12 days to a clutter-free Christmas

The key to a stress-free holiday season lies in a cosy, clutter-free home. We show you how to tackle it bit-by-bit in just 15 minutes a day.

Updated

vacuum cleaner cleaning carpet with lights and christmas balls

It can be overwhelming trying to get your home ready for the busy festive period, but learn how to declutter for just 15 minutes a day, and you’ll reach your goal of a clutter-free Christmas. We show you how the easy-does-it approach can work for your home in just 12 days. See it as your daily declutter challenge!

Declutter your home checklist: the basics

  • Declutter at the same time every day.
  • Set a timer.
  • Use three decluttering boxes: rubbish, recycle (or donate) and return (to their rightful place), and take them with you to each room.

12 days to go: living room

Using your boxes, start clearing away any items on coffee tables, surfaces or shelves. Tidy any magazines into piles or racks, stack books and keep all electronic equipment such as remotes in a dedicated drawer or basket. Clear out any kids’ toys or out-of-place belongings.

11 days to go: dining room

The dining table can easily become a storing ground for papers, laptops or books. Gather up any papers to sort through later and return any items to their rightful place. On the cleared table, put placemats and coasters or flowers to discourage mess reappearing.

10 days to go: kitchen

Most people’s kitchen counters house a whole host of random items that mean their worktops look cluttered and aren’t fun to cook in. File any papers, put menus and cards on a pinboard and hide miscellaneous items in a junk drawer. Tidy away large kitchen utensils and electronic items not used daily.

yellow rubber gloves on the kitchen countertop

9 days to go: bathroom

Your bathroom may need a quick clean, but start by clearing everything away from around the sink, putting it into cabinets or baskets. If you’re short on room, have a cull and chuck out the things you don’t use. The same applies to your shampoos and shower gels - get them down to one of each.

8 days to go: hall

A pile of coats, shoes and junk mail isn’t very inviting. Use shoe racks and hang coats on hooks, but don’t over-pile. Stuck for space? Allocate each person a peg to hang their things on. Individual cube storage is also good for keeping your daily essentials out of sight (we’ve got more hallway storage ideas here).

7 days to go: landing

A no-man’s-land for things that have made it up the stairs, but not to their rooms, the landing is often a clutter disaster zone. Put away any laundry or clothes draped over the bannisters, and move any piles of belongings into the rightful owner’s room.

6 days to go: bedrooms

It’s easy for your clothes to end up on the floor, but putting clothes away at the end of the day will help you keep a clutter-free bedroom. Bedside tables attract mess, so leave only one or two items out you love or need.

Cozy double bedroom with white sheets

5 days to go: wardrobe

Our wardrobes are often filled with things we don’t wear or like. If you have time, give your wardrobe a good declutter and if you don’t, simply storing away anything off-season can make a big difference.

4 days to go: kids room

Does your child’s room resemble the aftermath of a tornado? Put away any clothes and tidy toys into boxes, drawers, or store under the bed in zip-lock bags. Don’t worry about mixing toys, you can always sort later (if you feel inclined!).

3 days to go: playroom

Decluttering toys before Christmas is recommended because you’re likely to receive more! Use this time to get rid of unwanted and broken toys. Why not revisit this room using our top tips on toy storage?

2 days to go: papers

Gather the paper piles into one place. Throw out the junk mail, scraps of paper and unwanted magazines. You should be left with important papers that need filing or need action. Put those that need action into a folder somewhere accessible, and file the rest.

1 day to go: fridge

You’re going to need space in your fridge to store all the extra food, so ditch the out-of-date jars, give the fridge a good clean, and organise your fridge to complete your Christmas decluttering mission.

Originally published