New Year Cheer – post-holiday decluttering

Congratulations on making it through the December holidays! Although it is already half way through January, many of you (perhaps particularly parents!) may still feel as if you are not quite ready for the start line and are in need of  a good declutter.

No matter how prepared I feel for January in December, I always take a while to find my feet and get my flowjo back. As our children start their school year in January, I also find my focus sits with getting them ready before I can properly assess where I am in getting the house and my life January ready.

These are the areas I focus on for a good post-holiday declutter:

  • Christmas decorations: these need not be a nuisance if you have easy-to-use storage items and a dedicated space to return these to, such as a shelf in the garage; group like items together and pop into a box, stored in Christmas colored storage bags sourced from Neat Freak https://bit.ly/2TZxUW4
  • Email overload:  school and promotional emails are the biggest culprits for clogging up your inbox – file or delete as soon as they arrive; delete dated emails from the end of last year; unsubscribe from mailing lists that you never engage with.
  • Paper piles: notices from schools, artwork, promotional flyers in your letterbox – display/ file or immediately drop into your paper recycling bin; try a temporary storage space for kids’ art instead of feeling you have to immediately file or throw out – sort monthly or at the end of each term; Christmas cards and wrapping paper might still be hanging around – store what you want to keep and recycle the rest.
  • Diary and schedules: sorting through school notices will help to diarise important dates immediately; family calendars are great ways to plan everyone’s week or month, displayed where everyone can see. Have you seen these Family Calendars from Kamers Online Marketplace? https://bit.ly/2FMxNJp
  • Children’s uniform and clothes: place school uniform items that have been out outgrown/worn in a donation box ready to pass on to friends/school second hand shop/donation points; clothes that have been outgrown or damaged over the break – place in a separate donation box; once done, immediately place both boxes at your front door/in your car, ready for quick delivery.
  • Pantry: identify half used snacks and place at the front of shelves so that they  are used quickly; back to school snacks can quickly multiply – take control by storing in one basket where you can easily see what is running low; a fridge organiser tray dedicated to kids’ snacks in the fridge is also helpful and easy to keep track of, pull out and pop back. Have a look at https://bit.ly/2FByNRG
  • Toys: it’s amazing to see what my kids are excited by in their room  when we return home after being away; despite decluttering toys in early December I do a quick stock take in January too – you’d be surprised what they will now let go of.
  • Magazines and books: don’t let these clutter up your nightstand – donate, recycle or store appropriately; if holding onto magazines for recipes or specific articles, cut out and file or scan and save. Remember the one in, one out rule for magazines.
  • Photographs: these days these are normally electronic on your phone; create your albums and store those holiday pictures now – avoid heartache and remember to have an electronic back up solution such as an external hard drive for your laptop or icloud for Apple cellphone users.

Depending on your home and family you may have other areas that need attention too, such as sporting equipment or linen if you had had family or friends staying with you. Have a look at https://clutterboxsa.co.za/blog/ for more ideas.

As always, the two easiest ways to keep your home organised are:

  1. Stop buying what you do not need
  2. Return items to where they came from (their designated spot).

Even children can remember the last one! Getting them involved instills good habits – what better time to begin than at the beginning of a new year? Keeping a family donation box in a convenient space also encourages family involvement instead of leaving it all up to Mom!

Good Luck getting your flowjo back!