Believe it or not, you can add “declutter your house” to your December to-do list and not feel overwhelmed!
Are you thinking, “Surely you jest…I’ve got a ton of things to do before family and friends descend upon me!”
Well, stay with me: I’m thinking of areas where you can weed out excess stuff and still be ready to toast the holidays with your loved ones!
I know…it’s traditional to begin a new habit on January 1st. It’s a logical starting point for those who make New Year’s resolutions. December is often a final hurrah for eating the cookies, sipping the eggnog or laying on the couch for a Netflix binge.
Then, when the holidays are behind us, our attention is not pulled in quite so many directions. We can focus on where we want to head next.
But if you incorporate making some small uncluttering decisions while you’re preparing to celebrate, wouldn’t it be awesome to make headway now?
After all, you’re already handling many of your possessions as you prepare your home for the holiday get togethers.
Where to start decluttering your house can start in those very spaces you’re cleaning and clearing as you prep for your guests.
Read on about five places where you can declutter your house before the end of the year!
1. Declutter Your Holiday Decor
Holiday decorating both inside and outside the home is part of many a family tradition.
When I was growing up, we amassed and displayed a fair number of Christmas ornaments, Santa Claus collectibles and outdoor lights. Some of them were even passed along to us adult children as our parents scaled back.
If you also regularly transform your home at this time of year, how about setting out fewer items? You, too, could let your grown kids pick and choose their favorites.
Or consider donating some so others who are less financially stable can also create a festive atmosphere in their homes, too. As you’re hauling out and unwrapping your decorations, review which ones are your favorites to keep and which ones can now be shared.
Crating extra space between your favorites will also feature them front and center. Everything you look at will make your heart swell.
And then think about how streamlined next year’s holiday decorating will be when you have less to set up and then store again!
2. Declutter Your Everyday Decor
We generally need to swap out our knickknacks when we display holiday trinkets and decor.
Instead of simply boxing up all your things temporarily, think about sorting and releasing some of your customary items now. It’s an ideal time to clear out what no longer thrills you, especially if you’re planning to make a move into a smaller space next year.
Oftentimes, we don’t see clearly what is in our home because we are so familiar with our things. Once it’s time to move it or pack it, only then do we start to look at our stuff with a critical eye.
As you handle each item, is it something that you truly love? Do you use it now? Is it in working condition? Might it be something to pass on to somebody else?
Not sure? Then defer the decision for now but at least give the process a chance.
Don’t agonize over the decisions—if your gut instinct is to let it go, do it and move on!
3. Declutter Your Linen Closet
Who doesn’t set out their nicest kitchen and bathroom towels at this time of year?
They may or may not be in holiday hues but we display the ones that are in the best condition. While you’re doing this, take some time to straighten out the linen closet or shelves.
We often have many more everyday towels, washcloths and bed sheets than we truly need. Our tastes change as our decor changes. And eventually, all towels become faded, frayed or even stained.
If you do laundry on a weekly basis, why not just keep two or three sets for those in the household and perhaps another set or two for overnight guests? All the rest would be welcome donations at any charitable organization. Animal shelters in particular would appreciate your slightly frayed hand-me-downs!
Enjoy the sight of a tidy linen closet with matching pristine towels in the shades you prefer now!
4. Declutter A Kitchen Cabinet (Or Two)
For all the bakers and chefs out there, the holidays are a prime time to churn out seasonal savories and goodies.
Baking cookies with my mom is one of my favorite Christmas memories! We had sweet treats by the dozen stored in the unheated breezeway between our house and garage. Someone always had an excuse to go to the garage as a pretext to sneak a few cookies!
These days, my cookie baking marathon is no more. I’ve saved a couple of the treasured cookbooks. And I whip up a couple choice treats. However, I’ve let go of the cookie press, the tin cutouts…even my kitchen-aid (gasp!) but I have other appliances that I reach for now.
Truth is, it’s just my husband and I now and we don’t need all the sugary temptation around us. Oh, I’m not averse to making a few goodies. But the extras go home with my adult son!
If you, too, are cooking differently, why not weed out cookware and recipe books that are no longer used? Someone else likely wants a new tradition of making Belgian waffles on Christmas Day.
Me? I’m content with an easy overnight pop-in-the-oven breakfast casserole. You? Perhaps you’d rather make reservations….go for it!
Declutter your kitchen gadgets in a nod to how you cook now!
5. The "Declutter Your House" Convo With Family
Our families gather from near and far when the holidays arrive!
Most would agree that seeing our loved ones gathered in real life is the highlight of the season. Sure, there can be some mini-dramas here and there…all part of the deal!
It’s not often that everyone convenes, due to hectic schedules and scattered home bases. So while you’re all together, initiate the conversation about what things of yours they have always admired.
Parents often assume their kids have the same regard for family heirlooms or mementos but it’s not true. Tastes vary and so does the capacity to incorporate large furniture or collectibles into a new household.
Here’s a short of what they likely don’t want: Top 10 Objects Kids Don’t Want!
Or check out this iconic article from The New York Times: Aging Parents With Lots of Stuff & Children Who Don’t Want It.
Instead of making assumptions about who wants what, just ask! It will help your distribution process when you start paring down in earnest.
And if more than one of your kids wants dibs on an item, now’s the time to know.
There are a few ways to resolve this, whether drawing straws, or making concessions on one item in return for another. It doesn’t have to be finalized now. But it’s good intel for future reference.
Above all, don’t take it personally when they feel differently about your stuff.
We each have the right to decide what enters our own homes. And no one welcomes guilt at the door, don’t you agree?
The Wrap: How To Declutter Your House In December
- Prune your things as you go about your holiday prep routine. You can toss, donate or gift several things in as little as 15 minutes!
- Initiate a conversation with your adult children to learn what they would like to incorporate into their own homes. You may be surprised with the answers!
- Your small but powerful head start to declutter your house now can reinforce your New Year’s momentum!
- Above all, enjoy the one-on-one time with your loved ones!
You May Also Enjoy:
Do you normally go all out with the holiday decor?
Is holiday baking your thing?
Do you prefer hosting or making the party rounds?
What tradition are you ready to pass on to your kids?
Share your thoughts below …and thanks for stopping by!