As we gear up to the New Year, it’s often a time to look at decluttering elements of your life and starting fresh. Decluttering and reorganising not only provides a clean slate, it’s also proven to inspire calm and reduce anxiousness. Your home is no exception to this; use the post-Christmas period as an excuse to take stock of everything you have, and keep only what you really need. You might even find some hidden treasures that you’d forgotten about along the way!

Whether it’s old tat to throw away, or good quality items you could donate, we’ve put together 8 areas to focus on when it comes to decluttering and donating after Christmas.

Decluttering after Christmas

Sort through old decorations

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Your first port of call should be your Christmas decorations. As you take everything down after the festive period, work out which ones have gotten a bit tatty and might need to be replaced. Was there anything left in the storage boxes that haven’t been used for the past few years? Create separate ‘bin’ and ‘donate’ piles, putting away only the pieces you really love.

Discard Christmas cards

Each year we receive lovely cards for Christmas, and end up stowing them away with the decorations. Why not recycle as you pack everything away? Re-use beautiful cards for Christmas present thank yous, keep your favourites to make into your own cards for next year, or throw them away in the recycling bin. If you’re feeling really inventive you could even turn some of them into Christmas decorations for next year.

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Smart swaps

If you’re lucky to have received some nice new bits and pieces over Christmas, a great way to keep the clutter down is to swap out some of your older, less loved belongings. The premise is age old, but making room for the new by purging the old is the best way to keep the clutter to a minimum. Aim for a 1 for 1 philosophy, either literally replacing an old item, or making sacrifices for old belongings.

Get rid of unwanted christmas gifts

The sad truth is you might also receive some gifts that you don’t like, or don’t need. While it might seem controversial, there’s nothing wrong with re-gifting them. If you won’t use it but a friend or family member might, it would be much better use in their hands – and also won’t clutter up your home! Aim for a friend who has a birthday coming up, or rewrap and place in storage, ready for a last minute gift. But, make sure to make a note of who gave it to you in the first place so that you don’t accidentally hand it back to them!

For more ideas on how you can donate or recycle your unwanted gifts, read this brilliant piece.

Declutter your wardrobe

With your Christmas decorations and gifts sorted and packed away, it’s time to turn your attention to other elements of your home. A great place to start is your wardrobe. First things first, your winter clothes. If you haven’t worn jumpers and coats this year, are you likely to next? Sift through yours and your family’s clothes and shoes, clearing out what no longer fits, and donate suitable pieces to charity. You could also take a look at your linens and towels, getting rid of shabby items, and keeping only the best quality.

When clearing out your clothes, take a look at charities and initiatives such as Smalls for All to see if you can donate items such as underwear to those in need.

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Kids toys

If you have kids, it’s likely that you’ve got some toys that they’ve grown out of or don’t play with anymore. Particularly if they received some new ones over Christmas! Getting the children themselves to choose which old games or toys they might swap for new ones is also a great way to keep the toy clutter down. The ones they no longer want or need can then be donated to other children who have less, and will enjoy it more.

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Kitchen clearout

Post-Christmas kitchen clearouts are an absolute essential, particularly when it comes to getting rid of leftover festive food before it goes off. But do you extend this to your cupboards? Get rid of all of those jars and tins that you can’t even remember buying, throwing out the expired ones, and donating appropriate in-date items to your local food bank or charity.

While you’re there, it’s likely you’ve got old pots that need to be refreshed or replaced. Clear out the pesky tupperware with no lids and stains, keeping only the useful ones. What about your tea towels? Apply the same tactic here for a fresh and clean look in your kitchen this new year.

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Store as you go

As you sort through your house, pack your belongings tidily away in handy storage units. Use beautiful console table units in your hallway, sideboards for crockery or linens, blanket boxes for toys or towels, and tallboys for those smaller spaces. In need of some more stylish storage units in your home? Shop your new pieces now.