We all know how hectic the holidays can be, so let’s try and make our home as simple as possible during this time so that we can fully relax and enjoy the season. The number one reason that I share about creating a simple home is for moments like this. The holidays can be a stressful time of year and by planning a little in advance, we can free up time and space in our minds to really enjoy the festivities with our loved ones.
The holidays always seem to come with more: more food, more décor, more activities, more shopping, and more STUFF! Prepping for the holidays can seem overwhelming and chaotic at times, so to get ahead of the Christmas chaos let’s prepare our homes ahead of time. Below are 5 quick and practical ways to simplify and declutter before the holidays.
1. Tidy the kitchen
Whether you host for any holiday gatherings or not, one of the best things to declutter before the holidays is your kitchen. You will probably be spending a lot more time in your kitchen during this season, so let’s give it some extra care and attention. Simplifying your kitchen and decluttering before the holidays will make cooking, baking and hosting all significantly easier and more enjoyable. Preparing your kitchen could include one or all of the below ideas, you choose which would help and serve you.
-Clear out all your cupboards and drawers, so you can see what you have and whether you need to borrow more utensils to accommodate extra guests.
-Clean out and declutter your pantry, fridge and freezer. Making room for the extra food you may need during the holidays.
-It is also the best time to take inventory on your spice cabinet so you can see what you will need to stock up on for all your holiday baking.
2. Edit your Holiday Decor
You have probably collected lots of decor throughout your life many of which probably stays in the box season after season. This is just taking up space. Here is your permission to get rid of any decor that you are no longer using or that you see yourself using.
This is also a great time to check for damaged decor and to test those holiday light strands. There is nothing more frustrating than being 10 feet up on a ladder to find out that your string of lights has malfunctioned. Your future self will thank you for doing this prep work now.
Strive 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. Consider donating your decor to family members that are just starting out and that may be decorating for the first time this year. Keep in mind that it’s much harder to notice special items when there are many other items crowding them out. Fewer is more meaningful, so use only the items you really love.
3. Declutter the toys
If you have kids, decluttering the toys before the holidays is always a good idea.
Knowing that your kids will be getting new toys as gifts, it is easier to remove unused toys before the holidays. Make space now so you and your kids won’t end up feeling overwhelmed with new toys after the holidays. As you help them declutter, notice what they do and don’t use. Also, pay attention to what they easily let go of. This can help inform your choices as you think about what you may want to (or not want to) buy for the coming holiday.
Reminding your kids that they are making room for new toys and/or that in this season of giving it is important to bless others with toys that you no longer use. Plus, there is no better time to give back than during the holidays!
4. Simplify your clothing
Similar to toys your kids are likely to receive gifts of clothes for Christmas. Declutter all clothes they have outgrown or those that are of no use any longer to make space for the gifts they might receive.
This is also a great time to look at your own wardrobe as well. Do a quick edit of your closet to make space for the new season and arrivals. More importantly it is a great time to declutter your holiday/dressy attire. Editing your wardrobe now can save you so much time and stress later, no more trying on 10 things the night of your big event. If you don’t love it, wear it, or it no longer fits it is probably safe to say it’s time to donate.
Seasonal items can also be added to the list. Due to the season, it may be time to swap out your clothes, which is a great opportunity to go through coats, hats, mittens, and boots. These winter items tend to take up a lot of space so going through them now can help make the daily routines of finding this gear easier.
5. Make space for guests
Many of us host family and friends over the holidays, so 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 that is 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.
In general, when guests come over, it’s nice to have some free space in your home so that they have a place to sit, relax and enjoy themselves. All of the above tasks will help create more space in your home allowing everyone to enjoy the comforts and peace of the season.
I hope that these ideas are helpful, and I promise if you even tackle one of these spaces your holidays will feel so much lighter. If you want more joy and less stress this holiday season, simplify things.