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12 Ways to Declutter Before the Holidays

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The holidays will be here before we know it. Let’s simplify, organize, and clear our stuff with these 12 simple places to declutter before the holidays.

Don’t let the busyness and the stress of the season overwhelm the joy it can and will bring. We’re simplifying the holidays, ahead of time, with these 12 simple ideas. 

12 Ways to Declutter Before the Holidays | 31Daily.com

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It’s beginning to feel a lot like the holidays. And it’s a reminder that they’ll be here before we know it.

To fully engage and enjoy these memory-making days, I’m organizing and decluttering our spaces before they arrive. Simplifying and clearing out the old to make room for new.

And to fully engage and enjoy those memory-making days, it’s important to organize and declutter a few key areas before those merry-making days arrive.

We’ve chosen 12 simple areas to focus on. The objective is to clear out the unnecessary or unused to make room for the new and beautiful. 

Here are 12 areas to declutter before making ready for the most wonderful time of the year!

12 Ways to Declutter Before the Holidays

While some years I’ve participated in grand schemes and detailed programs to ready our home for the holidays. Most years, I haven’t found the time. This is my simplified version of preparing for the most wonderful days of the year. Choose a few you might want to adopt and try in your own home. I promise… it’s incredibly worth it!

I begin with the most used spaces and areas in our home. Which for us, typically, is the kitchen, the bathrooms and bedrooms, and office areas where we accumulate paper clutter.

1. Pantry

Start in the pantry. Sort and group like items together and discard items past their expiry dates. For items that you know won’t get used, consider donating to your local food bank or church benevolence.

2. Holiday Wear

This is a great time to take stock of holiday clothing. Make a list of items you may need for special occasions and donate items you know you won’t wear again.

3. Cold Weather Gear

Take an inventory of your winter weather gear and clean as necessary. Donate your extra winter coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and socks to a homeless shelter. Additional blankets you have on hand are also greatly appreciated.

4. Linens

Linen closets often become magnets for all sorts of clutter. Take time before the holidays to declutter the closet and put away things that don’t belong. Thoroughly clean it and restock with necessary items and make a list of new supplies needed. Discard or repurpose duplicates.

5. Guest Room

Knowing we often have additional guests over the holiday season, I like to take time in the fall to thoroughly clean our guest room, laundering and airing bed linens, deep cleaning the closet, windows, and blinds. Here are some additional ideas on organizing the guest room.

6. Paper

Have you ever noticed how full your mailbox gets in the fall? With catalogs, Christmas cards, flyers, and promotions, it’s easy to get inundated with paper. Get ahead of the game by organizing your files, mail, and incoming paper.

7. Calendar

Take time to make a list of meaningful holiday activities you want to attend, or upcoming family and social engagements. Then organize or create a calendar that will help alleviate that last-minute stress and get you where you want to be… on time.

8. Medicine Cabinet

With the cold and flu season near, clean, organize and discard medicine past its expiry date. Restock with needed supplies.

9. Holiday Decorative items

This is a great time to take stock of your holiday decor. Reduce where you can to make room for any new purchases you want to make. Pay particular attention to vases, candles, and knick-knacks. Donate items you don’t love or are not sentimental. Amazon has some great holiday decor storage organizers.

10. Vehicles

With winter soon approaching, it’s a great time to clean your cars from top to bottom and organize places that gather clutter, like glove compartments and consoles. Store the following items in your trunk:

  • a blanket
  • extra boots and gloves
  • an extra set of warm clothes
  • extra water and food, including hard candies
  • an ice scraper
  • a small shovel
  • a flashlight
  • windshield washer fluid

11. Budget

Before the frenzy begins, take time to make a list of expected expenses during the holiday season; including gifts, travel, household items like Christmas trees and decor, entertainment and dining out. Looking at last year’s holiday expenses is a great indicator of what you might expect to spend this year. Then make an honest assessment and create a budget, including a savings plan, to meet those goals.

12. Christmas Cards

If you send out holiday photo cards, take your picture early and have the cards printed before the season’s rush. Stamp and address cards so they’re ready to go.

Woman sipping cocoa in the snow

Declutter Yourself

Don’t let the busyness and expectations of the season rob you of its joy. Prepare ahead what you can.

But take time to watch the snow, or your favorite holiday movie, listen to Christmas music, sip hot chocolate, read a seasonal holiday book, and get some extra sleep.

Roll with the unexpected, open your heart to a season of miracles. You might be surprised at what can happen.

Choose a few of these 12 ways to declutter your home and life and prepare for the holidays. Make a list of what’s important and meaningful, and prepare to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

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