Christmas is over, but the house is still filled with new gifts, holiday decorations, and the Christmas tree. All you’re thinking about is where everything is going to go and how to get the house clean again. Whether you’re hosting family for New Year’s or just want to get your space back, here are some tips on how to best organize your house after Christmas.
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1 | Get rid of clutter around the house
It’s best to start getting rid of clutter around the house before Christmas. This will make your house feel cleaner for the holidays. You’ll be able to take Christmas pictures and videos without clutter being a distraction in the photos.
There are a few simple steps that you can take to get rid of clutter quickly. First, start by clearing off any surfaces in your home. This includes tables, desks, countertops, dressers, and shelves. These are areas where items tend to be discarded without consideration of where they belong.
Then move on to anything else that’s in the way such as clothes on the bed and shoes and toys on the floor. For obvious items that you don’t want or need, consider getting rid of them.
For other items that you want to keep, start putting things back in their rightful place. Start with items that hold sentimental value or that you will use often like dishes and pots and pans.
Then move on to decorative items. Put these items where they make sense in your home. For example, if you have a fireplace then it makes sense to place small ornaments on top. Toys go in the playroom or bedrooms. Clothes go in the closet or laundry.
2 | Clean up all of the wrapping paper and boxes
First, remove gifts from their wrapper paper and boxes. Open them and discard their containers, bags, ties, etc.
Designate one corner or set aside a large box or garbage bag for trash and do the same for recycling. This keeps them organized and easy to remove all at once.
The exception to removing items from their containers is if you’re storing them away. or you want to return them. You may not need everything you received for Christmas. Perhaps you got a new teapot or set of knives that you don’t plan on using until your old ones aren’t good anymore. Or you want to return that Instant Pot or air fryer because you already have one.
If you rotate toys in your house, you may want to keep some new items in their boxes until it’s their turn to make an appearance. That makes opening the new toy even more exciting when its turn comes around.
In my family, the children receive so many gifts at Christmas that we keep a few of them wrapped and off to the side for a few weeks. When the children open the gifts at a later date, they enjoy the gifts more because those are the only one or two gifts being opened at that time.
3 | Sort through old clothes and toys
You’ve accumulated more stuff in your house, so it’s time to sort through old clothes and toys to get rid of what you no longer need.
Take a look through all the storage areas of your house such as closets, shelves, cabinets, under the bed, and in the garage. If you’re up for it, take things out to see everything you have and put back only the things you need or want to keep.
Help your children to look through their toys, clothes, books, and other items. Decide what to do keep and what to donate. A good rule of thumb is to toss or give away anything you haven’t worn or used in a year. They shouldn’t take up valuable space when you have the new things that need to be stored.
Put things back in the right place. Clothes get folded or hung back in the closet. Toys go into their basket or on their shelf. If you rotate toys, place items in a storage bin or in the closet for a later date.
4 | Find a place for new gifts
Next is to put away all of the gifts that you received. If the items are scattered all over the living room, sort them into piles by room.
Items may go into each of the bedrooms, the playroom, the kitchen, and so forth. New clothes can go in a laundry pile to be washed before being worn.
Try to find a place for each item. That might mean removing a few more items from the closet or packing away another toy so that a new one can fit.
You might have to reorganize your closets, drawers, and shelves to make better use of the space. Space organizers and storage containers can help with this. These are some of my favorites:
- Toy storage organizers like this one and this one
- Small clear bins for smaller toys and sets
- Large plastic bins for blankets and clothes
- Stackable drawers for the bathroom and stackable shelves for the kitchen
5 | Put away the decorations
The week after the holidays is always bittersweet. The excitement leading up to Christmas is now and the presents are opened. It’s time to take down the decorations and put them away.
Tuck ornaments neatly back in their boxes. Put stockings and Christmas decorations back in storage.
Anything that needs cleaning should be hung, wiped down, or set out to dry before being placed in a box.
If your boxes aren’t already labeled, it’s helpful to label them so for each type of decoration so you know what’s in them for next year. Place the boxes in the attic, the garage, or a closet so they’re out of the way.
6 | Clean the house one more time
Do a final sweep through the house one more time to make sure that no clutter is left over. Have your partner and children check for this as well.
Throw away things that need to be trashed. If something has value, you can put them in designated boxes:
- give away to family and friends
- donation items
- yard sale inventory
7 | Sell items that are still usable
Now that you’ve cleaned the house, you likely have items that are still useable but you don’t need or want anymore. You can have a yard sale or sell your items online.
The feasibility of having a yard sale depends on where you live in the country. It’s possible if you live in the Southwest like Arizona but not if you live in the north where it will still be cold and snowy.
If that’s the case, you might want to keep inventory boxed up in the garage or attic until spring or summer when you can have a yard sale.
The other thing to do is list items for sale online on places like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, OfferUp, and Poshmark.
These options both take some time and work, but are great ways to recoup the money spent on Christmas, particularly if you overspent this year.
8 | Donate unwanted items to charity
Finally, you can donate unwanted items to charity. Check the places where you want to donate for their hours. Some accept donations only on certain days between certain hours.
Then drive by, drop off your items, and get a donation receipt. You’ll be happy once those things are gone and probably won’t even give them a second thought. Plus you’ll be giving items a second home and helping a charity
9 | Keep gift-receiving minimal the rest of the year
In order to keep your house organized long after Christmas, try to minimize what you bring into the home and the gifts you receive the rest of the year.
In my family, the children have so many toys that the house feels full. When birthdays come around, parents let other family members know not to give any big toys as presents.
Gifts like clothes, backpacks, and shoes work well because children need them and use them. Once those items are outgrown or worn, they are donated or thrown out. This minimizes how much sits around the house.
Try to keep gift-giving light between family to keep your house tidy.
Organizing your house after the holidays can be a daunting task, but it’s easier if you use the tips above. Once you’re done, breathe a sigh of relief knowing you can relax in a neat and clean house. Happy new year!