Christmas-ClutterChristmas is just weeks away now, which means plenty to sort out before the big day arrives. Amidst the shopping, cooking, card writing and gift wrapping, sorting out the house can often get forgotten. Yet starting off with a clean, tidy and, above all, organised house will make the festive season much easier to plan and enjoy.

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The team at Simply Junk Removal have put together the following pieces of advice to help with a yuletide declutter.

One room at a time

Sorting out an entire house all at once is a daunting prospect, and it is all too easy to put it off for another day. However, the immovable deadline of 25 December means that this is not a wise thing to do in the run-up to Christmas. Deal with the task in smaller chunks - take one room at a time and start in one place in that room. Just do one room a day, or even every few days if you have enough time. Get a friend to help you and have bags or boxes ready to put things that you want to throw away or recycle, give to charity or sell on the second-hand market.

Be ruthless in the toy box

Many children tend to get indulged at Christmas with lots of new toys and games. Get ready for the onslaught by sorting out their existing toys, deciding which ones they have grown out of and which ones need to be kept. A nice thing to involve children in at this time of year is to choose one or two of their toys that they no longer play with that they would like to pass on to another child, via a charity or school appeal. A great way to emphasise the message of giving.

Get rid of kitchen chaos

The kitchen is a key room over Christmas, thanks to all the cooking and entertaining involved. Even if you are planning a quieter celebration, having a neat and tidy kitchen will make everything run more smoothly. Sort out the larder first and throw away any food or drink that is out of date. Replace broken utensils and make sure you have the right equipment to make all the meals you have planned. Give rarely-used utensils a good scrub to remove any residual grease or dust. Have you had your oven checked recently?

Capsule wardrobe?

Again, Christmas is a time for celebrating, and this usually means getting your posh frocks and party wear out of the wardrobe. Go through your clothes well in advance to check that none of them need mending, washing or dry cleaning, and get rid of anything that does not fit, or that you no longer wear. Chances are, you will receive a new outfit or some accessories for Christmas, and you won't want to have to cram them into a bulging, cluttered space. In decluttering terms, when it comes to fashion, less is definitely more.

A welcome for your guests

Having guests to stay can be a wonderful thing, or a highly stressful experience. Sorting them out their own space to retreat to if necessary will help everyone cope with the sudden arrival of extra people in the house. If they are staying overnight, provide a neat, clean and decluttered bedroom, with their own towels and perhaps some seasonal flowers on the dresser. In communal areas, make sure there are enough seats for everyone and that piles of junk aren't getting in people's way. Clear guests a hook for their coat too, to help them feel at home the moment they step through the door.

The little things

Attention to detail will mean a lot over Christmas, and a more streamlined house will make everyone feel better. Don't just tackle the floors and larger cupboards when you declutter, check bookshelves, windowsills, magazine racks, bathroom cabinets etc., to make sure you are only keeping what you need and what you enjoy having around.

Finally, consider employing a professional junk removal company if the job seems daunting, of if you don't know where to begin.