The holidays are nearly here! As you begin to decorate for Christmas and start “winter nesting,” it’s a great time to take stock of what you have and declutter in preparation for the new year. You may also have more guests at your home during the holiday break, making it the ideal motivator to declutter.
Here are a few areas to target while decluttering before the holidays. As you find likely declutter candidates in these areas, ask yourself:
• Do we use this item?
• Is the item broken?
• If I packed this item away, would I miss it?
1. Toys and Games
If you have kids, toys definitely contribute to household clutter. One great way to to declutter toys is to ask your kids to go through them and make a donate pile for charity. It’s also an excellent opportunity to teach them about being charitable.
You should also discard anything broken or with pieces missing. Declutter toys that aren’t being played with anymore. Don’t forget to look through outside toys like bikes, scooters and sports equipment which might even give you an idea of potential Christmas gifts if an item needs to be replaced. And don’t forget, younger children aren’t the only ones with toys! Take time to go through video games, board games, card games, etc.
2. Holiday Decorations
Christmas is a perfect time to declutter decorations. As you pack away your fall decor, consider purging any items you didn’t set out this year. .As you unpack your Christmas and winter decorations, throw out anything broken (ornaments, lights, etc). When you’re finished decorating, look through any decorations that you chose not to display and consider donating them to charity.
3. Christmas Cards
Do you feel guilty tossing Christmas cards you’ve received over the years? Consider scanning the favorites and making a photo book and then recycling the rest. Locally here in Middle Tennessee, you can donate greeting cards to the SmART! (Scrap Made Art Supplies) Store located at 2416 Music Valley Drive.
4. Art Supplies
Speaking of art supplies, if you have kids you most likely have markers, construction paper, paint and other art supplies. Take time to sort through these items and toss any dried-out markers, paint and other items that need to be replacing so that the next time you get crafty or have a school project due, you won’t need to make a last-minute trip to the art supply store!
5. Serving Dishes & Kitchen Gadgets
The holidays are a popular time for entertaining but no doubt we all end up accumulating duplicate serving pieces that are rarely used. After all, how many gravy boats do you really need? Go through your kitchen and tally the serving dishes and other gadgets that only get used once a year. It’s a great time to donate duplicate items or dishes you never use.
6. Winter Clothing
Cold weather means breaking out the coats and cold-weather accessories. Go through your gloves, hats and scarves and discard any that are missing a mate or are looking worn. If your kids have outgrown winter boots and coats, consider donating them to charity if they are still in good condition. Sort through your sweaters and donate any that were not worn last year. If you have nicer holiday clothing items and accessories that are rarely worn, consider consigning it or having a “shop your closet” party with friends.
7. Linens & towels
If you have guests arriving for the holidays it’s a great time to sort through your linen closet. Make sure your extra sheets and towels are in good order and purge any items that are worn or need replacing. Winter white sales are an opportune time to stock up!
Christmas is the perfect time to declutter as you’ll be receiving gifts during the holiday and you’ll most likely have guests over. You may also decide as a family to give more experiential gifts, things like symphony season tickets or zoo memberships, rather than “things.” In any case, take time to declutter now so you’ll start the new year with less stuff (and hopefully less stress!)