Holiday mug and decorations

How to Declutter During the Holidays

The holiday season can bring a lot – family, friends, presents, feasts, decorations – but with all of that, this time of year is also known for bringing stress.

Can you feel your heart-rate quickening? The stress of decluttering, or more specifically, knowing you have to do it and execute that task in a timely manner, along with prepping for everything else listed above, can be anxiety inducing.

Don’t stress about decluttering during the holidays. Rather, relax and enjoy what should ideally bring you peace of mind, reduce your stress levels, improve your organization, and thus, add productivity to your life. Here’s our list of how to declutter during the holidays – may it bring you peace and joy!

Decluttering and organizing clothing in plastic bin

Tip #1 – Manage Your Expectations

If you’re decluttering this time of year, understand that with work and/or family (children or teenagers) you may not have time to transform every space in your home. If you start off with reasonable expectations, you’ll be less frustrated or disappointed with the end result.

Tip #2 – Create a Plan

How can you manage your expectations? Make a plan! Walk through every space of your home and make notes about what needs to be tidied versus what can wait for spring cleaning. To do this, consider the spaces you will be using the most – these deserve highest priority. Spaces like the guest room, kitchen pantry and laundry room may need more immediate attention than your primary bedroom or home office, particularly if a space is already pretty suitable. Then, once you’ve determined the rooms you’ll focus on, develop a timeline/schedule to keep you on track. Allocate more than enough time per task, per room.

For example, say you’re tackling the kitchen pantry, and you plan to:

  • Move everything out onto your kitchen counters
  • Clean each shelf/roll out, as well as large items like mixers and blenders
  • Organize items on the counters as you wait for your pantry to dry
  • Once organized, move these items back in
  • Apply labels (if needed) and toss the trash/donate items no longer needed
  • Wash the floor of your pantry

If you’re planning on doing all of this without hired help – which is totally feasible, by the way – and potentially more, then you need to have the time. You cannot – we repeat – you cannot do all of that in one hour unless you have a secret we don’t know about. For the above, we recommend a morning or afternoon, like 9:00am to 12:30pm, or 1:30pm to 5:00pm. If you over-budget on time, that’s great! Ending early is like a reward. Going over on time, however, will cause you to rush an important to-do list, and, to be honest, it sucks.

Decluttered and organized walk-in kitchen pantry

Tip #3 – Be Prepared to Say Goodbye

Whether it’s your kitchen pantry and you have canned goods or non-perishable snacks no one has touched, or it’s your closet and you’ve noticed for two summers in a row you still haven’t worn half of your tank tops, we recommend you prep yourself to say goodbye to those items you don’t use. Like Marie Kondo says, if you haven’t used it recently, it’s taking up valuable space in your life, and it’s time to say goodbye.

With that said, it is the holiday season, which is a time to think of others. Donating unused, non-perishable food items or clothing can change someone’s life and make their holidays easier. Donate gently used clothing items and canned goods/items that have not yet expired, but you know you won’t touch. You’re embracing the true purpose of the season when you help others.

Note: Expired items, clothing with holes and/or stains should be trashed. Those in need do not need garbage.

Clutter boxes overflowing with clothing

Tip #4 – Get into the Spirit of the Season

Who said decluttering had to be a joy-kill?

Regardless if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or the snowy weather, put on your favorite seasonal sweater, some rockin’ tunes and boil yourself some hot water for hot cocoa/tea/cider/hot toddy and enjoy your morning or afternoon of decluttering. The music, the attire and drinks will elevate your experience.
Holiday gifts and food spread on table

Interested in learning more about products or organizational tips from The Closet Works for this holiday season? Request a free consultation with one of our Designers today or check out our blogs today.

Lifestyle | Organization