5 Tips to Tackle a Deep Clean in the Post-Christmas Slump – 'They're Fast and Effective!'

Professional organizers reveal their expert advice on how to tackle the Christmas clear up

A kitchen designed in wood and concrete, with natural light pouring in
(Image credit: FMD Architects. Photo credit Derek Swalwell and Fraser Marsden)

The limbo period between Christmas and New Year is an awkward time. Most of us are low on energy after the highs of Christmas, and I would also assume your home is far from organized. If you don't want to start 2024 off on the wrong foot, it's also the perfect time to tackle a deep clean and declutter.

Every year should start as a fresh slate, especially in your home. As the year comes to an end and during the busy holiday period it's easy to adopt bad habits and let standards slip. That's why now is the ideal time to take stock of your stuff and get everything sorted in time for January 1st.  

If you're wondering how to start decluttering and cleaning up during the Twixmas period, then fear not. We spoke to some experienced professional organizers for their tips on how to tackle this great project before January, and these five instructions guarantee to make it fast and effective. 

1. Be realistic

A styled dining room

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen, Styling: Rosy Fridman. Design: Homework)

When it comes to the new year, we're all overly ambitious with what we want to achieve, especially when it comes to decluttering. However, if you really want to make a lasting change, it's important to manage expectations.

'Many people make resolutions regarding organizing their space,' says professional organizer Ben Soreff. 'However, it's important to remember to be realistic about how much time you dedicate to the task and your energy level.'

The key is to not be too harsh on yourself. Pick small areas to tackle at a time and be decisive about what you can realistically achieve. 'Tackle projects in bite-sized chunks don't pull everything out of the closet and then quickly shove it back in when the phone rings for a work emergency, leaving it worse off than if you hadn't "cleaned up",' says Ben. 'I suggest setting the smartphone timer and focusing on 15-minute sessions. One specific goal that you can accomplish is decluttering the kitchen junk drawer and turning it into a utility drawer.' 

2. Focus on main storage solutions

'After Christmas is the perfect time to think about the main storage areas of your home,' says professional organizer Sara Bereika. If something has been bothering you for a while, now is the perfect time to rectify it. Think about finding clever storage solutions that make your life easier and keep everyday items organized. Areas to focus on are the closet, entryway, and living room which tend to get cluttered quickly.

3. House all your new items

A bedroom with blue painted cupboards and bespoke seat with storage, a wood clad wall and mirror and a parquet pattern wood floor.

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

Over the Christmas period, it's likely you've amassed a large amount of stuff. If you're anything like me, these things probably exist in a neat pile for at least two months before you actually store them away. 

'One thing to declutter during the post-Christmas slump is all the gifts you received and find them a home,' says lifestyle organizer Di Ter Avest. 'Try to integrate them into your home by finding spots that showcase their charm and contribute to your space's overall functionality and aesthetics.' Removing the visual clutter of presents and misplaced items will help you feel more organized as we enter 2024. To stay on top of organizing try adopting something like the one-minute rule into your routine. This will prevent clutter from building up and help you feel a lot more relaxed.

4. Make a plan

All productive organizing starts with a plan, says Di. 'Create a cleaning schedule that includes daily, weekly, and monthly tasks,' she says. 'Breaking down chores into manageable chunks ensures that your space stays consistently clean.'

This is also a way that you can feel productive during the post-Christmas slump without overwhelming yourself with tasks to do immediately. After you've made a plan you can plough through it with ease. If you find it difficult to get motivated to organize or often deal with decision fatigue, try the 12-12-12 challenge. It will make the process so much easier when you have a clear goal in sight.

5. Go room by room

bathroom cupboard organizing

(Image credit: NEAT Method/Martin Vecchio)

When you're faced with an entire house to order it can feel impossible, so taking the project one room at a time is a way to overcome feelings of overwhelm. 'Go through each space systematically, sorting items into categories: keep, donate, and toss,' says Di. 'Be ruthless in letting go of things you no longer need or use.' Taking it one space at a time allows you to work more effectively too. If you take one room a day you will be more motivated to make a real impact. It is also one of the experts' top tips on how to start decluttering

'Charities often experience a decline in donations after the holiday season, and this may also be the case for the local food bank,' says Sara, making it the perfect opportunity to pass on some of the unused items in your home. If you're decluttering anyway, why not put it to good use?

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Amy McArdle
News writer

Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.