One word that often comes to mind when thinking about the holidays is more. There is more giving, more getting, more doing, spending, falling behind, catching up, and getting run down.
Thankfully, there is also more opportunity for comfort and joy (but only if we make room for it). Take time now to do some intentional decluttering, so the more of the holidays doesn’t turn into too much.
Use this holiday decluttering guide to make room for more peace, love, light, comfort and joy during the holidays and anytime at all.
The Holiday Decluttering Guide
Declutter your home.
A pre-holiday sweep will make room for holiday decor, winter boots, and other seasonal stuff. Put the ornaments and other holiday stuff you decorate with through a decluttering filter too. Just because you’ve saved something for decades doesn’t mean you are obligated to keep it forever. If you aren’t displaying it, or don’t like it, donate it. If you want more decluttering direction try this:
Declutter your schedule.
How do you really want to spend the holiday season? If silent nights sound more inviting than party hopping, be socially selective. You aren’t required to say yes to every invitation. Look at your regular calendar too. Build in time to take care of yourself, and don’t over-schedule. Leave room for holiday magic. Built in margin in November and December = magic.
Declutter your heart.
The holidays can trigger heavy hearts, and put a spotlight on struggling relationships. If your heart already feels heavy, seek ways to lighten it up. Journaling, daily walks, meditating, engaging in difficult conversations and working with a therapist may all be part of the treatment plan.
My dear friend and Mind-Body Therapist, Rachel Shanken recommends the following exercise to feed your heart a little light:
Set a timer for 3 minutes. Sit tall. Close your eyes and bring your hands to your heart. Start by noticing the sensation of your hands against your chest. Take a big breath right into the spot underneath where your hands are, feeling the breath inflate your chest. As you continue to breathe, visualize a warm white light surrounding your heart and radiating out into your hands. With each inhale imagine the soft white light expanding around your heart and shining throughout your whole chest. With each exhale visualize that same soft light radiating from your heart back into your hands. When the timer rings, notice what has shifted inside you.
You’ll also love Rachel’s 15 Body-Mind Fast Facts, Fixes,and Tricks to make your life better. Some take less than 3 minutes.
Declutter your mind.
If your mind starts to spin with visions of sugar plums and all the things you have to make, bake, ship, buy, and do, take a big deep breath. A consistent mindfulness practice will help you put things in perspective.
Create a daily practice of writing down all of the things spinning around up there and then sitting quietly for a few moments. The writing/meditation combination will help you rid your mind of clutter.
Declutter your money.
There is so much pressure to overspend during the holidays but resist. Don’t give out of obligation, comparison, or fear about what people will think. Respect your budget when you give and spend over the holidays and beyond.
Declutter your digital life.
Set some boundaries around your digital engagement. If you check email and social media every day, try every other day. Assign digital-free zones in your home and on your calendar.
To further resist digital overwhelm, set some parameters for yourself and consider going internet-lite for the holidays.
Declutter your traditions and obligations.
Hold onto the traditions that warm your heart and let go of the others, especially the ones you resent or find exhausting. Just ask yourself, “Does this fill my heart or empty it?” Give yourself permission to engage in the holidays in ways that fill your heart and soul.
Declutter the stress.
Just because everything is chaotic around you, doesn’t mean everything has to be chaotic within you. One quote that often reminds me of this truth is from Pema Chödrön, “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” Commit to just a few of these 30 simple ways to take care of yourself over the holidays. Take care of yourself. It’s the best gift you can give yourself and everyone you love.
P.S. If you want to declutter gift giving this year, 31 Days of Gifts is something fun, different and memorable for almost everyone on your list. It’s affordable, meaningful and there won’t be any clutter or shipping delays. Learn more here.