Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, the clutter was so obvious — there could have been a mouse. And all of a sudden it finally hit, a pre-Christmas purge would make everything neat.
The holidays bring on a huge amount of new stuff, so a pre-Christmas purge is the perfect way to be out with the old, and in with the new.
“Decluttering before the holidays is one of the most effective ways to ensuring your family and friends have a joyous and memorable holiday season,” says Paul Sawchuk, Director of Search Marketing at JustJunk.
“From getting rid of toys children don’t use anymore, to clothes that you might’ve grown out of, a pre-Christmas purge can make your house look bigger, more comfortable and a lot more organized.”
How does a pre-Christmas purge actually work…?
• The toy purge: Sit down with your kids and discuss their list to Santa. Depending on the number of toys you plan on buying (or Santa plans on bringing), ask them to pick the same amount of toys they no longer use and would like to donate. But children are not the only ones with toys — adults can also get rid of that old lawnmower that just doesn’t live up to expectations, or the treadmill that has been collecting dust waiting to be used… for several years.
• Décor and more décor: Before all your holiday decorations go up, figure out what you will and will not use. Let’s face it, you want a new look and theme to your tree every year, so consider getting rid of ornaments, wreaths, linens, etc. that will not be used this year.
• Keep, trash, donate: Go through all the closets in the house (with permission, of course), with ready-to-go boxes marked ‘keep’, ‘trash’, and ‘donate’. Think of all the Christmas presents you and your family will receive this year and keep that in mind when trying to convince yourself this might be the year you wear those jeans from the 1980s. This makes room for the few new clothes you will receive, and will help out the community all at the same time.
• The kitchen: Probably the area of the house you will spent most of your time this holiday season; the kitchen might not be the easiest place to declutter. But what about those cookbooks that you no longer use, the dish towels that look like they will rip any second, or the cooking utensils that started one colour and are now unrecognizable? The more you declutter from your kitchen, the easier it will be to find the necessary tools to make a fantastic meal, in a much shorter time.
• Find everything a ‘home”: Not everything is something you will want to get rid of. Seasonal items should be stored neatly for the winter months. Organize your existing space with bins, shelving, and storage sheds in order to limit clutter in your living spaces.
• Look ahead: As the holidays approach and people buy gifts for their friends and loved ones, there’s certainly a risk of clutter accumulating. Change it up this year and instead of buying or asking for gifts that may quickly make their way to the garbage, consider alternatives such as handmade gifts, gift cards or donations in the name of your loved ones.
“We do our part to ensure that sixty per cent of these items, which we pick up on a regular basis during the holidays, are diverted from the usual landfill to local pre-loved shops like Good Will, Salvation Army, and Furniture Bank,” adds Paul. “We work diligently, and always with the same goal: donate, divert, and conserve.”