Christmas Is Coming! - 6 quick fixes for a tidy house
Updated: Dec 13, 2019
Short on time? Guests arriving any minute?
Set the timer on your phone for 10 minutes whilst you focus on each of these six tasks and an hour later you'll see a big difference.
Clutter basket - find a basket or lightweight box. Move from room to room in your house filling it with any item that does not belong in that particular room. As you move into a room where something does belong, put it away. A place for everything and everything in it's place!
When you've visited every room (at least once), everything will be back where it should be (and you'll have added to your steps for the day in the process!).
Kids Toys & Games - this is a great one to do on the first day of the school holiday. I'm guessing that your kids are going to be receiving a few new toys, books or games over the Christmas period? In that case they need to make some space for them! Why not make a game of it? Explain to them that you are going to set a timer for 10 minutes and during that time you would like them identify a few toys, games or books from around the house that they no longer use and which could be donated to children who don't have as many toys. Hopefully the result will be a bag of items to be donated which can go straight in your car to be dropped off.
Another timer could be set for a10 minute tidy for the remaining items, as Father Christmas only delivers to tidy bedrooms, right?
Kitchen - as soon as the timer is set pull everything visible on your kitchen work surfaces together. Next sort it into four piles:
Things that need to stay out because you use them everyday (and/or you plan to use them over Christmas).
Items that can be put away in a cupboard, because they won't be in use over the festive period.
Things that you no longer use and can be donated (start a charity box or bag and when it's full, transfer straight to the boot of your car for drop off).
Rubbish to be recycled or disposed of.
Once you've moved everything that's not staying, out of the kitchen, give the surfaces a good wipe before arranging the remaining items. When you rearrange these items keep Christmas cooking/parties/general use over the Christmas period in mind, as it might make sense to have items organised in a slightly different way to usual.
If you find you have time on your hands to do more than a surface declutter and for some tips on meal planning, follow the links to the guest blog I wrote for Lunchbox Doctor - Jenny Tschiesche, How Cluttered Is Your Kitchen?
Bathrooms - once your timer is set, spray some cleaner in the toilet, basins, bath and shower, leave and move on.
Give any visible shelves a quick tidy, removing or discarding items that you don't need and wiping the surfaces. Empty the bin. Clean toilet and give basins, bath and shower a wipe. Replenish toiletry supplies and put out fresh towels. For a more thorough bathroom declutter and organise please see my blog What's Lurking In Your Bathroom?
Bedrooms - these will already be clutter free following step one so ten minutes will be plenty of time to give surfaces a wipe, empty the bin, make up bed with clean linen and do a quick hoover. My blog Be Our Guest! gives more tips on preparing bedrooms for guests.
Entrance Hall - this will be the first place your guests will see when you open your front door so use the ten minutes to go through coats and shoes, putting away any that you won't be using over the next week. Make sure that there is enough space (and spare hangers if required) for your guests to store their items. Give the area a quick dust and hoover.
Finally (and this applies throughout the house), remember to water your plants. It's so easy to forget plants over the Christmas period with so many extra things going on, but this is exactly the time with log fires and the central heating on for longer, that they're likely to dry out faster.
If, for you, these tasks take you much longer than ten minutes; or this quick fix feels like just putting a sticking plaster on a much bigger issue and you would like a fresh start in the New Year, please do contact me, to talk about ways in which I can help.
Jo hall is a Berkshire based Declutterer & Organiser
For help with decluttering & organising your home: Less Is More
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