It may feel more natural to declutter after the holidays but when you declutter for the holidays, you can make room for more comfort and joy.
Set the stage and make room for the holidays. You get to choose how you participate in the holiday season and being intentional early will allow you create a meaningful holiday season.
Declutter for the Holidays: 20 Ways to Make Room for Joy
Even when you live with less, there is typically more going on during the holidays. By making space now, we can feel less overwhelmed and more engaged later.
Start in the pantry. There are probably things in there you are never going to eat. If the expiry dates are still good, put them in a box and drop at your local food bank.
2. Fancy clothes
This is a great time to look at the clothes you purchased for past holiday events. Will you wear them again? If not, give them to a friend, bring to a local thrift shop, or donate.
3. Warm clothes
Take your extra winter coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and socks to a homeless shelter. Warmth will be in high demand in the coming months.
Give your favorite books away for the holidays. Write a letter on the inside cover about why you chose the book for someone you love. If letting go of your books is challenging, dedicating them to a new heart and home will help. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to regift, start with books!
If you want to be more present this holiday season, clean up your phone by dumping apps and deleting old contacts. Unfollow and unsubscribe where needed to make a little space in your inbox and social feeds. To really show up, unplug once a week or more if you can.
6. Ditch the gifts
Remember that gift you ended up with at the company gift swap, white elephant, or other mandatory gift exchange last year (and you never took it out of the box). Bye. Bye. Bye.
7. Medicine cabinet
Check the expiration dates on anything you bought last holiday season to get through a cold, cough, or sleepless night. Dump the old stuff responsibly.
8. Decorative items
What adorns your shelves and counter-tops? If you anticipate decorating for the holidays, it might be time to let a few of the vases, candles, and other odds and ends that you rarely even notice go. Cheers to less dusting.
There will be a boost in incoming paper over the next few months with catalogs, cards, and holiday projects, plus you’ll have less time to deal with it. Start with a clean slate. These two questions will help you let go of paper clutter.
10. Just in case
Get into your junk drawer and toss all the things you’ve been holding onto just in case.
We all simplified our make-up routine in 2020. Get rid of the stuff you aren’t wearing and don’t enjoy.
12. Crafts and scrapbooking
A whole new season of memory making is right around the corner. Make room for it.
Schedule your routine appointments and screenings now so you don’t have to think about them. See if Tele-health options are available when appropriate. Good health simplifies everything.
Make room on your calendar for the things that make the holidays meaningful to you by getting rid of the things that don’t.
Clear up family drama and simplify the gatherings you know are coming (even if they may be virtual this year).
Gifts, events, and other seasonal activities will pressure you to spend more. Assess your dollars now and decide what you have to budget for the holidays. Avoid splurges and new year debt with an honest look at your finances.
17. Inner clutter
A pre-holiday release of inner clutter like perfection, comparison, and expectations will give the holidays a chance to surprise and delight you.
18. Morning madness
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a few extra minutes in the morning to watch the snow fly (or the waves roll in), listen to your favorite holiday music, read a book, or sit quietly in prayer or meditation? Wake up a little bit earlier, simplify the morning madness and make time for you.
Give and do what you can with joy, and let go of any guilt that says it isn’t enough. It is. You are.
Choose a few of these 20 ways to declutter for the holidays, the ones you need most. Then, consider how you want to enjoy the holiday season. Be intentional and decide what rituals, activities, or traditions will make it meaningful for you.
Declutter now for less stress and more merry later.