Decluttering Holiday Items and Storage Areas {NetZero Decluttering Challenge 2018} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Decluttering Holiday Items and Storage Areas {NetZero Decluttering Challenge 2018}

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Decluttering Holiday Items and Storage Areas {NetZero Decluttering Challenge 2018}

Do you feel overwhelmed during the month of December with all the stuff that enters your home? It makes it hard to enjoy this festive time of year.

I've found that when I declutter it really helps me feel less overwhelmed and I can enjoy the holidays so much more.  Will you join me in the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge this year?

Last week was a big week for items coming into our homes and you might be feeling overwhelmed now as you step over and around all the new gifts and empty boxes. If you've been decluttering all month, you should have space to put those items away into their new "homes". But even if you haven't decluttered earlier in the month, there's still time to do some decluttering to make room for all the new stuff :)

Today I'm sharing tips for decluttering your post-holiday items and storage areas.

A reminder or quick summary if you're new: each week I'm sharing decluttering tips to help you declutter a different area of your home.  You don't have to declutter those specific items though... you can declutter anything you want to! If you do that all month, you can end December with the same number of items in your home (or maybe even less!) than what you started the month with! You can see the previous posts in the series as well as previous years' posts here.

This Week's First Decluttering Focus - Post-Holiday Items

Here are some tips to help you declutter that will make a big difference in the amount of stuff in your home:

  • Gather up all the empty gift bags, gift boxes, bows, etc. and toss any that are unusable.
  • If you have more usable gift wrap items than you think you'll need next year, give some of them away now rather than storing them all year.
  • Recycle all the boxes and packaging your gifts came in (other than items that may need to be returned).
  • Identify any gifts you or a family member received that you KNOW you will not use and either return them, donate them or set them aside to be re-gifted (put a sticky note on each item stating who it was from so you don't re-gift it to the same person).
  • Follow the one-in-one-out rule (or more if you have a lot of clutter in your home). For every type of item you received, find a similar item that you no longer need, use, or love. New book means you let go of an old one you won't likely read again. New sweater means you donate one you haven't worn in awhile or that doesn't fit you well. Upgraded electronic device means you let go of the older one. New toys mean your kids give away a few they don't play with any more. You get the idea! 
  • If you're putting away your Christmas items or taking down your tree, give away any ornaments, decorations, or items you didn't use this year or no longer enjoy.
  • Follow the one-in-one-out rule for Christmas items as well - if you received 3 new ornaments this year, let go of 3 old ones that you don't love as much.

Here are a few posts with more tips that you can check out:

This Week's Second Decluttering Focus - Storage Areas

The other decluttering I recommend you focus on this week is your storage areas. Especially wherever you normally store your holiday decorations. Since everything is out right now you can move around your storage room, crawl space, basement, or attic a little easier, making it the perfect time to declutter whatever else you're storing there!

Here are a few tips:

  • Pull everything out (literally touch every item!) and decide if it still fits your lifestyle, interests, and home. Be honest about whether you will ever use these things again.  Let go of any items that you no longer use or love.
  • Give away or sell any sporting equipment that is too small or no longer being used.
  • Sort through other seasonal decorations and give away any that you don't think you'll use in the upcoming year or that you no longer love as much as you used to.
  • Declutter household items that you never look at or use (bits and pieces of old hardware, tools, extra paint, leftover items from the original build or previous renovations, etc.). 
  • If you have sentimental items stored in your storage areas, make sure they are stored in containers that will protect them (see this post for my recommendations for storage bins)
  • After you've decluttered all the items you no longer need, use, love or have the space to store, then take a few minutes to organize your storage area so it's easier to find what you need, and it won't become a dumping ground!  Group like items together, put them in containers, label those containers, and then put all the containers back in an organized way. 

So, two main things to focus on this week for decluttering! Post-Christmas stuff and storage areas. Both will yield high results, and neither one needs to take a lot of time.

The storage areas will likely take a little longer, especially if you haven't decluttered your storage room in a long time. But it will likely give you HUGE results.

Every time I help a client declutter their storage room, crawl space, attic, or basement, they are amazed at how much stuff they were holding onto that they never use. And they LOVE the extra space they find after we finish. It's very common to hear clients say they can't believe they put it off as long as they did because in the end it wasn't nearly as overwhelming as they always thought it would be.

Decluttering My Post-Holiday Items and Storage Areas

We hosted my extended family here on Boxing Day (December 26th) so we tidied our Christmas gifts very quickly on Christmas day. We didn't really declutter much in either of these areas this week. We used more gift boxes and bags than we received so that has helped reduce my stash :) I gave away one Christmas sweater that didn't fit me as well this year. And I decluttered our storage room last month while were doing some renovations in our basement.

Random Decluttering

In helping my daughter put away her Christmas gifts we ended up decluttering more of her clothing and accessories. She's gotten quite good at letting things go.

She decluttered:

  • 23 shirts, sweaters, pjs, pants, and shorts
  • 7 pairs of socks

  • 11 headbands (she is wearing glasses now and it's uncomfortable to wear these harder headbands now - luckily she was given a bunch of the elastic style headbands for Christmas)
  • 6 pairs of barrettes
  • 6 hair clips
  • 1 pack of elastics
  • 57 hair ties + 2 more we threw out because they were all stretched out

She also let go of (not pictured):

  • 9 undies
  • 1 backpack
  • 7 hangers
  • 1 belt
  • 2 lip balms
  • 1 yoyo
  • 1 craft
  • 1 necklace
  • 1 wallet
  • 2 more pairs of socks

And my son decluttered 1 more video game since he got a newer edition of the same game for Christmas. 

My Progress in the #NetZeroClutter challenge

So this was the big week! Lots of items in! Which is the main reason I focused so much on decluttering my home this month. I estimated fairly well what would be coming in and as of now, I'm still ahead in what I decluttered so that makes me very happy :)

First off, for "in" numbers, my 50th birthday was on December 21st and 30 items entered our home that day (including gifts, cards, and a few books given to other members of my family).

And then... Christmas... lots of "in" items!  We had celebrations on December 23, 24, 25, and 26 this year! Our total "in" for Christmas was 156 items, not counting consumables. A bit more than I'd counted on, but thankfully I've decluttered more than expected too :)

I used to feel so overwhelmed after Christmas with all the stuff everywhere! I never would have considered hosting a large gathering on Dec 26th in the past. But because we'd decluttered so much earlier in the month it was fairly easy to tidy everything after each celebration and prepare for the next one. Our pantry is overflowing (partly with our consumable gifts and partly with leftovers from all the celebrations). But we will be intentional about using things up over the next while and not buying any more until it's all used up :)

In total this week we brought in 186 items and decluttered 144.   So that puts me at +42 items this week in the #NetZeroClutter challenge and -59 overall.  I'm still ahead! Woohoo! 

What's Next For You?

Take some time this week to declutter your post-holiday items and storage areas. Or anything you'd like to declutter!  Take some pictures and share your progress on social media using the hashtag #NetZeroClutter.  Let me know how you're doing in the challenge so I can cheer you on!

Sign up to receive my blog posts by email so you get each week's post in your email inbox.  You can unsubscribe after the challenge is over if you don't want to continue receiving my blog posts by email.

I'd also love for you to join our 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group as you do this challenge!  You'll be able to share with others what you're decluttering and feel encouraged and inspired by everyone else who is also decluttering!

If you'd like more decluttering ideas, you can check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.

So that's this week's post in the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge!  I'm really enjoying doing this challenge and I'm excited to have you join me.  I love hearing all the stories of how much more you're enjoying your holidays because you're not overwhelmed by all the stuff in your home!

How much did you declutter from your home this week?  How about from your living areas last week?  How are your overall in / out numbers?  Did this challenge help you enjoy your Christmas more because you had less clutter in your home?  I'd love to hear your #NetZeroClutter stories!

Happy organizing decluttering!