Why Declutter Before the Holidays?
The holidays are a great time to make space in your home for what you need and what brings you joy.
Not only is pre-holiday decluttering practical—making room for decorations, guests, and gifts—but it is good for your mental wellbeing. Creating clarity in your space can help create clarity of mind during a time that can be stressful and hectic.
Additionally, as we transition from fall into the “season of giving,” decluttering allows you a chance to donate unused food and lightly used items to those in need. You may even find some items you can give as gifts to people on your list.
Tips for Keeping Stress Out of Pre-Holiday Decluttering
The holidays can be stressful enough on their own, so don’t let decluttering add to your worry. Decluttering should help you de-stress, not add to your stress. If you set a mindset of positivity, declutter with friends and family, and focus on the result you are working towards, it can actually be a lot of fun!
Jot down an achievable goal (for example, clean out two rooms; have clear tabletops and counters before guests arrive; donate two bags of stuff) and let that goal motivate you. Remember you’re making room for people and things that bring you joy: your favorite holiday decorations, hosting family and friends, baking your favorite recipes, and more.
What & Where to Declutter
Declutter items and areas that will open your home and give you the practical and mental space you need. Depending on your goals and preferences, you may want to declutter by room or by category of item.
Here are some ideas of items you can declutter to get you started:
- Unused childrens’ toys and games
- Unused food (throw away expired items; donate useable items to a local food pantry)
- Holiday decor you haven’t used in a while or don’t have room for
- Clothes, including seasonal clothing such as unworn jackets, unused hats and gloves, outgrown winter pajamas and sweaters, worn-out slippers, etc.
- Store any spring and summer clothes, decor, dishes, etc. that you won’t be using over the holidays but plan to use next year
If you decide to declutter by room, here are some ideas to help guide you:
- Kitchen. Many holiday parties and gatherings revolve around the kitchen. Clearing out the kitchen can give you peace of mind while freeing up more room to cook. Be sure to clear off the counters—they are notorious for clutter-collecting.
- Living room. A decluttered living room can go a long way in giving you peace of mind as you host guests and celebrate with family in this central space. Try clearing away surfaces first, such as coffee tables and side tables, and then work your way around the room.
- Guest rooms. If you will be hosting overnight family members or friends, now is a great time to go through the guest room and purge anything that won’t be needed. Maybe you have too many sets of bed sheets, or clutter has been collecting in the guest room closet.
- Bathrooms. It’s nice to have a clean, organized bathroom for guests as well as for yourself when you are getting ready or winding down for the night. Not to mention it’s helpful to go through your cold and flu medication to make sure everything is up to date, and dispose of expired medication.
Fun Ways to Declutter with Your Family for the Holidays
Decluttering for the holidays can be a nice way to spend time with your family and friends before the hectic schedules begin. In addition, sharing accountability with someone can help you both meet your decluttering goals.
Here are some ways you can have fun together while decluttering:
- Challenge each other to see who can fill more bags or boxes in a specific time frame (for example, by the end of the day).
- Participate in a 30-day declutter challenge.
- Have a declutter race to see who can declutter a certain room or the most items the fastest. You could also set a timer and a designated number of items and see who can declutter 7 things in 7 minutes, for example.
- Take before and after photos of the spaces you are decluttering, and have someone judge them in a photo contest. The winner could receive a dinner, holiday dessert, movie, etc. paid for or made by the other competitors.
- You can declutter your schedule, too! Leave time to relax and make time in your schedule for activities you are sure to enjoy.
If you want to declutter but feel overwhelmed or need some help, Caring Transitions is here for you. We can take the stress out of downsizing and decluttering, leaving you with a safer, happier home for the holidays or any time. Learn more about our services.