When you’re a kid, Christmas is all about waking up way too early, hassling your coffee-deprived parents from 5am onwards, and ripping your way through metres and metres of wrapping paper. When you’re an adult, Christmas is all about hosting your entire family, figuring out how to feed everyone, and tidying up the metres and metres of wrapping paper your kids just tore through. Trying to declutter after Christmas without having a meltdown is no easy feat.
Decluttering after Christmas isn’t so bad, if you tackle it in chunks. Here’s our suggested plan of attack… once you’ve let the food settle in your stomach, and gotten your extended family well and truly out of the house.
Conquer the Wrapping Paper Mountain
No one can think straight with all that stickytape lying around. Don’t forget all the torn up wrapping paper creating a hellmouth on your living room floor, and the infinite ribbons you’re holding onto for next year.
Before you get any Christmas decluttering done, you need to conquer the mess under the tree. That includes:
- Wrapping paper
- Christmas cards
- Excess ribbon
- Stickytape aftermath
- Boxes your Christmas gifts came in
- Boxes those boxes were shipped in (thanks, online shopping)
Depending on what type of wrapping paper it is, you can recycle it. You can usually find out if your wrapping paper is recyclable by checking the label, or looking it up. It’s worth sticking what you can into the back of your car and hauling it to your local recycling centre. Filling your yellow bin up week by week with Christmas rubbish isn’t worth it.
Christmas tip! Ribbons are worth hanging on to, because they can live in a designated drawer. Wrapping paper is not. Don’t bother trying to iron out the crinkles.
Cleanse Yourself of Christmas Decorations
Keeping your Christmas lights untangled is a lot like trying not to cry while you cut onions. There are hacks to try to keep the tears away, but they’re all myths. You just have to learn to love the process… or at least grin and bear it.
Make your life easier by:
- Creating a logical home for different types of decorations. This makes them easier to find, and less likely to get tangled up.
- Wrapping your lights around something. Like a piece of cardboard. We don’t recommend wrapping your lights in a ball and throwing them into a box… as tempting as that might be.
- Storing your Christmas decorations well out of the way. Either in a TAXIBOX or under the house. You definitely don’t want to see them again until next year. Trust us on this one.
Christmas tip! Convince your kids that untangling the Christmas lights is a game. Whoever untangles the fastest wins (if you manage to achieve this, you win at parenting).
Out with the Old, In with the Replacements
After however many years of Christmas gift giving, you’re bound to have a few double-ups. There’s no point hanging onto two of everything and cluttering your house up. It’s time to say your goodbyes. Treat it as a survival of the fittest, if you will – old belongings vs. new, gifted belonings. Who comes out on top?
Go through your post-Christmas haul and consolidate. Make some comparisons to make your judgement calls. If it’s an upgrade, it’s a no-brainer (i.e. the new pepper grinder is battery-powered and perfect for your lazy, pepper-y pasta nights, you know what to do).
Try your best to keep only the things you actually like. If you’re finding it hard to live with only one pepper grinder in your life, you can always use a TAXIBOX to store all the old things you’re sentimental about. No judgement here.
Say Goodbye to the Leftovers
Don’t lie to yourself. You’re never going to get through all the food. You can only live off leftovers for so long. As a general rule: your leftovers shouldn’t outlive your Christmas decorations coming down. By the time New Years rolls around, the Christmas lunch festering in your fridge should be long gone.
While you’re saying farewell to the Christmas pudding and Gingerbread dregs, cleanse your kitchen a little. Store:
- Christmas cookie cutters (‘til next year)
- Electric meat carvers
- Festive dinnerware
- Chunky appliances you only drag out when you’re cooking for your entire family
Christmas tip! Want to avoid food waste? Make your guests take leftovers home with them. That way, you look like a nice host, and you don’t end up having to find another home for all that food (in the bin) later.
Regift the Gifts From Your Second Cousin
Your second cousin has only met you twice in your life. You can’t blame him – how was he supposed to know you wouldn’t want the kitten tapestry he got you? You don’t want to hurt his feelings, but you don’t want to actually keep it in your house, either. It’s regifting time.
Use the framework of “regifting” generously:
- Regift to a friend
- Regift to someone in need
- Regift to your next garage sale goers
- Regift to your your curb (for the next hard rubbish collection)
- Regift to your TAXIBOX (you never know, one day you might wake up and wish you’d hung onto all those novelty mugs)
Christmas tip! If you don’t want to accumulate gifts that you’re inevitably going to regift, set up a Secret Santa to limit the amount of gifts going around. Other option is to only invite people you actually know and like to your Christmas party, and upset most of your extended family. Choose wisely.
If you haven’t noticed already, there’s one trick that applies to all of these tips: to truly declutter after Christmas, you have to get the stuff out of your life, and put it all somewhere else. Hide all that holiday stuff in a TAXIBOX. It’ll make the festive season a lot less messy next year.
Squeezing your way around your Christmas clutter in your garage everyday of the year? No thanks. You’d much rather look forward to visiting your TAXIBOX once a year when the holidays roll around, right?