The Ultimate Guide to a Post-Christmas Declutter

Same procedure as every year: Christmas and Boxing days are over, tummies are stuffed, presents unwrapped. What now?

We know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed by the remains of the festive period, whether it’s leftover food, scrunched up wrapping paper balls in every corner, or well appreciated, yet rather useless gifts from Secret Santa activities or distant relatives. So here are our tips for a post-Christmas declutter to prep your house (and your mind!) for an amazing start into the New Year:

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Food

Every family has their own leftover recipes, from Christmas curries, over bubble and squeak, to buffet-style mix match combinations. The quieter days after the Christmas madness are a great time to get creative in the kitchen with your loved ones, and produce some lovely plates of food with your leftovers:

If you want to get rid of your leftover veg, why not give this festively-spiced parsnip and potato soup a go? Alternatively, here are some interesting recipes you can use for inspiration. Ready, steady, experiment!

For anything that you can’t use up, why not give OLIO a try? You can put anything edible, no matter if loose, raw, cooked, opened, unopened onto the app for others in your community to view and collect. It’s totally free, and connects neighbours with each other and volunteers with local shops so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. If like us, you love food, hate waste and care about the environment, download the app and give it a try!

According to Olio, people in the UK are set to spend £4.2bn on food and drink this Christmas, and regrettably £1bn of that spend is predicted to be thrown away! Whether it's spare food from a Christmas party, or leftover chocolates that you can't stomach anymore – spread some (edible) festive cheer in your community by sharing your food on OLIO.

Alternatively, you can also find foodbanks in your community and drop off your food there!

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Presents & other bits

And then there’s the rest: Presents, Christmas tree, decorations, wrapping paper, packaging. Post-Christmas time is a massive challenge for our waste system, so here are a few things you can do to minimise what goes to landfill:

Reduce: Have some quiet reflection time and make some notes about what you did and didn’t actually need this Christmas. Sure, circumstances change every year but noting down some learnings will help you to continue to shop mindfully in the coming years. Ask yourself: What did we have too much of? Which presents put the biggest smiles onto faces? (Often it’s the thoughtful, smaller ones!) Put the notes in your calendar for 1st December 2019 - it will come around quicker than you think!

Reuse: Start by putting everything into one place (big dinner table for example), then start sorting it into keep, give away and waste piles. Take a look at the things in the keep pile and enjoy a moment of being grateful for the lovely presents and the people in your life who gifted them to you. Then tidy away, so you’re left with the rest. In the giveaway pile, sort by things you want to gift to friends and family, asking on social networks whether anyone wants it, or (you’ve guessed it) put it onto OLIO. There is a specific section for non-food items, so if you have anything lying around that you really won’t use, just pop them on there and spread some festive cheer in your community post-Christmas!

Then go through the ‘waste’: Is there anything that is waste to you but could be used by someone else?

Is there anything you don’t need right now, but will come in useful next Christmas? There are so many clever ways to reuse wrapping paper and Christmas cards. - which makes for a great family activity at the same time!

Recycle: Here’s a complete guide on how to discard wrapping paper, your Christmas tree, boxes, electronics… The quieter days after the festive madness is also a great time to remind yourself of recycling practices for a great start into a sustainable New Year!

Oddbox Team