The great, big Christmas declutter

29th October 2018

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It’s true, the Christmas countdown is on! If you haven’t already started, now is the time to get down to it and prepare your home for the festive season. Let’s be honest, as soon as advent hits, we don’t want to be cleaning, clearing and decluttering. We’d much rather deck the halls and dress the house in beautiful, sparkling adornments, ready for the merry chaos of Christmas.

Whether or not you intend on inviting family and friends to the house for parties or dinner, the man in red is sure to make an appearance. And we all know that Father Christmas brings a whole load of stuff you just haven’t got the room for. By prepping your home before December, whatever surprises Santa has in store, you’ll know where it can be kept before and after Christmas day.

The great, big Christmas declutter | Before you start

Before you throw yourself into the deep end, make sure you’ve got the family on board. While you’re tackling the tough stuff, asking children and teens to help around the house is a great way to keep on top of things.  These recycling bins with colour-coded lids are perfect for separating waste and recycling – providing a way for kids of all ages to contribute. Adding recycling stickers helps to ensure that the right items end up in the correct bin.  Other overlooked bits and bobs include making the beds, pairing socks, washing pots. It’s about time, isn’t it?

But where to start with the great, big Christmas declutter?

Go from top to bottom, that typically does the trick. Get yourself up into the loft. Go through the Christmas decorations. Keep your faves and donate any golden oldies that don’t feel so festive nowadays. Dust everything off, and make a list of anything you need to add to your collection. While you’re up there, make the switch from summer to winter duvets.

Don’t forget the little details

As you’re cleaning and disinfecting the house, don’t forget to skim the skirting boards and door frames too! It’s easy to miss them. Steam mop hard floors, clean the carpets to freshen them up. In playrooms and children’s bedrooms, give the walls a good wash down. Those rooms have seen some seriously sticky hands, slime, muck, and gunk.

Charity, Sell or Dump?

Throw away any broken toys, while making a pile of any unwanted, older ones. Either take them to your local children’s hospital or donate to charity. They will make some children out there really happy this Christmas! Give teddies a bubble bath, in warm water and washing liquid, and as they dry off, rearrange the space so there’s room for any new arrivals.

Storage, storage storage

As you make your way into the kitchen, try to do the same. Clean the cupboards, buy storage to keep items organised. It’s great for categorising loose food items and packets, too. It’s always annoying when they’re falling about the place. Give appliances a good scrub, ready for the Christmas abuse! Don’t forget to throw out any BBE 1999 tin cans and spices. That is unless you’ve become rather fond of them over the last 20 years.

More ways to prepare your home for Christmas

And when all that’s done and dusted – quite literally – kick back, relax, and enjoy some online Christmas shopping with a cup of something mulled.

Win a set of recycling bins with colour-coded lids

To help you start your Christmas declutter we have a set of ADDIS recycling bins with colour-coded lids to giveaway to one lucky entrant.

Prize: A set of three ADDIS recycling bins with colour-coded lids

To enter simply complete the Gleam widget below, all entries are optional and each one completed will gain you more entries into the random draw.

ADDIS recycling bins with colour-coded lids (AFFT)

Review Feature


  • Margaret GALLAGHER 29th October 2018 at 12:52 PM

    I’m always decluttering but don’t seem to get too far

  • Jade Hewlett 29th October 2018 at 2:11 PM

    I try to declutter before Christmas and try to focus on the bedroom, living room and kitchen as they are the most used rooms. The best decluttering is after all the Christmas presents are given out though as then there seems to be so much more space (until the next Christmas comes around!)

  • Ritchie 29th October 2018 at 10:51 PM

    I try to declutter the kitchen

  • Susan Bennett 29th October 2018 at 11:07 PM

    I would love these to recycle everything, every 6 months I de clutter my wardrobe

  • coleen douglas 29th October 2018 at 11:29 PM

    such a good idea to say organised!

  • Sinead ORourke 29th October 2018 at 11:36 PM

    My spare room/storage room. Every few months I go in and give stuff away if I didnt use it

  • Carrie H 30th October 2018 at 12:15 AM

    Yes, always do a pre-Christmas de-clutter. I’ve started alteady with the “room of doom”, aka the guest room where everything has been dumped over the last few months. It’s tiny, so was hard even getting from one side to the other!

  • Becky Yeomans 30th October 2018 at 5:51 AM

    Yes I try to do the whole house to make room for new things!

  • Helen Best 30th October 2018 at 6:17 AM

    I try to decluter my kitchen often expeciall precooked meals containers they easily mount up on the cupboards

  • Jo McPherson 30th October 2018 at 6:38 AM

    I always declutter my freezer and I try to do the kitchen cupboards and living room

  • Margaret Clarkson 30th October 2018 at 6:40 AM

    I usually have a de-clutter, cncentrating on the kitchen, so there is plenty of space for festive foods.

  • Sue Bowden 30th October 2018 at 6:41 AM

    I always give a good clean and declutter around the second week in December, because after that all hell lets loose with school plays, last minute Christmas gifts and food shopping, by the end of year it’s needs doing again.

  • Sue McCarthy 30th October 2018 at 7:00 AM

    I’m on my own so don’t need to tidy up for Xmas as I don’t get any visitors or bother with decorations or tree. I just sort things out once in a while.

  • Alice Dixon 30th October 2018 at 7:02 AM

    Yes I make sure the living room is clean and tidy before we put decorations up and I de clutter the kids toys and bedroom

  • ValB 30th October 2018 at 7:19 AM

    I like to give the kitchen and living room a good clean and sort out in the autumn so its usually fine for Christmas. Doing it early takes some of the pressure off over the festive period

  • Tracy Nixon 30th October 2018 at 7:30 AM

    Yes! I declutter everywhere- kitchen cupboards, freezer, clothes and toys!

  • Emma Nixon 30th October 2018 at 8:21 AM

    I usually start with the kitchen. Ideal time to tidy up the cupboards.

  • Mary Lucking 30th October 2018 at 8:30 AM

    I do not declutter and if possible don’t put Christmas decorations either then I don’t have to take them down. Result

  • EMMA WALTERS 30th October 2018 at 9:10 AM

    i have had a good clear out of toys/clothes that all go to a local women’s refuge

  • iain maciver 30th October 2018 at 9:48 AM

    the kitchen ,clothes etc

  • Ruth Bugg 30th October 2018 at 10:06 AM

    I am trying to declutter especially toys, books, childrens clothes etc and make the spare room into a play room rather than a junk room!

  • nicola dean 30th October 2018 at 10:26 AM

    I declutter the kids toys to make room for new ones.

  • Katie b 30th October 2018 at 10:59 AM

    We’re moving house so definitely decluttering. Packing stuff we want and getting rid of the rest!

  • Angela treadway 30th October 2018 at 11:57 AM

    yeah i take a load of toys down to our local school so they can make use of it x

  • DUNCAN BROWN 30th October 2018 at 12:11 PM

    These would be really handy for our kitchen

  • Alica 30th October 2018 at 1:11 PM

    I think I declutter every week! It seems never ending! lol

  • Jo Carroll 30th October 2018 at 1:31 PM

    De-cluttering is a daily battle for me..sometimes I worry I just might get swamped if I don’t do a little at a time…trouble is my partner tends to bring back in everything I throw out 😉

  • Rose B 30th October 2018 at 2:37 PM

    I get spurts through the year to declutter. Somedays the mood just takes me!

  • Jackie Howell 30th October 2018 at 2:43 PM

    Blitz the whole house every six months or so, always starting with the kitchen!

  • Lorraine Langham 30th October 2018 at 2:53 PM

    I am constantly decluttering but the clutter appears to go no-where! The childrens’ rooms are the worst, they never seem to be cleared.

  • Laura Milton 30th October 2018 at 3:10 PM

    I always declutter before xmas I focus mainly on the children’s stuff so we go through their toys and wardrobe and bag it up for charity. It also gives me a chance to put toys together in the correct boxes haha!

  • Jane Willis 30th October 2018 at 3:33 PM

    No, New year’s Resolution time is when I start to declutter although I seldom get very far.

  • Jean Cassell 30th October 2018 at 3:55 PM

    I do have a general tidy up in time for Christmas, mainly the kitchen.

  • Isabel O 30th October 2018 at 4:24 PM

    I don’t usually no, usually I end up having to do it after! I suppose doing it before would make things easier but that would be sensible and I’m not blessed with an abundance of sense.

  • Sarah Russell 30th October 2018 at 5:47 PM

    Definitely! l mostly focus on the livingroom and kitchen which will be having decorations up and of course kitchen will be super full over Christmas, then another de clutter after Christmas!.

  • kelly wheelhouse 30th October 2018 at 6:18 PM

    I tend to declutter the living room. This year we moved house so we have 2 living rooms- the one we call the ‘front room’ is for storing stuff but we are thinking of having the tree in there so we desperately need to declutter the whole room lol

  • Veronica Ambler 30th October 2018 at 6:22 PM

    I have a regular de-clutter routine, and I recycle almost religiously 😉 I really could use a set of those bins! 😀

  • Laura Banks 30th October 2018 at 6:47 PM

    i usually do it after xmas

  • Christina Palmer 30th October 2018 at 7:34 PM

    I try to de clutter but as quick as I get rid of stuff so I find something to fill in the gap

  • Martina Pichova 30th October 2018 at 8:26 PM

    I try to pass on some of the children’s toys to make space for new ones.

  • Laura Pritchard 30th October 2018 at 9:17 PM

    Yes, I try to declutter & sort the toys ready for the next wave! Last time I had 10 bags for charity!

  • pete c 30th October 2018 at 9:35 PM

    dont bother decluttering any of the rooms, the mess might last a few days but thats all

  • JANE KIRK 30th October 2018 at 10:17 PM

    Try to declutter the whole house if possible.

  • LISA EVERAERT 30th October 2018 at 10:47 PM

    I always declutter before christmas. Primarily i focus on the dining area and my 2 x boys rooms as thats where it needs it the most.

  • Amy Bondoc 31st October 2018 at 5:04 AM

    i always have a huge de clutter and there isnt a room in the house tht escapes 😉

  • Ruth Harwood 31st October 2018 at 8:50 AM

    Gosh, no ,I leave my clutter where it is, it’s mostly my to-read pile, if I’m honest, there’s not much else taking up space in my home lol!!

  • Claire Nutman 31st October 2018 at 1:38 PM

    I must admit, i keep the kitchen very tidy, so im a bit of a goody goody….many thanks

  • Chloe Davies 31st October 2018 at 2:37 PM

    Not usually…l but I think I’m going to need a declutter of my little girls toys before this Christmas!

  • Peter Watson 31st October 2018 at 4:32 PM

    We cleared the shed out and had a huge pile of unwanted stuff on the back lawn for a while.

  • ADEINNE TONNER 31st October 2018 at 5:52 PM

    I do declutter before Christmas especially in the bathrooms, kitchen and bedrooms

  • Tracy Newton 31st October 2018 at 8:19 PM

    I declutter the entire house before Christmas. I tend to give lots of things to school fairs, Beavers fundraisers etc

  • Justine Meyer 31st October 2018 at 10:32 PM

    I love decluttering I did the dining room today. I would love to get in my daughters room with the bin bags because she lives in a total mess

  • Solange 1st November 2018 at 1:44 AM

    I do declutter in time for Christmas. I tend to focus on the kitchen and bedrooms.

  • Rich Tyler 1st November 2018 at 1:02 PM

    Under the bed / in the loft!

  • Lisa Parker 1st November 2018 at 9:32 PM

    Usually in the Living room and in the cupboard where I keep the Christmas tree when it isn’t in use x

  • Martha Chisholm 2nd November 2018 at 12:11 PM

    Mainly the kitchen although I do try to get to my other cupboard space around the house.

  • Kelly Hirst 2nd November 2018 at 9:35 PM

    I always have a declutter before Christmas, mainly sorting through the draws with various forgotten junk

  • Rebecca Nisbet 2nd November 2018 at 10:44 PM

    We always declutter my daughters room, and make a deal with her that it is make room for all her Christmas presents.

  • Rachel Butterworth 2nd November 2018 at 11:19 PM

    I try to declutter in the run up to Christmas. I focus on clothes.

  • Helen Stratton 3rd November 2018 at 11:23 AM

    We do – the living room as we will all be in it and the kids bedrooms to make way for new stuff.

  • Rebecca Cusick 3rd November 2018 at 7:42 PM

    The kitchen cupboards, wardrobes & kids bedrooms get decluttered before Christmas!

  • cheryl hadfield 3rd November 2018 at 10:49 PM

    I try and declutter as much as possible in the run upto christmas

  • Lorna Ledger 4th November 2018 at 11:06 AM

    We do under the stairs, the attic, and the airing cupboard 🙂

  • Patricia Bowley 4th November 2018 at 2:25 PM

    I always start with the kitchen. Just taken everything out of my freezer, quick wipe down and then put things back in an orderly fashion. Now I know what I have and what I need to get. I do the same with my fridge and cupboards.

  • kiya johnson 4th November 2018 at 3:29 PM

    We focus on our spare room because thats where we store the presents

  • Sarah Mcvicar 4th November 2018 at 4:46 PM

    I always de-clutter, usually the kids toys which I give to charity

  • Myriam Clark 4th November 2018 at 6:04 PM

    I usually start de-cluttering in the kitchen and tidy up the cupboards.

  • Michelle Smith 4th November 2018 at 7:53 PM

    My bedroom I organise my wardrobes by clearing out old clothes.

  • Sarah Blackwell-Hughes 4th November 2018 at 8:37 PM

    We don’t do a special declutter for Christmas as I spend all year doing it, haha!

  • Heather Haigh 5th November 2018 at 4:58 AM

    Yes I declutter pretty much every where I can.

  • Tracy Newton 6th November 2018 at 6:36 AM

    I tend to declutter on a regular basis. Although I have started to encourage the children to sort out toys

  • Jemma Dwyer 6th November 2018 at 1:42 PM

    yes i do my son bedroom 😀

  • Kim Murray 6th November 2018 at 4:35 PM

    Like to have a good tidy and clean before I put the Xmas decorations up, clear the kitchen too ready for Xmas baking x

  • Christine Lockley 7th November 2018 at 12:00 PM

    I try to declutter regularly but in the run up to Christmas it’s the kitchen cupboards, freezer, kids rooms and lounge

  • Linda C 7th November 2018 at 1:24 PM

    The kitchen have sorted and given away lots of odd glasses, mugs etc that were at the back of the cupboard, already done freezer and going to start food cupboards to make room to hide some goodies.

  • Dawn Samples 7th November 2018 at 1:55 PM

    I especially give my front room a thorough clean in time for getting a Christmas tree and putting up decorations, but I like to give the whole house a sort out of clutter and a good clean x

  • clair downham 7th November 2018 at 2:14 PM

    im doing it righht now and i focus on kitchen and the kids bedrooms

  • Louise 7th November 2018 at 2:59 PM

    I declutter the kids toys before Christmas, kids get way too much these days!

  • Kathleen marsden 7th November 2018 at 3:00 PM

    I declutter my kitchen so that I know nothings going out of date before Xmas shopping and to know what I need to get in for xmas

  • Karen Barrett 7th November 2018 at 4:48 PM

    I love a good declutter, I’m not really a hoarder so it is usually pretty pain free 🙂

  • Jo Richards 7th November 2018 at 6:22 PM

    Always declutter and sort out the kids bedrooms at the start of December, ready for their Christmas presents and then have another declutter a few months later in their rooms

  • Ian Campbell 7th November 2018 at 9:19 PM

    Definitely, especially in the lounge, to make way for the tree and all the decorations 🙂

  • Julie Edwards 8th November 2018 at 10:49 AM

    I declutter everywhere. From CDs, DVDs, books, to clothes and cosmetics. Love making room for new items

  • Ashley Phillips 8th November 2018 at 12:12 PM

    I make sure I go through all the kitchen cupboards and pass on anything I haven’t used or don’t intend to use soon to a food bank

  • Sarah Mcknight 8th November 2018 at 1:40 PM

    I usually declutter the kids toys.

  • Sally Collingwood 8th November 2018 at 2:53 PM

    Decluttered massively 6 months ago when I moved house!

  • Marc H 8th November 2018 at 7:22 PM

    In the middle of a massive declutter at the moment. Sticking a whole bunch of stuff on Ebay.

  • Jo m welsh 8th November 2018 at 8:53 PM

    I feel like I am always decluttering but I do like to sort the kids rooms out before Christmas.

  • Sue Harrison 8th November 2018 at 10:31 PM

    No not really. I try to stay clutter free all year.

  • T Brailey 10th November 2018 at 10:26 AM

    I usually have a little declutter. This is focused on the living room where the Christmas tree will be.

  • Carole Nott 11th November 2018 at 7:23 PM

    i dont really declutter, but generally just do a really good sort out and tidy up

  • Karen Tranmer 11th November 2018 at 10:11 PM

    the living room and kitchen so we have a fetsive areato relax and don’t get too stressed preparing the dinner!

  • charlotte 12th November 2018 at 3:32 PM

    i have a really good clear out of clothes at this time of year to make room for new ones xD

  • Charlotte Wilde 12th November 2018 at 6:36 PM

    i try with the kids bedrooms – books and toys – really difficult though

  • katrina walsh 12th November 2018 at 10:03 PM

    I concentrate on the kitchen to make way for fresh dinnerware each year

  • Judith Allen 12th November 2018 at 10:45 PM

    We try to keep clutter down during the year, but an extra tidy up and charity shop run with anything we don’t need.

  • Laura Wheatley 14th November 2018 at 8:09 PM

    I have bookmarked this. I desperatley need to de clutter for my own sanity! so hopefully you have given me the motivation

  • Louise A 15th November 2018 at 1:16 AM

    Not really, so much to do at Christmas without worrying about decluttering.

  • Fiona Martin 15th November 2018 at 2:17 PM

    I try and declutter the kids bedrooms ready for all the new things they’ll get on the day!

  • Lyndsey Cooksey 15th November 2018 at 4:51 PM

    Yes I do declutter before Christmas. As well as everywhere being tidy and been to the local rubbish tip to declutter around the house, I do like to have a sort out of my fridge and freezer. I get rid of old jars of pickles, bottles of sauces that only have a drop in, use up food out the freezer ready for any Christmas food I can start picking up.

  • kris mcgrath 15th November 2018 at 5:20 PM

    Yes, I did the kids room yesterday

  • astrid c 16th November 2018 at 6:21 AM

    i’m always decluttering, hate clutter and hoarding!! x

  • Victoria Prince 16th November 2018 at 12:32 PM

    I don’t as a rule, but this year we are also moving in the Spring so I am on a serious house-wide declutter!

  • Kim Neville 16th November 2018 at 4:00 PM

    I always have a sort of kids toys and bedrooms to make space for all the new things from Xmas

  • Magdalene Drummond 16th November 2018 at 10:44 PM

    I always focus on the living room so there is room for all the fun Christmas morning brings. This year we are spending Christmas in our new house which will hopefully be our forever house so I want everything to be perfect xx

  • jo liddement 17th November 2018 at 7:29 PM

    I always have a clear-up in November and concentrate on clothes and toys which i take down to the charity shop. I also like to mend and reuse clothes if i can.

  • Marion Payne 17th November 2018 at 11:01 PM

    A general de-clutter before Christmas to make room for three new pressies and to donate to charity

  • Marion Payne 17th November 2018 at 11:01 PM

    I have a general de-clutter before Christmas to make room for three new pressies and to donate to charity

  • maria 18th November 2018 at 12:38 AM

    I clean out the attic

  • Sue Bielewicz 18th November 2018 at 8:18 AM

    We declutter and spruce up, basically a second spring clean. The whole house gets the treatment all ready for setting the tree up and preparing for family and friends visiting from all over the country

  • Elizabeth Smith 18th November 2018 at 12:36 PM

    I don’t declutter but I probably should

  • Laura Williams 19th November 2018 at 8:42 AM

    I always de clutter before Christmas! I have 6 children! You can imagine the clutter! haha!
    The kids bedrooms are a huge must to de clutter before Christmas so there is room for what Santa brings!
    Also! I always de clutter my freezers before Christmas so there is room for lots of Christmas food! For November and December, we live out of the freezer and aim to get them as empty as possible… some interesting meals come from freezer diving! 😀
    These bins are absolutely brilliant! My 4th child (Joe – 12) is our family recycler (they all have a little job in the house for responsibility!) He would be chuffed if I won these! I picked him for this job because he is my only perfectionist out of my 6 children! He enjoys organising and sorting the recycling! He would love these as they are colour coded and he could organise everything in his ‘perfectionist’ way! 🙂
    Thank you! What a useful prize! I have my fingers crossed!

  • Lukcy Ducky 19th November 2018 at 1:11 PM

    i love the idea of these bins, its so important to look after our environment and clean up properly! Switzerland have a great recycling programme, we should be more like them in that way!

  • Laura Pyper 19th November 2018 at 2:47 PM

    yes the kids rooms

  • Laura Chapman 19th November 2018 at 6:53 PM

    We focus on the living and dining room as this is where we spend the majority of our time at Christmas and it’s vital that it’s clutter free – especially if we have guests over.

  • Allison Sherwood 20th November 2018 at 9:41 AM

    I do and I mainly focus on the living room as I like it to be neat and tidy ready for putting up the tree and because I know come Christmas day the room will look like a bombs hit it lol

  • David Greenhalgh 20th November 2018 at 10:24 AM

    I always focus on the hallway which is littered with abandoned shoes coats school bags and other assorted paraphernalia

  • Gemma Clark 20th November 2018 at 1:23 PM

    Mainly the living room and bedrooms getting rid of old toys

  • Rachel Butler 20th November 2018 at 2:59 PM

    I always declutter the toys and all of the wardrobes and food cupboards 🙂

  • Angela Sharp 20th November 2018 at 8:27 PM

    Always trying to decluter as much as I can, if I can o donate toys or clothes otherwise I do my best to recycle

  • James Travis 20th November 2018 at 9:12 PM

    No, but I should

  • Alison Johnson 20th November 2018 at 9:41 PM

    Yes we do declutter. Mainly our conservatory which has our dining table in & we need for Christmas Dinner as everyone comes to ours. We tend to dump stuff in there as soon as it starts getting cold as we don’t go in there so it’s easy to forget about how much is in there!

  • JULIE WARD 20th November 2018 at 11:55 PM

    No, I try to do it all year round, fail (sons bedroom)

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