This post forms a part of my Decluttering 101 series.
Can you believe that it will be Thanksgiving in just three weeks time? From there it’s just a hop and a skip until Christmas and then the New Year will be upon us! Where has the year gone?
Will you be welcoming people into your home shortly? Do you have family and friends coming over to celebrate these special occasions with you? If so, is your home company ready? If not, don’t despair. There is still time to set things straight. Let me help you develop your Thanksgiving Declutter Checklist so that you will be ready.
Don’t wait until the event is just around the corner, the earlier you begin, the better chance you will have of arriving at the date feeling prepared and stress free.
The first thing you need to do is to take stock of the current situation. It is much easier to make a plan to tackle a problem when we know exactly what it is.
Stop and have a look around. What appear to be the key problem areas?
* Do you have kitchen clutter that will make it difficult to prepare the meal for your guests?
* Do you have table clutter so there is nowhere to actually eat the meal?
* Is the family room crowded with stuff so that it will be difficult to relax and chat with your guests?
Perhaps you have a need to tackle all three areas. That’s OK. With three weeks left to go, it makes sense to tackle one zone per week.
Now, we don’t need to create something perfect here. We are getting this done quickly to address an urgent need. Remember that ‘Done is better than perfect’.
Declutter Checklist Step 1:
We need to make this area suitable to prepare the meal we wish to serve our guests. This means we need to sort out a couple of key spots:
A) Countertops: Clear the counters of all unnecessary items. Put them into another room if necessary, get them into a cupboard or throw away as required. If you have time you may choose to sort these items into Relocate, Toss or Donate but if not, just get them off the counters in the quickest, easiest way possible. (Be wary of cluttering up another area of the kitchen as you do this, you still want it to be workable)
B) Fridge: The best time to sort this out is just before the weekly shop. No point trying to sort out a fridge full of new and old food, better to do it before any new items are added to it. Go through and toss anything which is out of date or past being edible and leftovers not eaten within a reasonable time.
C) Pantry: If you have time, give the pantry a quick once over, getting rid of out of date food, anything you have kept but don’t actually eat and as much junk food as you think the family will let you get away with.
Declutter Checklist Step 2:
The Kitchen Table
Next we need to clear a space for all of that fantastic food while we sit and socialise with our guests.
A) Relocate: If other family members make a habit of dumping their belongings on the dining room table, then it’s your job to ask them to take their items and put them where they belong. Can’t get them to do that? Grab a box, drop their things in and send it down to their rooms.
B) Toss: Be ruthless and throw out anything that is no longer needed. This includes old newspapers, magazines, school paperwork past due and anything else that has passed. Don’t hold onto something because you might need it one day.
C) Donate: Is there anything here that could be given to charity rather than clutter up your home? Put it into a box and prepare to get it out of the house as soon as possible.
Declutter Checklist Step 3:
Lastly, we need to work on having a nice place for everyone to sit to chat and catch up. If you are in a warmer climate, you might be able to move the party outside. If not, you will need to prepare a room for everyone to sit in.
A) Floor: Begin by getting rid of any piles of clutter that are filling up the floor, sitting in corners or are otherwise getting in the way of walking.
B) Surfaces: Maybe the coffee table or chairs have become a dumping zone, tackle these next. Remember to Relocate, Toss or Donate to get rid of these piles.
Declutter Checklist Step 4:
Lastly, if you have time, a quick clean will mean everything is prepared and ready to go.
A) Dust: Begin by dusting from the top down. No point dusting the lower items first and then getting them dirty again by dusty items from higher up. A great way to reach cobwebs in the cornices is to put the handle of the duster into a piece of poly pipe as an extender. When dusting surfaces, use a slightly damp cloth to prevent dust from becoming airborne and landing in other areas of the room.
B) Vacuum: Give the centre of the rooms a quick once over with the vacuum. If you have time, you can get stuck into vacuuming the corners and under the furniture.
C) Wash: Give hard floors a quick wash and you are done.
Remember that you will make progress even by tackling one small area each day. Even 15 minutes can make a huge difference if you have a plan and know exactly what you want to achieve. Use your declutter checklist to achieve just that?
If you would like a copy of the Thanksgiving Declutter Checklist I have already prepared, please enter your details below and I will send it to you.