Your Home: Recovering from Holiday Madness

Between the Christmas decorations and a host of newly acquired gifts, your home after the holidays can often resemble a bit of a battlefield. Recovering from the holidays is about more than just straightening up the guest room and tidying the decorations away; it’s about finding a new place for many new items, too. Find out the best way to make sure your home is tidy and ready for the new year without drowning in clutter!

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First of all, storing your Christmas decorations. Putting some extra thought into this is a good idea, because it can make things a lot easier down the line. Every year thousands of people spend hours and hours looking for their fake tree and decorations, climb into spider-webbed lofts or hunt through cluttered garages. Make a change this year and find a better place where you can store everything together. A large storage box can hold a multitude of bits and pieces, and you’ll be able to grab everything in a single go. Storing your fake tree, if you have one, in its box or (if you’ve thrown the box away) a set of bin liners allows it to stay safe. But label it if you can’t easily tell what it is, so you always know where it is.

A cupboard under the stairs, a shelf on the garage or a corner of the loft can do, but make sure it is reasonably easy to take everything back out and you can fit all the bits and pieces together in one place as this will allow you to get them out easily and quickly next year.

Straightening up your guest room should take relatively little time, but do take the time to air out the room and hoover in all the little corners. Christmas guests often stay for an extended period such as a week or even more, and in that time a room can accumulate quite a bit of dirt and clutter. Empty the guestroom bin and wash the sheets and duvet cover to make sure the room is ready for future guests, too.

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Finding the storage space for new presents can be a big issue with children, especially – as Santa can sometimes go overboard and most children’s rooms have limited space. If your child is quite young, taking an hour out while he or she is at nursery to rearrange existing toys and perhaps throw some older ones away is a good idea, but older children should be involved in this process as they may feel a lack of control over their own lives if not. Clear some room in their cupboards or on their shelves and make sure you organise everything so it is easy to find! If, like many parents, you suffer from a gradual overspill of toys into your communal living spaces you should go through these and move some of them back to the bedrooms in question, too. It’s nice for kids to have a defined space in the living room such as a drawer, a box or a footstool that doubles as toy storage. This gives them a defined amount of space to store their toys in.

As for your own new presents, this is the perfect time to give your bookshelves and DVD storage a going-over. Make sure they are all tidy and go through DVDs which are not in their boxes to make sure you match them to the right boxes. You’ll be glad you did it, and your house will look a lot tidier for it in the end!

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