Christmas chaos can take over all aspects of our lives, especially our homes. When friends and relatives have left, we are often left with a large trail of debris that needs clearing. A whirlwind of wrapping paper, surplus food and piles of presents. Not to mention the Christmas tree shedding needles in the corner.
But, there’s no avoiding it, the clear up must begin. Here are 6 top tips to help you start 2019 in a comfortable and clutter-free way.
1. Organise your new gifts
Firstly, gather up all your new presents into one place. Have a look through and be honest with yourself about what you like and what you will use. Secondly, be ruthless! Separate them into two piles; keep or donate. There is absolutely no point storing something, that Auntie Margaret gave you, knowing you will never use it. It will just gather dust. For the ettiquette of unwanted presents, please read more here.
If you receive any duplicate gifts, add them to the ‘donate’ pile too. Charity shops need your donations. Some people rely on thrift stores for presents or personal items, so they’re fantastic places to donate to.
Keep everything in good condition. If you know that you definitely won’t use it, keep it in the original packaging. Charities can charge more for items that are unopened. Ask other family members for their unwanted gifts too so that you can make a collective donation. Often it’s a good idea to club everyone’s throwaways together, so that your chosen charity can collect them in one go.
And lastly, make sure that all presents are tidied away into whichever room they’re supposed to live.
If your ‘donate’ pile is large enough to warrant a collection, you can book a free pick up using the link below. If there are only a few things, then wait until you’ve completed tip number 5.*
2. Recycle your Christmas Tree
Local authorities often arrange collection points where you can leave your trees for recycling. To find out where you can recycle your Christmas Tree, Recyclenow have a great tool on their website. By keying in your postcode, you can find recycling services in your area.
4. Arrange your wrapping paper
Fold or roll up paper that can be used again. Then store neatly for next year.
Remove sellotape and tags from paper which can’t be reused, then recycle what you can. Guidance on what can be recycled can be found here
3. Share out excess food
If you’ve got non-perishable goods that you know you’ll never eat, why not donate them to a food bank. The Trussell Trust can signpost you to your nearest one.
Alternatively, for surplus food including perishables, there is a great app called Olio:
OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local shops so surplus food and other items can be shared, not thrown away.
If you love food, hate waste, care about the environment or want to connect with your community, OLIO is for you.
5.Have a clear out
As we approach the New Year, it’s the perfect time to get prepared for whatever 2019 is going to bring. And that starts in our homes. Whether you’re looking to move home, sell or let your property, or simply want a clear out, start when Christmas is over.
When the dust has settled and you’ve arranged all of your new presents and leftover food and drink, you can clearly assess how much space you have and what you want to do with it. The New Year is an ideal time to have a thorough clean and tidy of your place.
Did you know that clearing out clutter can improve your health! We’ve got some advice on how to get started here.
6. Donate your unwanted belongings to charity
After clearing out your cupboards and wading through your wardrobe, you’ll probably have a sizeable amount of stuff to donate to charity. Package it up neatly into bags or boxes then let us do the rest by booking a FREE #CharityVan to come and collect!
We hope that you have had a lovely Christmas and wish you a happy, healthy start to 2019.
*The Gone for Good #CharityVan is trialling within the London M25. You can book a van to collect your unwanted clothes, toys and small household objects. Find out more here.
For everyone living outside of the London M25, the Gone for Good App can pair you with a charity that can collect. Find out more here.