Preparing for Christmas: storage and cleaning tips

With the festive season fast approaching, ensuring your home is clutter-free will help you welcome your loved ones with space to spare. Having guests to stay for the holidays is a festive tradition – and while it’s great to share food, drinks, company and gifts with your nearest and dearest, they all need space to stay. Our handy Christmas storage and cleaning tips will help you get prepared ahead of the big day.

To keep your Christmas decorations safe and sound all year round, you could consider a flexible long-term storage unit, so you have more space for other household essentials.

Christmas storage ideas

Out with the old, in with the new

Christmas is as good a time as any for a clear-out. If you have little ones at home, you may be anticipating the amount of new toys, games and clothes waiting for them under the tree this year. If they have any unused items that they no longer need or play with, look to donate them to a local charity shop. Not only does this free up more space for you and your guests, but it’s also a great way to get into the spirit of giving!

The same goes for any household items, old clothes or belongings you have that don’t really see the light of day. The stricter you are now, the less you’ll have to spring clean once the festive period is over.

Get sleeping spaces sorted

If you’re tight on space, you may be struggling when it comes to planning sleeping arrangements for your guests, but even the smallest of homes have spaces that can be used. Blow-up beds are a quick, cheap and convenient way to turn any flat floor surface into a serviceable bed. As well as providing your friends and family with a comfy place to sleep, they can easily be deflated and stored away for next time.

If it’s doable without cluttering up your living room, you may want to consider swapping out your sofas for a sofa bed, to help you squeeze in extra guests without compromising on comfy places to sleep.

Organise your storage

If you have a loft, cupboards or a cellar with space to spare, then now is the time to get them organised. Take the time to box up all the things you won’t be needing for a while – seasonal items like summer clothing are a great place to start – and label them clearly as this will help you locate items easily in future. This kind of organisation is a great way to contribute to a clutter-free home, especially when it’s full of extra festive guests.

Get recycling-ready

Rubbish and recycling can often leave your home feeling cluttered on the big day, so before your guests arrive, delegate dedicated recycling areas to help you combat the extra waste. Try using baskets to separate your items: one for glass and another for cardboard. This will help you to keep your kitchen and living room areas clear and make the Christmas clean-up that bit easier.

Make use of short-term storage

If you’ve cleared everything out and you’re still struggling for space, you could also consider making use of short-term storage. Whether you need to swap out your usual pot plants for your Christmas tree or you’re clearing out wardrobe space for your extra guests, a flexible self storage unit could be the answer to your problems. Use our self storage calculator to work out how much space you’ll need.

How to store Christmas decorations

When it comes to storing Christmas decorations, it’s important to wrap them correctly to avoid damaging your items.

Christmas trees

If you store it properly, a good-quality artificial tree should last you many Christmases to come. Check any storage instructions that may come with your tree to make sure it’ll stay in top condition. In most cases, after disassembling your tree, you should store it in a closed container to help protect the fibres from sunlight and moisture. If you don’t have the original box, it’s worth investing in a tree cover or canvas bag to keep your tree dust-free from season to season.

Baubles and delicate decorations

For more fragile decorations like baubles and festive ornaments, a purpose-built ornament container is your best bet – or for a low-cost option, use tissue paper and an egg carton to store your baubles more snugly. Don’t forget to wrap your baubles in tissue paper or bubble wrap to stop them moving and potentially breaking.

Christmas lights

A jumble of Christmas lights is a problem that most of us face each year, but if you take care to store them properly, you can avoid endless untangling. A helpful trick is to wrap your lights around pieces of cardboard before putting them in storage, so you can unravel them easily.

The big Christmas clean

The day before decorating your home with Christmas decorations is a great time to deep clean your home, so you can enjoy your extra decorations in a calm, clutter-free environment.

If you’re hosting Christmas dinner this year, don’t forget to spend a little extra time on the areas of the home that will have the most traffic, like the bathroom, living room and kitchen.

Clean the Christmas crockery

Christmas time often calls for bringing out the fancy crockery. If this is the case for you and your family, your pots and plates might need a good soapy clean before they’re put in the spotlight for your dinner guests. You can rinse off your dishes the night before and leave them to dry overnight to save you a job on the day.

Make a sparkling space for the Christmas tree

The Christmas tree should take centre-stage in your home: depending on its size, you make need to shuffle your existing furniture around to make room. Before you start work on decorating your tree, don’t forget to clean the floor and or carpet it will be standing on, to make sure your presents stay squeaky-clean, and let your Christmas tree can take pride of place.

Don’t neglect the fridge

Stocking up on pigs-in-blankets, Christmas pudding and festive drinks can take up lots of space, so it’s a good idea to clear out your fridge and freezer in the weeks before the big day. As well as cleaning each individual shelf, try and use up any leftovers you’ve been keeping. By getting rid of any old food or half-used jars a week before, you’ll have room for extra party food while you’re entertaining.

Deep clean your oven

Before the Christmas cooking commences, it’s worth cleaning your oven to remove food and smells that can leave your oven smoking or smelling bad. Plan to do a deep clean one or two weeks prior to Christmas Day, taking out each shelf and scrubbing with cleaning agents to keep it sparkling clean. Don’t forget to tackle the bottom of your oven too, as this is where crumbs can build up over time.

Spruce up your bathroom

With a house full of guests, there are going to be some spaces that will be used more throughout the festive period, and the bathroom is no exception. Before your guests arrive, ensure that your toiletries aren’t cluttering up the space: do a sweep of your bathroom cabinets to make sure there’s no empty shampoo bottles lying about, and give your shower a once-over to make sure everything’s feeling fresh. It’s also a good idea to stock up on toilet paper, clean towels and hand soap for your guests, as you’ll always get through more than you think!

The festive period can feel like a busy time for everyone, but preparing your home in advance can help you feel more organised. Cleaning and decluttering with our handy tips will help you tackle your to-do list in good time, so you can put your feet up on the big day.

For more advice on making the most of the space in your home, have a read of our floorspace hacks guide.