Recovering from the Inevitable Holiday Clutter

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Happy New Year! I, like many, have woken up this morning with a fresh wave of optimism and energy for the year ahead. The Christmas decorations are down, the excitement of the holidays is over and finally, we can all get back to ‘normal’. Despite thoroughly enjoying last month, I am feeling a bit hungover… a holiday clutter hangover.

All the work I did last year to declutter and organize feels like three steps forward, two steps back. I feel so far from minimalism right now I might have to make myself a special hoarding badge for all my hard work. Not only have lots of new items arrived, general slacking off has meant my junk drawer is stacked full again. There is a sprinkle of chocolate coins, wrapping tape, and stocking stuffers across every surface in the house. 

holiday clutter hangover pin

Getting Back to My Progress Point

Although it’s a little disheartening, I need to get back to where I was when I posted my last minimalist progress post. It can be overwhelming to step back and assess the holiday clutter, especially when a few months ago I felt so energized by my minimalist progress. I suppose I’m in what Marie Kondo would call a ‘relapse’… sounds a little dramatic I know. I need to put myself in Japenese decluttering rehab and start over.

How to Deal with THE Holiday Clutter HANGOVER

We had friends over for New Year, so I started my tidying on New Year’s Eve. Although I succeeded in making the place look socially acceptable, a lot of items got stuffed into drawers and cupboards out of sight… I was on a timeline and we’re all human, right? I do feel better for having a clean house, but I have to return for a sweep over previous decluttering tasks to recover from the holiday clutter hangover:

  • Remove bulk trash: I have three kids… so much holiday cardboard and wrapping paper! Plus, I have been hoarding the boxes from the boys’ bedroom furniture, so I have loads to get rid of and recycle.
  • Revisit clothes purge: A few new items over the holidays means some older ones need to head to charity. I’m also going to remove anything from my closet that hasn’t been worn since the last purge (unless it’s something seasonal like swimwear).
  • Books and toys: I’ve recently sorted my books but the kids got quite a few for Christmas. I haven’t sorted through their books yet and will be doing that this week. I also have a new storage solution for them which I’ll be showing off once it’s finished!
  • Paperwork: With family visiting and the general holiday vibe, paperwork has reached small mountain status again. It really is my least favorite job, but, with these jobs comes massive satisfaction when they’re done. 
  • Junk Drawer: I am a little annoyed I have managed to fill the junk drawer again. Unused Christmas cards, batteries, tape, tags, and… well, I’m not even sure what. Marie Kondo says if everything has a place you don’t rebound to cluttering. The trouble is, during the holidays, a whole new category of stuff appears, meaning you need to find a place for it or get rid of it!

holiday clutter hangover new year

Post-Holiday Clutter Deep Clean

Although I’ve done plenty of decluttering over the past 12months, I haven’t been great for deep cleaning. Although I keep the bathrooms and floors clean, our sofa is reaching biohazard level. There is a thick layer of dust covering the blinds. You can always delay the deep cleaning, and this can mean it doesn’t get done at all. However, if I list and plan the jobs I want to be done, I soon realize I need to get on with it. I’m trying to be realistic with my planning and I think I can get a couple of these deep clean jobs done a month:

  • Clean the sofa upholstery,
  • Clean the carpet,
  • Dusting blinds and fans,
  • Clean top of baseboards,
  • Clean internal and external doors and handles,
  • Wipe down the inside of kitchen cupboards,
  • Move furniture (sofa, beds, side units, washing machine) and clean beneath,
  • Deep clean appliances and electronics (vacuum, dishwasher, washing machine, TVs/speakers etc)

With a couple of these jobs a month, I’m set to the end of April… yes, I  require four months to get the Spring cleaning done, haha. Well, less talking, more doing. I’m off to get rid of some more holiday clutter.

holiday clutter hangover beat it

For six tips from everyone’s favorite professional declutterer, check out Marie Kondo in the Telegraph here.

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About the author

Katherine is an electrochemist, hiking enthusiast, and family lifestyle blogger. As a mom of three, including twins, she enjoys DIY, travel, and eating good food. British born, Katherine moved to the US in 2014, and now called Las Vegas home.

4 thoughts on “Recovering from the Inevitable Holiday Clutter”

  1. The holidays or any time I have a lot of guests in my home, I have quite a mess to clean up, it seems. Then there is the tree dropping tinsel and pointy foot hurty things constantly that really takes its toll. Nothing makes me feel more relaxed than a clean house so this is a good reminder to get it back to how I like it!

  2. I often find the holidays the hardest time of the year to get yourself back on track and getting into the work mindset. Last week I washed all the walls in the house including the baseboards and that was very tiring.

  3. I just did this over the weekend. Straight after Christmas, we took two trips and didn’t return until last week, so we have a bunch of boxes and things that needed to be recycled. This weekend will definitely be time to do a deep clean and get the house back in order.


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