image of christmas gingerbread houses

Like it or not, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The air’s got a little more bite, the festive lights are up, and you’ve officially started buying snoods.

And whatever tradition December brings for you – be it cocktails and glitter bombs, mandatory Viennetta or a slightly creepy Santa placed in your living room window – there’s always one thing that descends on the house every year in time for Christmas – people.

Family, friends, children, dogs – even if you’re not hosting – you might be the perfect stop off point for someone on their way to see their folks. Friends pop over to exchange gifts, work mates bustle in to get ready before the Christmas do and family stop by for seasonal, spiced drinks.

And even though we’d all love to wave a magic wand for everything to be done, unfortunately we can’t. Sweep aside the already diminishing boxes of mince pies and Quality Street and you’ll soon see December – hurtling towards you with the promise of a full house in one hand and a glass of sherry in the other. There’s only one thing for it – preparation.

And before you start packing the freezer full of winter berry semifreddo; breathe, grab a bin liner and get de-cluttering. Space will be the ace up your sleeve this festive season, allowing you to store presents, host guests, put up trees and accumulate terrifying amounts of luxury biscuits.

Not sure where to start? Don’t fret – we’ve got you covered. Just follow our guide below for a stress-free, space-saving Christmas that’ll be your best yet.

 

1) Sort through your Christmas decorations

Tangled lights, scratched baubles and those eggbox bells you made when you were three. If your Christmas decorations box is starting to look more like a time-capsule from the 1980s, then it’s time to have a clear out.

Ditch the tatty tinsel, haul out the giant cardboard reindeer and sling the crumpled paper chains to make way for a tidier (and more tasteful) Christmas.

 

2) Get rid of old toys

Childrens-Toys

If you have children, you know that Christmas brings with it a barrage of new toys. This in itself can be brilliant, but it can also bring with it some space-related tribulations.

Fitting in new toys next to old ones and finding homes for everything in between can make for a cluttered home. So, before Christmas arrives along with the latest set/game/doll/must-have, make sure you clear out a few of those older toys that you’ve noticed aren’t being played with anymore.

Grab a box and fill it up ready to take down to your local charity shop.

A word of advice: this is all best done when the kids are out the house – Friday evenings can become a little tiring when spent trying to grapple a matted Furby from a crying 6-year-old…

 

3) Clear out the bathroom

If you can no longer close the bathroom blind for fear of an avalanche of shampoo bottles – you’re not alone. Many of us spend our mornings stacking, re-stacking and mildly cursing the inexplicable accumulation of products that seem to clutter our bathrooms.

Having a clear out is a great way to get back to basics and make sure you only have what you use. Consolidate bottles, recycle the empties and throw away anything that looks past its best. And not only will your bathroom become a lot easier to use, it’ll instantly look refreshingly clear and clutter-free.

If you still have lots of products left over after sorting through everything, baskets can be a great way of keeping everything out the way and they look pretty too. Corner cupboards and shelving can also help give you a little extra space in time for the festive season.

 

4) Chuck away your broken suitcases

The holiday season is officially upon us – and not just the Christmas holidays – January and February are some of the most popular times for people to go away abroad. And while you’re dreaming of soaking up a little winter sun to top up your tan, don’t forget to sort out your luggage.

Old suitcases with broken clips, zips and splits can take up a huge amount of space – space that’s crying out to be used for hiding gifts, wrapping paper and boxes of treats. Keep a small set of cases – preferably ones that can be stored inside each other – and throw the rest away or give them to charity if they’re in usable condition.

That way, you’ll free up some space and be nice and ready for your New Year break away from the hustle and bustle of the January sales.

 

5) Clear out the kitchen cupboards

Christmas-Dessert

Food glorious food! Well… until it’s been in your cupboard for several months. Christmas is the perfect time for a little indulgence but if your kitchen cupboards can no longer close due to an overcrowding of oxtail soup, then it’s time to take stock.

Toss out the tins, round up the rice pouches and sweep as much as you can into a box for the local food bank to make sure it all goes to a good home while it’s still in date. Lots of people end up buying much more than they need at Christmas time and food waste is certainly a growing problem.

To maintain your beautifully clear kitchen cupboards, make sure you think carefully before buying that third box of “just-in-case” Medjool Dates…

 

6) Clear out some drawer space

We’re all guilty of stuffing drawers full until they can barely open. In fact, it’s quite rare to find a home that doesn’t have at least one drawer overflowing with postcards, old batteries and pizza menus.

And if you’ve got drawers that, once delved into, start offering up things like laddered tights, old t-shirts and Brownie badges, you know the space could be put to much better use. If you have clothes that don’t fit anymore but can still be worn, clothes banks and charity shops will happily welcome them.

If they can’t be worn anymore, then cut them up to be used as old cloths or take them to a textile recycling centre.

 

And there you have it! Six steps to clearer, clutter-free Christmas for all to enjoy.