemade cocoa will take up space on the kitchen counter waiting to be used. If you procrastinate too long, you may never get to those tasks at all.
And that’s when unnecessary clutter takes over.
7. Clean out your refrigerator
Maybe you have a fridge filled with random leftovers? Or, maybe you’re afraid to open your fridge after being out of town?
Either way, cleaning out your fridge sets the right tone for getting excited about cooking and eating right in the New Year.
I recently got into organizing my fridge. I added a couple of trays to corral items. Now, all of my drinks sit neatly on one tray. I even requested a butter dish for Christmas, so I could organize my butter. (Exciting, I know.) But it really helped.
If you’re not into going that far, at least give the shelves and drawers a good scrub, and toss out anything expired or that you’re never going to eat.
It’s also nice to organize items into rows with the tallest items in the back. It sounds a bit OCD, but I feel so organized when I open my fridge door and see everything neatly arranged. It sure beats digging through piles of Tupperware to find the soy sauce.
Start the New Year off feeling organized and stress-free.