Simple Christmas space-saving solutions

Just because you love Christmas doesn’t necessarily mean you have space to deck the halls.

If Christmas clutter doesn’t bring joy to your world, these simple tips will help you stay sane over the holiday period.

Make a wall-mounted Christmas tree

DIY Christmas trees are becoming increasingly popular, with some families opting to mount tree-shaped decorations on the wall rather than installing an actual tree.

With the finished product being flush to the wall, there’s no need to clear a space for bulky branches, and as an added bonus it’s safe from being torn down by clumsy toddlers or tree-attacking pets.

Should decorating the wall be too much effort or you’re worried about damaging paint and wallpaper, a narrow Christmas tree is another way to ensure you still have something to decorate and put presents beneath while taking up far less room.

Otherwise, poinsettias are an option to help bring the Christmas spirit to the home without taking up valuable floor space.

Focus on gift quality over quantity

Prevent the boxes piling up by purchasing big-ticket items rather than loads of smaller, less meaningful gifts. Alternatively, experience gifts take up no space at all and minimal wrapping paper. Activities, services or a charitable donation are the perfect present for that family member who wants for nothing.

Should you find yourself on the receiving end of an unwanted gift that will take up valuable room in your home, don’t feel guilty about re-gifting. As for all those cards wishing you ‘Season’s Greetings’, make the most of them by including them in your Christmas décor and dressing up a bookshelf or mantelpiece.

Don’t grocery shop without a list

As well as receiving excess gifts on Christmas, it’s common to find yourself with a surplus of food leftovers too. Practise mindful grocery shopping by taking a well-prepared list to the supermarket. When you don’t know how much you’ll need to cater for your guests, this handy dinner party calculator will help.

If you do end up with too much food on your hands, transform your leftovers with this delicious leftover menu planner.

Here’s how to get your kitchen ready for summer entertaining according to Marie Kondo

With summer fast approaching, never has there been a better time to spring clean your kitchen in preparation for the festive season ahead. Whether hosting a low-key brunch, an evening BBQ or a full Christmas spread for all the family, ensuring your kitchen is prepared is the key to turning what can be a stressful event into an all-round success. And while not everyone subscribes to organizational expert Mary Kondo’s somewhat ruthless approach to tidying, there’s no denying that the author of two bestselling books and the brains behind the Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, knows a thing or two about living clutter-free.

Having shown that she’s an expert at organising bedrooms and living areas, she too has turned her hand to kitchens, and actually trailed chefs and examined their behaviors when developing her own techniques for tidying up kitchens. Suffice it to say that combining the two sets of expertise has once again given Kondo the edge when it comes to organisation, and by following just a few of her kitchen tips you’ll be guaranteed a Christmas to remember – and for all the right reasons.

Get rid of unnecessary kitchen appliances

One of the first steps to take to declutter your kitchen is to get rid of any appliances you no longer use, or ones that have seen better days. “Do you have small cooking appliances that you bought when they were a fad and have tired of or haven’t used for years? It is time to thank them for the role they have played in your life, and bid them farewell,” says Kondo.

Keep your counters clear

“Put nothing on the counters or around the sink and stove top,” writes Kondo. “You will be amazed at how easy your kitchen is to use if you design your storage with this aim in mind.” You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the effect empty counter tops can have when it comes to preparing food, and it’s a habit you can uphold way beyond the festive period.

Eliminate unwanted tableware

“Take a fresh look at every dish you own and see if it sparks joy,” writes Kondo. “Make the dishes you love the ones you use every day.” We often hold on to old crockery for any number of reasons – from nostalgia to sentimental factors, and getting rid of tableware you no longer use can be a vital step in having a clutter free kitchen.

Organise your drawers

“Kitchens tend to have a bunch of tiny things that take up space and don’t really fit together,” explained Kondo in an interview with Elle Decor. “The best thing I can advise, especially for drawers, is to use them to their maximum potential. Keep things categorized, so they aren’t just in a messy pile in a drawer.”