This second week of the holiday season is a perfect time to clear out the clutter that we tend to overlook. We look at it so often that we eventually ignore it. Now it is the time to take a look with fresh eyes. Each day focus on just one room of your house. Work quickly and toss freely! It will be so much easier to clean and decorate when all the clutter is gone. Actually, you will spend about 40% less time cleaning! The question that really helps me to part with stuff is, “Who needs this more than I do?” Know assuredly that there are people who need your extra things that are still in good condition. Keep both a donation bag and a trash bag available at all times.
I like to know that I have dedicated some time to really cleaning before the days get hectic! It is such a treat to know that I only have to refresh my house in the days closer to the holiday. It will also be so much easier to find a place to showcase your holiday decorations when there is plenty of available space on all horizontal surfaces. Remember, when you focus, you finish! Let’s start with the kitchen.
You probably will be spending more time in the kitchen as you prepare and serve holiday food. The goal here is to create more work space and more storage space. The key is to work quickly! Setting a timer really keeps you moving! Try 15 minutes for each area; repeat if necessary.
- Start with the refrigerator. Toss old leftovers, wilted veggies, and crusty condiments. Group similar items together. Wipe clean the shelves and drawers. Then look in the freezer. Toss mystery packages or expired items. Group similar items together. Use up some of your reserves!
- Now look at your counters. Remove bulky appliances that are rarely used. Collect all random papers into one box or bin that you will sort later. Eliminate items that do not belong in the kitchen. You will be so glad for the extra space!
- Clear off the dining room table. Put away or give away unfinished craft projects. Gather all the mail into one bin or basket. Toss old newspapers.
Day #2—LIVING ROOM
Make it easy for your guests to enjoy being in this room. Think ahead to how many people could be using this room at one time. Display only current reading material and magazines. Again, set the timer!
- Eliminate all old newspapers and magazines.
- Remove knickknacks scattered on shelves and table tops to create space for holiday décor.
- Rearrange your furniture to easily accommodate some extra folding chairs when needed.
DAY #3—FAMILY ROOM
Make this room as user-friendly as possible! Set the timer and work quickly!
- Eliminate all piles that are on the floor.
- Donate extra toys, books, music CDs, and DVDs.
- Put all media controls into one basket.
Remember how hotel bathrooms always look so great? It’s because there isn’t a bunch of junk out everywhere. Rediscover your counters! Set the timer and get moving!
- Eliminate expired products and consolidate duplicate items.
- Store similar items together to prevent unnecessary purchases.
- Store all hair appliances in a skinny waste basket under the sink.
DAY #5—CLEANING DAY
An immediate reward for getting rid of the clutter is a reduction in cleaning time—yahoo! Since you don’t have to move everything out of the way, you can finish your cleaning in a shorter amount of time. Set the timer for each task and turn on the music!
- Clean the bathroom.
- Run the sweeper.
- Mop the floors.
You will be pleasantly surprised to discover how satisfied you will feel knowing that your gift decisions, decluttering and cleaning are done. Those simple actions will make the next few weeks easier to enjoy and celebrate!!
What did you donate or clean this week?