How to reset your home after Christmas – 6 steps to restore order

These simple steps are all you need to restore order after Christmas chaos

A chalet living room with a green sofa and a low wooden coffee table in front of a large unlit fireplace
(Image credit: ILIV)

In the strange period between Christmas and New Year, it can be hard to tell what day it is, let alone what your home used to look like before the holiday chaos.

Luckily, professional home organizers have aced the perfect routine to help reset your home after Christmas to restore a semblance of order after a period away from our standard routines – and it won't leave you overwhelmed, either.

From home decluttering to organizing your fridge, these are the six things you need to reset your home after Christmas to help you put your best foot forward into 2024.

How to reset your home after Christmas

Although there are several January decluttering rules you’ll want to consider later down the line for a refreshing start to the New Year, these six steps tackle the immediate post-Christmas clean-up to make your home less cluttered after the big event.  

1. Integrate gifts into existing storage

Gifts in brown paper with foliage and handmade tags

(Image credit: Future)

Hopefully, you have paid attention to some of the things to get rid of in December and have made some space in your home storage for the gifts you received over the holiday, begins Laura Price, professional organizer and founder of The Home Organisation. In the days after Christmas, it is prudent to integrate your gifts into your home to get rid of surface clutter, she says:

‘In the post-Christmas haze, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to presents littering your surfaces. But at some point, you need to integrate them. Start by removing any excess packaging before adding your presents to existing categories.

‘If you’re struggling for a room, it might be time for an edit. See if you can donate or recycle anything, especially if you’ve just got a newer or better version of it at Christmas.’

Laura Price
Laura Price

Laura Price is the owner of The Home Organisation. Laura Price's goal is to help others experience the benefits of living an organized life after discovering that organized homes brought her peace when raising three children in a hectic home. Hence the birth of The Home Organization, a dedicated team of professional organizers.

2. Complete a deep clean to reset for the new year

A wooden crate filled with non-branded cleaning spray bottles

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Although cleaning is the last thing you’ll want to be doing after a period of rest, it is essential to restoring order – especially if you have had guests over and your home has had heavy traffic. Shayne Jeramos, a cleaning expert at Bright Cleaners, recommends working in one room at a time to help clean when feeling overwhelmed. Start at the top and work downwards, clearing and cleaning each cabinet and shelf, then furniture and counters, before finishing with sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping.

‘When cleaning countertops and surfaces, avoid cutting corners and use appropriate cleaners depending on the material to avoid damage,’ Shayne reminds us.

3. Have a fridge clear out

White peninsula in modern kitchen with light floors

(Image credit: Bianca Ecklund)

With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year all so close together, the end of each year puts significant strain on our kitchen storage and refrigerators. As a result, there may be things that get lost and forgotten at the back of shelves that need addressing before they go bad, says Laura Price, professional organizer:

‘There is so much amazing food to indulge in at Christmas and our fridges and pantries are often packed full of goodies. Fast forward a week later and they’re now a wasteland of half-eaten packets and leftovers. Reset and declutter your fridge and pantry after Christmas by using up as many leftovers as you can, throwing away food that’s gone bad, cleaning shelves, and regrouping items into categories,’ she suggests.

mDesign Deep Plastic Storage Organizer | View at Amazon

mDesign Deep Plastic Storage Organizer | View at Amazon
Stop sauces and dry foods getting lost and forgotten at the back of pantry shelves with deep plastic organizers.

4. Complete a quick general declutter of items in the way

lulu & georgia bedroom bed with cozy throws and a table at the end

(Image credit: Lulu & Georgia)

While a deep decluttering session may be out of the question, you can still squeeze in a quick declutter of surfaces and anything that has collected in the way of main walkways, such as packaging from presents, or gifts themselves, says Elizabeth Lulu Miranda, professional organizer and founder of Mercury Organizing. Aim to declutter without making a mess to avoid adding more to your plate.

‘Out with the old, in with the new. Take a look around your home and identify items that you no longer need. Maybe there are some old toys, clothes, or gadgets that could find a new home. Decluttering not only makes your home look neater but also gives you a sense of accomplishment,’ she shares.

‘Cleaning up can be overwhelming, especially if you try to do everything at once. Instead, tackle one room at a time,’ Elizabeth recommends. ‘Start with the bedroom, then move on to the kitchen, and so on. Breaking it down makes the task more manageable and less stressful.’

Elizabeth LuLu Miranda
Elizabeth Lulu Miranda

Elizabeth Lulu Miranda is the heart of Mercury Organizing. She is an innovative and resourceful organizer who loves to help people create a better way for themselves. Elizabeth’s passion for organization and efficiency started as a child. Her mother would find her in the kitchen, rearranging the silverware and utensil drawers.

5. Clear away all the decorations

White baubles, handing paper decorations

(Image credit: Layered Lounge)

You can’t reset your home to normal without taking down Christmas decorations and organizing Christmas decorations for storage, reminds Shannon Krause, certified professional organizer and founder of Tidy Nest:

‘As soon as the holidays are over, we recommend reviewing all holiday decor and supplies – this includes the items you used, didn’t use, and have newly acquired this season,’ she begins. ‘Ask yourself if you’re ready to let go of some items; maybe they no longer fit well in your home or your style, maybe you have a few redundancies, etc. Remove the items you no longer need or want from your home so you’re only storing holiday items you truly want or need for next year.  

‘Consider donating the items that were not used this past year, discard any broken items, and pack the keepers neatly in labeled boxes or bins for easy access next year.

‘This is an ideal time to inventory your holiday supplies,’ she adds. ‘Make a note of what needs to be replaced, like tree toppers or string lights. Take advantage of post-holiday sales but try not to get caught up on the allure of discounts and only purchase what you need to replace.’

Shannon Krause
Shannon Krause

Shannon Krause is a professional organizer who holds a specialist certificate in Brain-Based Conditions from the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO), and is a Certified Reiki Master which she incorporates into her work with clients. Tidy Nest has helped dozens of clients bring order into their lives and has won local awards recognizing their work. 

6. Take time for a personal reset

Bathroom

(Image credit: Melanie Brown / Future)

After the chaos of the holidays, it is important to also give yourself time to reset and relax, whether you have been playing host or not, Elizabeth Lulu Miranda, professional organizer, finishes – ‘don't forget to take care of yourself,’ she urges.

‘Treat yourself to some quiet time – do something to make you feel at ease and happy. Try such things as taking a warm bath with your best candle, reading a favorite book, spending some time doing an activity you love, or trying out a gift you have just received.

‘Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your home.’

FAQs

When should I remove my Christmas decorations?

When you pack away your Christmas decor is down to personal preference, but you should aim to have them all packed away by January 6th. This is marked as the Feast of Epiphany in the Christian religion and is thought to be the day the three kings arrived to deliver gifts to the baby Jesus. Whether or not you believe in the faith aspect of the holiday, this is also a good day to start resetting your home so you can move into the New Year refreshed.  

How do I transition my home from Christmas to winter?

After Christmas, it is a good idea to remove all of your seasonal Christmas decor to help transition into a more neutral winter period. This will make it easier to begin a New Year and not feel overwhelmed by all the post-Christmas clutter or ‘stuck’ in the holiday season. After the holidays, it is best to focus on making your home look and feel cozy to curate a sanctuary away from the bitter winter weather outside.


‘It can be hard to get motivated to clean after Christmas so if you want to reset your home but need a little push, write down daily to-do lists,’ Laura Price, professional organizer recommends. ‘It’ll help you focus as you set yourself little goals to achieve throughout the day and spur you on to get everything cleared away.’ 

Chiana Dickson
Writer

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.