Sleigh the Clutter: Creating a Serene Space for Christmas

We all love decorating our homes for Christmas and getting ourselves in the holiday spirit. Cleaning might be less glamorous than hanging stockings and tinsel, but more and more of us are prioritising cleaning to get everything ready for the festivities. The hashtag #wintercleaning has over 5.3 million views on TikTok, with 89% of us spending more time cleaning than usual during the festive period.

During their lifetime, the average Brit will spend over three years cleaning the house to get it ready for guests arriving at Christmas! However, 40% of us are spending this cleaning time hiding our mess, rather than finding a real home for items or actively decluttering.

From decluttering, so you have space for all your gifts to selling items to boost your present fund, we worked with fitted bedrooms designer and installer The Sliding Door Wardrobe Company to explain how to get your home looking great in time for the big day.

Declutter those cupboards

The average adult in the UK hasn’t decluttered their home for two and a half years, with 67% of us refusing to let go of things in case we need them in the future. But this desire to hang onto items we haven’t used in years means we don’t have enough space for new gifts at Christmastime!

A good place to start when it comes to decluttering is your wardrobe. 32% of us can admit that we own too many clothes, but 30% of us would rather buy another outfit than get rid of those we don’t wear. This means items that would really suit someone else end up crumpled and forgotten somewhere in your bedroom.

A 2022 study found that a ‘sufficient’ wardrobe includes 74 items of clothing and just 20 outfits. If you have far more clothes than this, it’s time for a clear-out! Start by organising your clothes into the items you wear often, those you never wear and items you only wear for special occasions.

Get rid of any clothing you haven’t worn in a long time and only keep a couple of special occasion outfits. You’ll need to keep at least one sparkly dress or well-fitted suit for the upcoming Christmas parties! Next, order your remaining clothes by potential outfit combinations. Keep going until you have 20 outfits and try to slim the remaining items down until you’re left with 74 items of clothing or less.

You should now have far more space inside your wardrobe. Consider adding some fitted shelving or drawers to your wardrobe interior. This will make it easier to store other items that might be cluttering up your room, such as jewellery, shoes and even kids’ toys. Your space will feel larger and more relaxing.

Now you have a properly organised wardrobe, what to do with all the clothes you’ve decided to get rid of?

Give to charity

Whether you need to get rid of some of the clutter you’ve cleared from your room or give away those gifts that just don’t work in your home, giving to charity is the perfect solution. Indeed, your clutter could be someone else’s treasure!

Around a fifth of us in the UK have given unwanted gifts to charity before, with 47% of people donating in order to declutter their homes. It’s not just clothes that can act as hero charity shop items; the lead up to Christmas is also the perfect time to donate kids’ toys, clothes and homeware as these items make fantastic gifts.

As long as they are in good, working condition, you can donate almost anything to charity, from smaller homeware items and books to large pieces of furniture and even electronics and appliances. It’s a great idea to pop into your local charity shop and chat to the staff to learn which items they are in need of this Christmas.

With the cost-of-living crisis still affecting many across Britain as we head into 2024, Christmas shoppers are actively looking for bargains and cutting down on the amount of presents they’re looking to buy. In fact, it’s predicted that sales of gifts will fall by 11% this year as people tighten their budgets further. This means that your pre-loved items might be just the brilliant bargain shoppers are looking for!

Don’t buy it, rent it!

A great way to enjoy new clothes without taking up space in your carefully curated wardrobe is to rent them. Borrow a unique dress for an important event without having to find space to store it once the occasion is over. Renting is also a brilliant way to experience wearing designer clothes or accessories without the hefty price tag.

Predictions show the UK clothing rental market will reach a value of £2.3 billion by 2029. Apps such as By Rotation and Hurr are currently leading the charge with hundreds of thousands of downloads. By Rotation lists almost 70,000 items while Hurr hosts over 1,600 designer brands to choose from. They could be the perfect place to find a show-stopping outfit for the Christmas party!

If you have some gorgeous items of clothing that you never wear, but just can’t bring yourself to donate, consider placing them on a rental site. This allows others to enjoy your items while you’re not wearing them but means you retain ownership of the clothes if you do need them in the future. 

Renting out your wardrobe can also boost your Christmas present budget, with some making over £4,000 a month simply by renting out their clothes!

Vinted is another brilliant platform you can turn into a side hustle. Although this app doesn’t support rentals, it allows you to list your pre-loved items for sale. Other users can then bid on your clothes, shoes and accessories. Declutter and make some money in the process so you can treat yourself or a loved one this Christmas.

You don’t have to restrict yourself to clothes and accessories when it comes to rental. Worried about whether you have enough table space or seating to host the whole family at yours for Christmas dinner? Rather than splurging on a bigger tables and extra chairs that you’ll struggle to store once the festivities are over, simply rent some extra furniture instead.

Sites like Homebound allow you to rent gorgeous, on-trend furniture on a monthly basis, meaning you can temporarily add extra furnishings to your home for guests or swap items of furniture out as your style changes without having to pay a premium.

You can even rent a real Christmas tree this festive season! If you’re struggling to find somewhere to store your artificial tree when it’s not needed, but you don’t want to invest in a brand-new real tree every year, check out Love A Christmas Tree. This platform allows you to provide a home to a Christmas tree for the festive period, which you then return in the new year. Once Christmas is over, the service will pick your tree up from your address and return it to its farm in Leicestershire, where it will live until next Christmas. The perfect solution for freeing up storage space in your home and being kind to the planet.

Try out some of these space-saving tips to reduce clutter in your home this winter and enjoy a calmer, more sustainable Christmas! Feel confident welcoming family and friends into a serene, warm and festive space this festive season. And, if you find there aren’t enough chairs around the dinner table, you can always rent a couple of spares.

Eve Crabtree

Eve Crabtree is a journalist with a passion for interior design. She keeps up to date with the latest trends in the interior industry and regularly tests her hand at crafting and redecorating during her spare time.