‘Out with the old, and in with the new”. I don’t know who said it, but it couldn’t ring truer than at the end of the year! It’s a great time for a little bit of reflection and a bunch of preparation. Part of that preparation is to declutter after Christmas.
The time after Christmas provides a unique opportunity to declutter. You have lots of new things to put away, and you might also have some extra time off of work.
Where to Start Decluttering After Christmas
Before you start taking down the decorations and saying goodbye to Christmas for another year, take some time to do a little decluttering.
This doesn’t need to be an entire house or life declutter, but it’s certainly an opportunity to get what I call ‘quick decluttering wins’.
Having new things makes it easier to part with older stuff, and having your Christmas decorations still up makes it super simple to see what you don’t use regularly.
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Declutter Christmas Decorations
The Christmas decoration storage bins are probably still sitting in the garage, so take the time to go through them before packing the rest of the holiday decorations away.
Check your garage, shed, and closets for any extra storage bins full of Christmas decorations that didn’t get put up. Look through everything and determine if you’ll use it for the holidays next year, or if it’s time to let it go. Pay particular attention to things you haven’t used it in the last year or more.
Here’s a list of typical holiday decorations that may jog your memory of things you’ve stashed away in the dark recesses of the garage or random closet.
- Lights – indoor, outdoor, and tree
- Garland – tree and cabinets
- Linens – tree skirt, tablecloth, table runner, shower curtain, towels, rugs, bedding and throw pillows
- Decor – Santas, Frosty’s, and snow globes
- Dishes – serving pieces, dinnerware, glassware
- Christmas cards
Decorations aren’t the only Christmas clutter we hang on to, don’t forget wrapping and packaging.
Related Article: Declutter your kitchen
Get Rid of Packaging and Wrapping
Sort out the leftover wrapping or packing from Christmas gifts and get rid of any wrapping materials that you aren’t going to use in the near future.
I’ve always kept a container of wrapping paper, gift bags, garland, and gift tags in the closet, but things change. As the children in the family have grown into adults and gifts are much more focused on experiences and larger items now, I no longer have a need for these smaller gift wrapping supplies.
Here are some things you can get rid of if you’re experiencing the same thing.
- Product packaging
- Shipping boxes
- Wrapping paper
- Gift bags
- Curling ribbon
- Gift tags
- Premade bows
- Party invitations
- Extra blank cards
Then the storage containers.
Downsize Storage Containers
Any time you declutter and get rid of stuff that’s normally stored in some kind of container, look for opportunities to combine and downsize your actual storage containers.
If you leave yourself extra storage room and you’re anything like me, you’ll eventually fill it. On the other hand, if your storage containers are the perfect size for the things you’re keeping, you’re less likely to collect more because you won’t ‘have room for it’.
The ‘lies’ we tell ourselves, but they work!
Once you’re done with the Christmas-related stuff, here are a few more things to go through before you’re done.
Sort Through Winter Clothing
Keep that decluttering momentum going and move on to winter items. I’m guessing you got a few new things between Black Friday and all of the Christmas festivities.
Take time to go through your closet and try on winter items. Look them over for damage and wear, and set aside any you’d like to get rid of.
Here are some common winter clothing items you can declutter after Christmas.
- Winter coats
- Beanie Hats
- Ear Muffs
- Wool Socks
- Boots – rain, and snow
Declutter Household Linens
Holiday sales often include great prices on household linens. I’m notorious for buying new linens during Black Friday sales because of the super deep discounts. I’ve scored $300 sheets for $17 on Black Friday, and boy are they nice!
Don’t bother with an entire bathroom declutter right now, but do check these household linens for decluttering opportunities.
Downsize Small Appliances and Gadgets
Other popular holiday gifts and big sale items are gadgets and small appliances. When I say that, most people think of the kitchen, but there are many others throughout your home as well.
Don’t completely ignore it, but try to think outside of the kitchen for small appliances and gadgets that you don’t use and no longer need.
Here are a few I came up with and have decluttered after Christmas over the years.
- Nail dryers
- Manicure sets
- Spa sets
- Foot spas
- Electric razors
- Electric clippers
- Wax warmers
- Oil diffusers
- Himalayan salt lamps
- Slow cookers
- Deep fryers
- Bread machines
- Air fryers
- Pressure cookers
- Electric can openers
I could go on and on, but I think you get the gist. If you haven’t used a small appliance in 12 months, you should probably consider getting rid of it.
Sort Personal Electronics
Personal electronics are another hot holiday gift item, and the sales are incredible. That makes it another category that could go on and on, but I’ll just give you a few ideas to get started with.
- Charging cords
- Charging stations
- Ipods & MP3 players
- Alarm clocks
- Video games
- CD players
- DVD players
Get Rid of Old Toys
Kids get a lot of toys for Christmas and if you’re like most families, you’re probably already overwhelmed with toys. Impose the ‘one in, one out’ rule with your children and take this opportunity to help your child sort through and purge older toys before adding the new ones.
Here are some easy toys to declutter.
- Outgrown toys
- Toys with missing pieces
- Broken toys
- Electronic toys that no longer work
- Games with missing pieces
Now that you’ve decluttered some of the after Christmas hot spots, clean out your food storage areas.
Eat the Pantry and Freezer
Since a lot of people have a few extra days off around the holidays, it’s a great time to clear out your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.
Try meal planning around stuff you already have on hand. It might make for some interesting hodgepodge meals, but it’s a great opportunity to use those things up.
Here are some of the common items I use up during this time of year.
- Frozen Meats
- Canned Beans
- Frozen Leftovers
- Frozen Soups
- Frozen Juices
Decluttering After Christmas
The time after Christmas presents a unique decluttering opportunity.
Take the time to declutter ‘still stored’ Christmas items before you start putting the others away. Don’t forget packaging, wrapping supplies, and storage containers.
Once you’re done with the Christmas items, move on to things you received or purchased during the holiday season. Since you have new items, you’re more likely to be ok with letting go of some of the older ones.
These things include winter clothing, household linens, small appliances and gadgets, and personal electronics. Don’t forget the children’s toys.
After you’re done with all of that, eat through your food storage spaces to use stuff up before it expires or goes bad.