Already banking on "decluttering" as a New Year's resolution? Maxwell Ryan, the founder of Apartment Therapy, a home and lifestyle blog aimed at helping homeowners maximize small spaces, tells Us Weekly the pre-holiday months can be just the right time to kick off the big clean-up. An added bonus: Your home will be in peak condition for all those holiday parties!
To help alleviate stress and eliminate clutter, Us asked Ryan for his top tips to stay organized this season without losing the holiday spirit.
"The kitchen in general should be a working room, like a commercial kitchen where everything's at the ready," says Ryan. "It doesn't have to be pretty. It gains [in beauty] when it's used and well-run." One must-have in Ryan's own home is a space-saving butcher block table from John Boos ($719, Amazon.com), which the designer uses for many purposes, including preparing dinner, unpacking groceries, and storing his knives, in the table's built-in rack.
Displaying the kids' school artwork and family Christmas tree ornaments around the house can make for precious (and chic!) holiday decor when done tastefully. Instead of putting these items on tabletops and counters, Ryan recommends pinning them on a ribbon and stringing the ribbon across your living room for a DIY conversation starter during family gatherings. The best part: Tabletops are free of clutter. When keepsakes need a more stable temporary home for the holidays, Ryan suggests mountable wall shelving from retailers like the Container Store or IKEA.
DINING ROOM / BAR AREA
"More than ever you're seeing people have bars and bar tables when entertaining. It feels very old-school, but very on trend," says Ryan. To keep guests merry while mixing cocktails, keep bottles and barware to a useful minimum. "If you have a collection you love, show it off. Otherwise, get rid of it," Ryan tells Us. "Make space for a few things you care about, and it doesn't read as clutter - it reads as an asset." When Ryan throws a bash, he reaches for Riedel tumblers ($20, Target.com), stemless crystal wineglasses that come in a variety of sizes and can be stacked for easy storage. Cheers!