The Great New Year Declutter

Interior expert reveals the only three tips you need to declutter in January 2024

After the chaos of the Christmas period, new toys, clothes, and presents are waiting to be tidied away. The clutter that’s accumulated over the holidays desperately needs to be tackled, and the decorations are patiently waiting to make their way back into the loft.  

Ah yes, it’s that time again. With Google searches for ‘declutter’ up 400% across the UK, households up and down the country are already planning their annual post-festive January clean.  

So, to help you get your home back to normal after the festivities have ended, the UK’s leading online design-led furniture brand, Swoon, and its interior experts, have compiled this simple yet effective checklist.   

Ready to get going? Sam Greig, Senior Designer at Swoon, shares his expert advice…  

De-shed the décor   

“First things first: Christmas decorations. Whether you take them down at the end of December, or wait until the traditional Twelfth Night, there are a few hacks you can try to make the job easier for yourself.  

“Firstly, tackle the tree. Pack baubles away in storage boxes, keeping them colour-coded and labelled – ready for efficient decorating next year. When it comes to tackling the dreaded string lights, I would recommend investing in a cable winder. These handy organisers keep cables tidy and tangle-free, making it easier for you to unwind them when you need them again next Christmas. If you don’t fancy forking out for a gadget, manually winding your lights around a rolling pin works just as well.    

“Then, do a sweep of each room in your home to find all of the remaining décor. There is nothing worse than completing your fifth trip up the loft to find a lonesome nutcracker still living in the spare bedroom! Try to efficiently pack everything into one or two large storage boxes and store them away in your loft, garage or cupboard – out of sight and mind for another year.” 

Decluttering: one step at a time  

“Decluttering an entire home can feel overwhelming and can quickly get disorganised, so I’d always recommend tackling one room at a time. Start at the top of the home, working your way down from the bedrooms all the way through to the living spaces, to the entryway and front door.   

“Be rigorous and take the things you no longer need and separate them into different piles: one for donating, one for recycling, and another for re-selling on platforms like Vinted, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay. Use the mantra ‘if I haven’t used this in the past year, I don’t need it anymore’. Consider which items truly fit with your personal style, and which were an impulse purchase that don’t belong in your home.   

“If there are objects you’d like to keep but have nowhere to put them, it’s a good idea to pick up some stylish storage for 2024. Storage boxes are both practical and smart, allowing you to stow away small items while adding a fresh look to shelves and bookcases. You can also disguise your ‘essential clutter’ behind the façade of a chic and versatile furniture piece like a sideboard, cabinet, or chest of drawers. I won’t tell if you don’t.”   

Let’s jazz it up a little  

“After the indulgence of the festive period, and once the de-clutter is complete, it’s common to feel the need for a refresh – in our homes, as well as our bodies! Soft furnishings are a great place to start as they’re really easy to replace or update. A new rug can change a room completely by adding personality and dimension with different textures, colours and patterns. And, cushions can easily be swapped for more on-trend tones to give an up-to-date, fresh look.  

“New lighting can also instantly alter the atmosphere of a room while giving the illusion of more height and space. Or, if you are looking to make a more dramatic change, you could invest in a statement piece of furniture like an armchair or coffee table – a relatively easy way to add a totally new look and feel to any living space.”  

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.