These are the 3 Places to Declutter on Boxing Day That Take Less Than 30 Minutes

Sorting these spaces now will prevent your home from descending into crazy amounts of clutter in the new year

a modern living room decorated for christmas
(Image credit: Vanessa Lentine. Design: Pure Salt Interiors)

There's a lot to love about the so-called 'twixmas' period. Your fridge is still well-stocked, the best family movies are on TV, and it's been so long since you worked that the days of the week have gone out the window. One thing it's safe to say that none of us enjoy, however, is the chaotic clutter that's piling up around your home. 

Stacks of new gifts, piles of wrapping paper, and discarded packaging a-plenty are probably wreaking havoc on your home right now. Letting yourself off the hook on Christmas Day itself is entirely permissible, but by Boxing Day it's time to restore some order. 

While it might be the last thing you want to do on December 26th, dedicating some time to sort out a few key areas in your home will prevent your space from descending into utter chaos by the time the new year rolls around. After all, the day itself inherits its name from the Victorian tradition of boxing up items no longer needed to give to the poor. Here are three areas professional organizers suggest you start decluttering today, and they'll barely take up any time at all. 

1. Your closet

An open closet with white shelves and organized clothes

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nearly all of us receive clothing of some kind over the holidays. Whether that's simply a scarf or an entire suit, to save your closet from bursting at the seams, have a quick audit of its contents and commit to throwing something away before you add anything else to it. 

This needn't be an entire rehaul. It could be as simple as throwing out that tatty old T-shirt to make way for your new one. Even if you can't commit to throwing anything away right now, at least take the time to put new attire away and practice proper closet organization.

If you want to do a proper purge, use Boxing Day for its intended purpose. Box up your old clothes and donate them at a clothing bank or thrift store in the new year.
'Sort through your clothes, shoes, and accessories, and donate or sell items you
no longer wear or need,' says Hashi Mohamed of Ivy Cleans.. 'This not only creates space for your new additions but also helps you start the new year with a more organized and streamlined wardrobe.'

2. Kitchen or pantry

Christmas kitchen with garlands on pendant lights by Marie Flanigan

(Image credit: Marie Flanigan Interiors)

After all of yesterday's festivities, your kitchen is probably looking a bit disorganized. 'With all the holiday cooking and baking, your kitchen pantry may be in disarray,' says Hashi. 'Dedicate some time on Boxing Day to declutter and reorganize it. Check for expired or unused food items and dispose of them, and group similar items together using clear containers or labels to make it easier to find what you need. An organized pantry will save you time and reduce food waste in the coming months.'

 Decluttering a kitchen on Boxing Day needn't be a huge undertaking - simply spare 30 minutes to discard empty packaging, transfer any leftovers into containers, and restore some order to your pantry. As Hashi points out, it will prevent any half-eaten packets of Christmas snacks from going to waste. Who knows, you might even discover some extra stock lingering at the back of the shelves!

3. The coffee table 

A living room with Christmas decor and layered fabrics

(Image credit: Soho Home)

Your coffee table works hard on Christmas day. From bowls of snacks and glasses of fizz to piles of gift wrap and precariously balanced cards, it's probably housing a lot of festive items right now. On the morning of Boxing Day, take some time to remove any lingering mugs or kitchen items and crumpled gift wrap (a bin sweep might be necessary). Reclaim the space with your usual coffee table decor, and mark the occasion by lighting your festive candle. 

It's likely that you now need to find a home for the piles of presents that were scattered across your coffee table to start with. Professional organizer Di Ter Avest urges you to put them away today so you can kick back and relax during the rest of the holiday. 'Try to integrate them into your home by finding spots that showcase their charm and contribute to your space's overall functionality and aesthetics,' she says. In other words, don't your brand new gifts remain in their packaging for weeks to come! Find a home for them right away so you can truly appreciate them. 

'Decluttering these spaces on Boxing Day allows you to transition into the new year with a cleaner, more organized home,' says Hashi. 'It also makes the most of the post-holiday downtime and ensures that your living spaces are ready for the year ahead.'

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.