Tips For Post-Holiday Home Decluttering, According To An Organizing Expert

The holiday season often means added costs, whether purchasing gifts for family and friends or dressing up a home with festive décor. The McKinsey Consumer Pulse Survey shows some interesting details about how consumers spend on the holidays, indicating that Americans spent, on average, $231 in 2021 on holiday decorations and other non-gifts. In addition, the Department of Labor's consumer price index, as reported by Bankrate, expected the cost of holiday décor in 2022 to have risen 7.6% over the previous year. All of that means you've spent a lot of money to decorate your home, and now it's time to clean up and get back to normal, no matter if you splurged or like to keep holiday décor to a minimum.

That's a big task for anyone to take on. In an exclusive interview with House Digest, Kirsten Fisher, a certified professional organizer and KonMarie consultant with Imagine Home Organization, provides some recommendations and guidance on how to declutter all of that "stuff" and start the year with less clutter.

Evaluate your décor

It's easy to focus on packing your holiday items without focusing much on what comes next. You may even feel the pull to just put everything back as it was. Kirsten Fisher shares, "As you are removing your holiday decorations, take a moment to review your everyday décor. Ask yourself if items on display are there because you love them and they add to the aesthetic of your home or they are taking up space because they have always been there."

This could be the perfect time to make some changes and updates, but to do so, you have to be honest with yourself. As such, you may have to consider that the odd lamp you can't quite remember where it came from may not be worthy of its spot on your shelves. "If you don't absolutely love what is there, take a moment to box it up and donate it to someone who might really love it. You will be surprised what a statement the items you adore will make when they aren't surrounded by the meh," says Fisher. 

Tend to the guest bedrooms

It can feel so rewarding when visitors who stayed in your home over the holidays finally pack up to leave and say they've had a positive experience. Did your space work well for them, though? According to Kirsten Fisher, now is the time to evaluate your guest bedrooms. "After your guests have cleared out, it might be time to look at the space where they stayed. Did they have the appropriate room to put some things in a drawer and hang a few items up? Were they able to put away some toiletries and find fresh towels?"

Unfortunately, providing ample storage won't mean much when every cabinet is filled with useless objects you don't really need. "If your guests were jammed in a space that didn't feel welcoming to them, it may be time to look at their room and clear out the clutter," Fisher says.

You may not be too sure what your visitor's experience was. If that's the case, take a moment to ask. It's worth it to put more effort into this space to make future guests feel welcome and comfortable.

Clean out the closets

One of the most common areas for storing clutter is the guest closet. That's especially true if you don't entertain guests often. Now is a great time to see what's in there and to organize thoughtfully. Kirsten Fisher shares, "Take the time to remove everything from the guest closet. Sort everything you find into categories putting like with like. Once you have sorted, review each category. What do you really need and use? Of the items that need to stay, is this the best home for that category, or does it belong elsewhere?"

There's no doubt this is valuable storage space for many homeowners, and you may want to keep using that closet space to meet your needs. However, before you shove everything back in, Fisher offers insight into how to do so properly. "For items that will remain in the guest closet space, consider a box or a bin with a label to contain the items and define their home. When guests return, they will have clear boundaries with what space is theirs and what is household storage."

The rest of the home and the future

Chances are good that other areas of your home could use some decluttering now that the guests are gone. As such, Kirsten Fisher encourages you not to stop with the guest bedroom. "Now repeat the process for their bathroom. These steps will work for every space in the house."

Getting your home back to an organized state is worth it, but don't make this a one-time task. "Next year, when you put out your holiday decorations, box up the everyday items and put those away until after the holidays. Your holiday will feel less cluttered, and your decorations will really shine. When the holidays are over, you will have a whole new appreciation for the décor you love. You might even take a moment to try it in different locations of your home," shares Fisher. If you buy some new décor as many do, you may even have some new places to revitalize with all the extra stuff out of the way.