If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you’ve been looking around at your house and wondering where on earth you managed to fit the tree last year. Or perhaps you’ve moved into a new home since last Christmas and are not entirely sure how you’re going to accommodate your family when they all come to stay en masse but are pretty sure that Auntie Mabel won’t want to sleep on the fold-out bed (not with her dodgy hip). You need to make some room in your home so that you can get organised and stay tidy over the Christmas period - so check out our top five tips
for doing so!
1. Clear that clutter
We’re not suggesting that you’ve bought unnecessary pieces of furniture or that you hoard belongings, but are there things you don’t really need to use over the Christmas period? How about that rocking chair taking up space in the kitchen-diner, or that cross trainer currently situated in your spare room? Will you really use them over the holidays or could they be rehomed temporarily? There might be smaller items that take up square-footage too, like lamps or side tables, that could be safely tucked away until after the new year. Pop them in the attic, cellar or garage if you have those spaces, or consider putting them into short-term self storage for a couple of weeks.
Then use that extra space for your tree, presents and Aunt Mabel’s suitcases.
2. Sell stuff
Whilst you’re having a good clear out, you might realise that there are items that you really don’t use or want anymore anyway. Online auction sites regularly offer no-fee periods so you can sell your stuff for free, or post photos of the things you want to sell on your social media accounts. Use the cash you raise to buy extra presents or festive food!
3. Rethink your tree
Who doesn’t love a beautiful Christmas tree? It’s fun to decorate and it looks so lovely when the lights are turned on. You might buy a live tree each year, or you might have a fake tree tucked away somewhere - whatever your preference, take a moment to think about whether it’s the right tree for your home, given the space available. A tree that looks a moderate size in the warehouse of your local DIY centre may look a tad, well, enormous in your mid-terrace. Taking the bottom branches off might help a bit, but ideally - and if you can afford it - consider investing in a new, smaller tree. Or did you know that you can get trees that are flat on one side so that they look like ‘proper’ trees but can be put up against a wall to save space at Christmas?
4. Get some fold-up furniture
If people are staying for dinner, invest in some good quality fold-up chairs. To make them a bit more festive you can always pad them with Christmassy material or wind green and red ribbon around them. Make sure they’re sturdy enough to withstand your guests’ weight even after they’ve eaten... If your guests will be staying over, you may end up sacrificing your bed to someone who needs the comfort more than you do. Whoever will be sleeping on temporary beds can manage for a night or two on a blow-up bed (like the ones you use when camping), which will be the easiest thing to store during the day. When they’re deflated, you can always store them, flat, under your fixed beds and they’ll take up practically no room. A lot of people invest in a new sofa at Christmas - consider choosing a sofa bed and kill two birds with one stone!
5. Be creative with the space you have
Where are your holiday suitcases? Dig them out and fill them with anything you want to store temporarily (such as non-Christmassy ornaments, pictures that take up space on your surfaces or coats, scarves and things you have hanging up in the hall). Declutter your surfaces so your home won’t feel quite so overwhelming when they’re covered with Christmas cards and decorations.
Use Tupperware in your fridge to make it easier to stack food up in there and maximise the space. If you’re feeling brave, defrost your freezer - you’ll be so pleased with yourself when you can get so much more in there!
Invest in some under-bed boxes that you can wheel in and out of that space for easy access. If you’re looking for somewhere to store your Christmas presents before the big day, check out our 'tips on good hiding places
' to free up even more space!
If your house, garden shed and car boot are bursting at the seams even after following these tips, think about renting a self-storage unit for a week or two until the crisis passes. Just an extra 10 sq ft can be a huge space saver for your home! Find a store near you.