By DeAnn Kamp, Realtor®
The holiday season comes with a myriad of parties, traveling, shopping, deadlines and more. These extra commitments bring extra clutter, to even the most meticulously kept homes. Use these tips to keep each room of your home organized during the hectic holiday season.
Entryway, Mudroom, Foyer
With everyone coming and going, its easy for your entryway to become cluttered easily. Install a shoe, coat and bag storage system to bring a sense of order to a space that can unravel quickly. A vertical storage solution, will create an organized space for backpacks, umbrellas, boots, shoes and sports equipment.
The kitchen often becomes a home’s go-to catch-all spot. An increase in holiday mail means an increase in piles of paper – usually on the counter or kitchen table. As soon as you receive the mail, make a decision to immediately recycle, file or display it. Store papers you need to access in the near future (i.e. earmarked catalogs, bills, etc.) in a central location, and designate a spot to hang incoming greeting cards or upcoming holiday invites. A set of stackable desktop drawers is a great way to temporarily store papers, and you can move it to storage or another room after the influx of holiday mail slows down.
Keep your garage well stocked with the items necessary to cope with the winter ahead. Keep items like salt, firewood, windshield de-icer, construction gloves and shovels in an easy to access location. Many people use a pegboard system, a hanging system that lets you store all your winter survival tools in one central space
As you unpack your holiday decorations, identify the items that you didn’t display last year and won’t display this year. Those items should be donated. When it’s time to repack, make a note on the items that you didn’t display. If you don’t display them next year, mark that they should be donated next year. Store your decorations in a clear plastic container to easily identify its contents.
To keep your gift wrap materials under control, use a gift wrap storage system. There are different systems available in local stores.
Don’t let the holiday grind take its toll on your bedroom. Maintain your bedroom as your home’s sanctuary and instill a sense of order in a space that can become messy quickly. Here are many options that provide a space to store shoes, folded clothes and accessories.
(Un)expected guests coming over?
If guests throw you a curve ball by announcing a last-minute visit, take time to walk through your house and look at it as if you were a stranger. Focus on the main areas your guests will occupy, such as the living room, bathroom, kitchen and guest bedroom.
Just putting things where they belong will go a long way in making your home clutter free.
Pay attention to floors and clear the surfaces of tabletops and dressers. Make sure you have enough seating and put out fresh towels for overnight guests. Take a quick inventory in any bathroom your guest might use and clear out any items you don’t want rummaged through.
Call professional help if you feel overwhelmed.
If organizing your home feels like an overwhelming task with the holidays looming, consider hiring a professional organizer for an objective approach. Sometimes, a consultation helps give homeowners the kick-start they need to finish the task. Rates for an organizer generally range from about $50 to $100 an hour, and most have a 2-3 hour minimum requirement. During the holiday season, some organizers can play more of a “personal assistant” role and help with event planning, party preparation, buying and wrapping gifts or delivering donated items.
Look for a highly-rated organizer with whom you feel comfortable. Many professionals stay up on the latest industry trends and follow a code of ethics by belonging to the National Association of Professional Organizers. Whether you try to organize on your own or bring in some extra help, our experts say homeowners should keep calm about the clutter.
Take time to enjoy the holidays. With all of the chaos and to-do lists, it’s important to throw it all out at some point and enjoy your friends and family.
Broker/Realtor® GRI, CSMS