Why I love to declutter before Christmas. Reasons why and how you should get organized and enjoy your home this holiday season.
I know you all may think I’m crazy. With everything else that is on our to-do lists in the weeks leading up to Christmas, why on earth would I add “declutter and organize the house”? I have 4 reasons, actually. And a few tips to help you focus your decluttering energy and make this holiday season (at home, anyway) a bit less stressful and more enjoyable.
Why Declutter before Christmas
- Don’t add chaos to chaos. Christmas brings lots of extra stuff into your home – trees, decorations, gifts, and people. You want to have room in your home for all of the excitement that Christmas brings.
- Make cleaning easier. You know that last-minute cleaning frenzy before a holiday gathering? It’s a whole lot easier when you’re not cleaning around unnecessary clutter.
- Teach gratitude. Before every birthday and Christmas, my kids sort through their toys and identify old toys that they can donate to other kids to play with. This is a great teachable moment to help everyone in the family be grateful for what they have, and give to those who have less.
- Set yourself up for success. Packing away the Christmas decorations and organizing in the new year will be a whole lot easier if you have already dealt with last year’s clutter.
Related: Not sure where to start with your decluttering and organizing? Take the 100 item challenge, and jump-start your decluttering efforts.
How to Declutter before Christmas
A good pre-Christmas declutter session shouldn’t take you more than an hour or two. Here are four zones I have identified and a couple of action items for each zone.
1 – The Kids and their Spaces
Kids toys and clothing can quickly take over any space. With new presents on the horizon, this is the perfect time to purge and make room for the new.
Kids Space Action Items:
- Go through closets and check sizes. Get rid of outgrown clothing, and make a list of larger size items that are needed. TIP: put some of these items on your child’s Christmas list for grandparents and other family members.
- Sort through toys. Have each child fill a small basket with toys they no longer play with. Donate these toys to other children who will use them. TIP: do this before Christmas gifts are opened. It’s way easier to get children to part with things, when they know new toys are coming soon!
2 – Living Spaces
Don’t add chaos to chaos. Christmas brings lots of extra stuff into your home – trees, decorations, gifts, and people. You want to have room in your living spaces for holiday gatherings and Christmas morning gift opening, without having to dodge clutter.
Living Space Action Items:
- Rearrange your living spaces to make them work with your tree and other Christmas decor. Maybe things need a little shuffle, or maybe something more. If you need to move a small table or chair into a different room, so be it.
- Clear flat surfaces in gathering spaces, so people can set down a drink easily and feel comfortable.
- Strategically place throw blankets and pillows to create a cozy atmosphere for everyone.
3 – Guest Bedroom and Spaces
Throughout the year, guest spaces often turn into “landing zones” for items that don’t have a permanent place in your home.
Guest Space Action Items:
- Clear out the guest room of any items that don’t belong.
- Wash and fold linens, change bedding, making sure everything is fresh and clean for visitors.
- Do a quick declutter and organizing (30 minutes or less) of your entry and coat closet. Make sure you have extra hanging room and rug space for coats and boots.
4 – Your Kitchen
A clean, flat surface in a kitchen at holiday time is like the holy grail. Do everything you can to start with as much clear space as possible.
Kitchen Action Items:
- Stow away extra counter top appliances that are not absolutely essential and used on a daily basis.
- Wipe down counter tops thoroughly and put away any and all clutter on the counter tops. The same goes for sideboards and buffets.
- Clean the junk drawer, so that you have a place to stow last-minute clutter additions in your kitchen.
That’s it! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your clutter-free home this holiday season. Merry Christmas, friends!