How to Declutter Before the Holidays: 11 Awesome Ways to Simplify

How to declutter before the holidays: 11 awesome ways to simplify

The holiday season always seems to come with more: more food, more décor, more busyness, more shopping, more STUFF! But it doesn’t have to be that way. And it certainly doesn’t have to overwhelm you or leave you feeling stressed and burnt out. Today I’m sharing 11 awesome ways to simplify and declutter before the holidays. Together, let’s simplify now, so we can all celebrate (and enjoy!) the holiday season more!

I’ve written before about how to plan for a simpler holiday season. You can read more about how to handle the influx of gifts when you’re working to declutter and simplify here. You can also read a great post about simplifying the entire holiday season here.

But today I want to share 11 specific, quick and practical ways to simplify and declutter before the holidays. These practical tips will help you go into the holidays from a place of less. By keeping things simple from the onset, it will be easier to manage the “more” that often comes with the holidays.

How to declutter before the holidays: 11 awesome ways to simplify
Photo by Simon Zachrisson on Unsplash

It’s never too early, or too late, to simplify and declutter before the holidays. Any work you put into decluttering and simplifying your home, your life and your mindset will help you prepare for the holidays and make life easier!

By spending a bit of time decluttering and simplifying before the holidays, it will help you feel less overwhelmed and stressed. All so you can enjoy the holiday season more, and go into the new year feeling good.

It’s about progress, not perfection

Today I’m sharing 11 ways to simplify and declutter before the holidays. Start with whatever seems like it will make the biggest impact on your home and your life. Figure out what is causing you the most stress in your home right now and tackle that area first.

Use the ideas in this post as a starting place to give you some ideas. Pick the ones that will be most valuable to you by removing your biggest sources of stress before the holidays.

There’s no need to put extra pressure and stress on yourself trying to simplify and declutter everything before the holidays. Do what you can, but remember it’s about progress, not perfection.

Even if you aren’t able to do a super thorough job decluttering right now, simply do what you can. Any amount of decluttering you do now will make your holiday season as a whole simpler and more enjoyable!

11 ways to simplify and declutter before the holidays

Let’s dive into it! Here are 11 practical and easy ways to simplify and declutter before the holidays.

1. Christmas and holiday décor

As you’re decorating your house for the holidays, quickly sort through your Christmas and holiday décor. Get rid of anything you don’t love, don’t put out or don’t use.

Also, after you’re done decorating, keep a watchful eye out for any holiday decorations you aren’t loving. If there is something that doesn’t make you happy when you look at it, makes you feel frustrated, or you just don’t like the extra work it adds to your home and life, get rid of it!

Aim to only keep holiday décor items you love or use regularly. If you don’t use or love it, you have no obligation to keep it.

2. Simplify the kitchen

I wrote a whole series of posts recently about the how and the why of simplifying your kitchen. You can find them here:

How to Declutter your Kitchen + 20 Things to Declutter Right Now!

13 Habits to Keep your Kitchen Organized & Clutter-Free

6 High-Impact Ways to Start Simplifying your Kitchen

But today I want to talk about why making time to simplify your kitchen and declutter before the holidays is so important.

The holidays are usually a time when you do more cooking, baking and hosting. Simplifying your kitchen and decluttering before the holidays will make cooking, baking and hosting all significantly easier and more enjoyable.

There are two key areas to tackle in your kitchen when you declutter before the holidays.

First, work on clearing the flat surfaces in your kitchen (countertops, dining table, etc.). Not only will your kitchen look better with less visual clutter (always a bonus when you’re hosting friends and family!). But clear counters and surfaces will make cooking, baking, serving, hosting and cleaning up so much easier.

Second, clean out and declutter your pantry, fridge and freezer. Get rid of anything that’s expired or gone bad. Donate anything that’s still good, but you know you won’t use to the food bank so someone who needs it can use it.

After you’re done decluttering, give everything a quick wipe. Then organize your pantry, fridge and freezer quickly so you can find what you need easily and know what you have on hand.

Not only will you make room in your fridge, freezer and pantry for the extra food you may need during the holidays. But a clutter-free, organized fridge, freezer and pantry will make cooking, baking and hosting over the holidays easier!

3. Declutter the toys

If you have kids, decluttering the toys before the holidays is always a good idea. Knowing your kids will likely be getting new toys as gifts, it’s easier to be more ruthless as you declutter before the holidays. Make space now so you and your kids won’t end up feeling overwhelmed with new toys after the holidays.

This is a great time to get rid of any toys that are unloved, aren’t being played with anymore, broken, missing pieces or your kids have outgrown.

I always find the idea of making room for new toys coming as gifts is a great way to motivate my kids to help declutter their toys. You can also encourage your kids to donate some of their toys to kids who aren’t as fortunate as them. This is especially great during the holidays.

4. Declutter gift wrapping supplies

Speaking of gifts, this is a great time to declutter your gift wrapping supplies too. Get rid of any gift wrapping supplies that have seen better days.

Then, before you buy any new gift wrap or supplies, sort through and take stock of what you already have. Then decide what you need and only buy what you will actually use.

How to declutter before the holidays: 11 awesome ways to simplify
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

5. Simplify, declutter and prepare guest linens

Because many of us host family and friends over the holidays, this is a great time to declutter your guest linens, such as towels and bedding.

Look through your guest towels and bedding. Decide what you actually use and need regularly for hosting guests. Then get rid of any towels or bedding you never use or need. As well as anything worn out.

Once you have decluttered your guest linens, it’s also a great time to wash or air out any items you will be using so they are fresh and ready for holiday guests.

6. Declutter clothing

Again, if you have kids, they may be getting some new clothing items over the holidays or as gifts. Make room for the new items by doing a quick declutter before the holidays.

Get rid of anything outgrown or worn out. This is also a great opportunity to make note of what your kids need if family or friends are asking for gift suggestions.

This is also a great time to tackle decluttering your own clothes. Take a quick look through your everyday clothes and see if there is anything you are ready to let go of.

But this is also a really great time to declutter your holiday/party/dressy clothes. As you are getting ready for any holiday parties or events take a quick look through your dressy clothes.

Are there any you never reach for anymore, don’t love, no longer fit, etc.? I like to challenge myself to ask if I don’t want to wear an item this year, will I ever want to wear it?

Even if you simply have more dressy clothes than you need, this is a great time to get rid of some. Keep your favourite pieces that you always reach for, feel great in and look great in. Then get rid of any you don’t love, wear or look/feel great in.

7. Simplify your makeup collection

Another great area to declutter before the holidays is your makeup collection.

As you are getting ready for holiday parties or events sort through your makeup collection and see what you no longer use, need or love. And remember, makeup doesn’t last forever.

It’s easy to hang onto extra makeup we plan to use for fancier or special occasions. This is a great time to see what you actually use and get rid of the extras, anything expired or things you simply never use. Again, ask yourself if you don’t use something as you get ready for your holiday parties this year, will you ever use it?

8. Declutter seasonal gear

Another great area to declutter before the holidays is your seasonal gear like coats, mittens, hats, boots, etc. Get rid of anything you or your family no longer use, need or love. Along with anything worn out or outgrown.

Not only can you donate your excess to someone who could truly use and need it during the colder months. But simplifying your entryway also makes hosting easier over the holidays. You’ll have a tidy, clutter-free entryway to greet guests. Along with space for guests to hang their coats when they come to visit.

9. Do a whole house decluttering sweep

Another great way to declutter before the holidays is by doing a quick decluttering sweep around the whole house. This is one of my favourite ways to kickstart decluttering in general, but it’s also a really great way to simplify your house before the holidays.

Grab a box or laundry basket and quickly walk around each area of your house looking for anything you no longer use, need or love. This is a great time to get rid of any décor items you don’t use or love. Especially when you have additional holiday décor out as well.

The more items you are able to declutter before the holidays, the easier it will be to keep your home tidy and clutter-free during the holidays.

10. Declutter your mindset

Although this isn’t a traditional decluttering project, choosing to declutter your mindset before and during the holidays is very important.

Try to let go of any unrealistic standards or expectations you’ve set for yourself during the holidays. Embrace a perfectly imperfect mindset during the holidays.

Cut yourself some slack and create a holiday season both you and your family can enjoy. Instead of trying to live up to some impossible standards of perfectionism that will only leave you overwhelmed, burnt out, stressed and exhausted.

11. Declutter your obligations

Another great way to simplify the holidays is by simplifying your holiday obligations. There is nothing wrong with choosing to slow down and do less over the holidays. In fact, choosing to do less during the holidays can often lead to a much more enjoyable, relaxed and stress-free holiday season for you and your whole family!

Remind yourself often that every time you say yes to one thing, it means saying no to something else. Make sure your “yeses” are saved for the things that matter most to you. Not the things you feel obligated or guilted into attending.

How to declutter before the holidays: 11 awesome ways to simplify
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I hope these ideas help you to simplify and declutter before the holidays so you can enjoy a merrier, less stressful holiday season. A little prep work, decluttering and simplifying before the holidays can go a long way towards making the whole holiday season more enjoyable.

What can you do to simplify and declutter before the holidays this year? Leave a comment below and let me know!

You may also like

6 Comments

  1. I don’t put up a tree, I haven’t in a long time. I keep an Advent wreath. It’s a tradition from childhood. I did get down a crystal vase from the mantel and filled it with glass/plastic ornaments. It is near my entryway. Am decorating the mantel bit by bit. Right now the Christmas cards are starting to come in, and that’s where I put them. We have stockings and hangers, but it’s too early to put them out. I usually wait on that until it’s closer to the day.

    1. That sounds lovely, Karen! I love that you’ve found a way to decorate for the holidays that works for you and makes you happy without adding unnecessary stress. I totally agree with you – a little Christmas decor can go a long way to make your home feel festive without causing stress for you and making your home feel cluttered. Thank you for reading and for sharing how you have simplified your Christmas.

  2. You know, there is no rule stating that you must cook all or part of that big holiday meal yourself. We have tamales, from a nice chain restaurant in our part of the world. They are already cooked (steamed) and just need to be heated up. It is only two people here, and even those pre-cooked packaged dinners from the supermarket deli are too much for us.

    1. Yes!! I love this and completely agree! It’s completely ok to switch things up or change traditions so they suit you and your family better. Some years we skip turkey dinner altogether and put a ham in the slow cooker so we spend less time cooking and have more time to spend together on Christmas day. I love that you’ve found a tradition that works for you and keeps your holiday season simple. Thanks for reading and thank you for sharing how you simplify the holidays!

  3. I have simplified Christmas by halving the decorations. Renewing a large tree to a tall slim tree that looks beautiful and takes up little space. A basket of holly berries and foliage. 4 different wreaths on the wall. A vase of Red Silk poinsettia’s and holly berries taken out each year for Christmas. Several soft Nordic toys that Reflect Christmas and make for a cosy room.
    I plan the food two weeks ahead of time. I make lists for what I plan to do each day. On the day before Christmas Eve all the Veg is peeled and ready in boxes in the fridge. Lamb and Turkey is marinaded and put in the fridge along with homemade chestnut stuffing. Nothing left to do. Christmas Eve the Table is set and decorated. Everything is timed and works well. With this Planning I have no stress.

    1. Your decorations sound lovely, Doreen. I agree – fewer decorations help a lot to keep things simple at Christmas time. And your home can still feel festive with a smaller selection of decorations you love and enjoy. I like your plan for the cooking as well. It’s nice to do as much as you can ahead of time so you have less to do on Christmas day and can enjoy the day more. My family and I try to prepare as much as we can the day before as well. It really helps us feel more prepared and less busy on Christmas day too. Thanks for reading and sharing your wonderful tips!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.