You don’t want to be moving your Christmas gear out of the way every time you want to do a load of washing or find a pair of shoes. Given that you access the stuff twice a year (once to pull it out, the second to put it away!) then you definitely don’t want it anywhere near your regularly used stuff. I recommend you “go high” or “go out of the way”. Places like the tops of wardrobes, attic or basement spaces (or even in the ceiling space) can work well, or out in garages and sheds. If you can readily access it from your living areas or see it all the time, it’s taking up prime real estate and needs to be moved!
When you get to November or December and you’re preparing your home for Christmas, you want to be able to find your items quickly and easily. Ensure that you store your decorations and related items in clear tubs so you can see the contents for quick identification, or label them well (on two adjacent sides and on the top as well).
Don’t forget you can use storage meant for other things for Christmas – an underbed shoes storage with dividers works brilliantly for decorations and lights, keeping them safe and protected (and untangled!). The Howards idesign egg tray will keep precious glass baubles safe too.
Grouping your Christmas stuff is a smart move because it makes unpacking and packing away much quicker and easier. You can decorate in stages if time is tight (tree one weekend, wall and table decorations the next for example) and if you can unpack just for the stage you’re up to, you can ensure that you don’t have the stuff out in your living areas half unpacked for most of the months leading up to Christmas Day.
What do you want to achieve this Christmas? Are you hosting? Or traveling? Are you wanting to introduce new rituals or drop some old ones? How do you want to feel? Knowing what you want before you get close to Christmas is invaluable – if you know what you want, you can plan all the things you need to do to get there.
What do you need to say no to in order to fit in all of the fun stuff? Where are you overloading your schedule? What can you maybe say no to for a month or two so that you have more time for the busy period? What can you delegate to free up some time and reduce some stress for yourself? Sometimes saying NO to something means you can say YES to other things.
What do you not normally have time to do that you’d like to? Would you like to add a new family tradition? Or perhaps some volunteering or hand-making some gifts for friends and family might light you up. Find some things to add to your life to make Christmas fun and rewarding.
Again, start with some goals – it is always really helpful to know what you’re aiming for. You might have a goal to have the dining room clear so you can host lunch on Christmas Day. Or perhaps you want the spare room ready for guests, or have the kitchen decluttered so that cooking is easy. Set a goal so that you know exactly how to direct your decluttering efforts.
Every day, work for a small time on your goals. You can do small activities such as decluttering one bag of donations a day, or perhaps a little deep cleaning to prepare for guests, or maybe work on your packing for your road trip. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, as long as you’re consistent and chip away regularly (to avoid the last-minute rush in the last few days before Christmas!).
It’s really tough on you if you do a huge amount of work to declutter or clean and then it all gets messed up again. This is why looking at behaviours that cause clutter and addressing them will help prevent you undoing all the great work you have done. Habits such as putting things in their homes at the end of every day, and shopping mindfully can have a great effect on how long your decluttered spaces stay that way.