The holidays are coming, and it is the perfect time to declutter before Christmas. Out with the old and in with the new!
Any holiday that means gifts are coming into your house is a great time to assess what you have and what you don’t need anymore.
If you are like me, being asked what you or your children want for Christmas queues anxiety to kick in. My immediate thoughts are, what could any of us possibly need, and more importantly, where will I put all the “stuff.”
I know, I know, gift gifting at Christmas isn’t really about what we need, but what we want or what would be fun. As a person who wants to simplify her life and home, acquiring more “stuff” is the opposite of what I want.
I know it’s not fair to my children to put my values on them. Plus both of my daughters LOVE their “stuff” and think of it all as treasures. Yes, even the ridiculous McDonald’s toys are treasured by both of them.
There is a way to find a happy medium and keep my anxiety in check – at least a little bit.
4 Things to Declutter Before Christmas
Big shocker to see this one on the list. You know that new toys will be coming into your house, so it’s the perfect time to declutter toys. Have your children go through their toys and make some decisions on what they want to donate. If you have children like mine, who treasure everything, be sure to check out, “How to help a pack-rat get organized.” The tips will work great for decluttering with your children.
When we declutter toys, we have the girls decide which ones they don’t play with any more. Toys that are being decluttered will be donated, sold (they get to keep the money), or put away in storage for future grandchildren. Only our absolute favorites are put away for future grandchildren and then kept in the attic.
Your kids may need your help with making decisions. I constantly have to reassure Cassidy that it’s okay to get rid of something she doesn’t play with anymore. Being my sensitive child, she tends to feel bad because someone got it for her as a gift. I remind her that the toy brought her joy for a while and it is okay to let it go if she no longer plans to play with it. It does help her to know that some of her favorite toys she doesn’t play with anymore are put away for her children someday.
By now the weather has most likely started to turn colder, and you have had to track down all of your winter gear. This is the perfect time to visit that front hall closet and tackle the clutter. First, make sure that every glove has a match. If it doesn’t, throw it away right now.
Next go through the hats, gloves, scarves, coats, snow pants and boots to make sure they all fit someone in the house. If they don’t, it’s time for them to be donated. (We keep a Rubbermaid toter in our attic for all winter gear that is too big for Amelia, the youngest member of our family, but still in good condition. She will use them eventually). This time of year there are a lot of winter clothing drives you can drop off these items.
Keeping extra supplies is not a bad idea, but too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing. Having a couple of pair of gloves/mittens for each family is good. One good, heavy winter coat and boots per family member and a scarf and hat or two are perfect. As for snow pants, we each have one pair, except for Amelia who has two pairs. Since we buy them second hand, usually the cost was minimal, but made life so much simpler. We leave one pair at day care, so we don’t have to take them back and forth and possibly forget them on a day we get great snow that everyone wants to play in.
Declutter before Christmas to make it easier for kids to find all of their winter gear and hopefully put things back when they come in the house.
Kitchen Gadgets and Stuff
You are probably spending more time in the kitchen prepping holiday meals and baking cookies. It’s a great time to take stock of what items you use and don’t use. If there are gadgets, bowls, etc. that you aren’t using regularly, it is time to donate or sell them.
While you are decluttering the kitchen inspect your gadgets and see what you may need to replace. Remember that Christmas list that people wanted from you, maybe you could add some new spatulas to it. You’ll be able to replace your old, chipped ones with new ones. It’s the best gift. You get something you want, and it won’t take up any new space in your home.
If you have tired Tupperware that you possibly replaced with the Black Friday deal, you have extra Tupperware on hand now. You can donate the Tupperware or use it to gift Christmas cookies to friends and family. It is also great to send leftovers home with someone. Just be sure to let them know you don’t want the Tupperware back!
You probably take down some of your regular household decorations at Christmas time to put up holiday decorations. If you do this, it can be the perfect time to declutter your everyday household decorations. When you put something away, ask yourself if you want to keep it? Do you still like it? Does it serve a purpose, or still bring you joy? If not, then donate or sell it immediately. Repeat this process after Christmas when you are putting the things back out. You may find the answer is different since you’ve had some time without the items in your house.
You can do the same thing for your holiday decorations. As you take things out to put them up to decide if you like them. If not, don’t hesitate to get rid of them. You will forget to do so after the holiday. There is no sense keeping decorations you don’t enjoy (unless of course, you’re married to my husband who likes everything you hate).
Take the time to declutter before Christmas and come Christmas morning you can relax and know that there is space in your home and your life for the new “stuff” that you receive. Just don’t forget to throw away that old, worn out spatula if you get a new one.
What other areas do you like to declutter before Christmas?