6 Simple Steps To Declutter Your Home For The Holidays

Photo: getty
woman with reindeer antlers with christmas tree
Self

So much stuff goes along with autumn — the decorations, the food, the gifts, the candy. There is so much going in and out this time of year that it’s mind-boggling.

For many people, it's also a time to declutter your home, since you're about to prepare for the upcoming holiday season.

RELATED: 4 Fun Ways To Teach Kids To Clean & Declutter

So, how do you stay on top of the holiday clutter, whilst keeping up with everything else that the seasons demand of us?

Here are 6 simple steps to declutter your home for the upcoming holidays.

1. Start small.

If you can’t see the guest bed because it’s covered to the ceiling with whatever you couldn’t deal with since last year, then choose one single thing that you know you can deal with, even if it’s a used tissue.

If you're experiencing overwhelm when beginning room declutter, focus on one small area. Let's say you start with a couple of old, used dryer sheets.

These dryer sheets may lead you to notice several piles of clothes and two boxes of shoes on the floor right next to them. Before you know it, you'll have bags of clothes for donation and sale.

It’s all about getting the declutter process going — in whatever small way you can.

2. Declutter as you decorate.

Keep a donation bag handy when you’re moving the summer décor out and the fall in. This way, when you encounter items you haven’t used and know you don’t want, it’s easy to discard them.

Bonus tip: When the donation bag is full, take it right away to your car and put it in the front seat, so you’ll remember to stop by the donation place the next time you’re out.

Do not — I repeat do not — put donations in the trunk of your car.

You’ll forget about them, and then the next time you need your trunk for something large, you’ll take the bag back out, put it in your garage, and you’ll have gotten nowhere.

RELATED: How To Successfully Declutter Your Home Using Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method

3. Use your phone for items friends and family members might want.

If you’re going through your decorations and think someone special might like an item, snap a picture and text it to them.

If they don't get back to you in a reasonable amount of time, donate it. I use this tactic with my own items and it works wonderfully.

4. Do not keep things just because someone special gave them to you.

Especially if you never see the person. It’s not doing any good having old gifts sitting in storage year after year — quite the opposite, actually.

Whatever the items is, it’s likely to get broken or go even more out of style the longer you have it — this is particularly the case with clothes.

The best way to honor a gift is to allow it to be used by someone else who will cherish it.

5. Decorate first and shop second.

The holiday decorations arrive at the stores months before the actual event, not to mention what’s on the clearance shelves year-round, tempting you to make emotional purchases before you even know if you need these things.

Unless you’re absolutely sure you know where you’ll use a particular decoration, don't buy until your current decorations are out.

Then, shop away, knowing that your purchases will be much more targeted in terms of what you need, where it will go and how much you can afford to spend.

6. Commit to taking time to enjoy yourself.

During the holidays, the "work hard, play hard" scale usually tips quite strongly in the "work" direction.

Be intentional during these months and take time to creatively reward your efforts.

The holidays are stressful, no doubt about it, but they can be enjoyable if you plan ahead. Keeping on top of the clutter is one sure way to not be pulling your hair out by December 1.

Little bits of self-care along the way are essential.

By following these simple steps, not only will you be more prepared to declutter your home when the holiday rush hits, you might be the only one around actually enjoying it.

RELATED: 13 Underrated Ways To Declutter Your Life (& Your Mind)

Subscribe to YourTango's newsletter to keep up with us for FREE

- Our best articles delivered straight to your inbox
- The latest in entertainment and news
- Daily horoscopes and love advice

Aubrei Krummert is a certified professional organizer who helps well-intended, yet chronically disorganized individuals live more peaceful and productive lives. Connect with her via her Facebook page or her website.