Decluttering before the holidays

You might have noticed you didn't receive an email that last two weeks. I was enjoying being unplugged in the Bahamas! And yes, it was amazing. It is great to be back home and back into my routine.

Since I've been back, the leaves have started changing colors and Holiday decorations are EVERYWHERE! Yes, the holiday season is upon us! No, you don't need to stop decluttering because of this either!

How do you declutter before the holidays? Holidays are stressful enough. Then, we had a whole bunch of excess to the mix.

The holidays are the source of sooooo much excess. We buy more food, watch the piles of gifts continuously stream into our homes, and our calendars fill up while our obligations grow exponentially.

Before you know it, what should be a joyous, relaxing season turns into stress, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy.

One way you can simplify your holiday excess is to work on decluttering as much as possible BEFORE the holidays get here.

Get ahead of the holiday season this year, and start early!

I like to start thinking about the onslaught of gifts around October and early November. Decluttering early, before Christmas gets here also allows for you to have a stress-free Thanksgiving too.

If you have kids, starting early works well because they can see you practice decluttering before they are asked to do the same. It also gives you time to plant the seed that this is happening, so it’s not quite so shocking and so they can get on board without full-on panic mode.

Here are the 5 best things to declutter in your home before the holiday season:

1 – Declutter the pantry and fridge One to two weeks before your big holiday events, start working on decluttering your pantry and fridge.

If you have items in your pantry you know you will never eat, now is the perfect time to share with your local food bank to help those in need.

2 – Declutter toys

Decluttering toys with kids can be painful. I get it. However, the holidays are the perfect time to motivate your children to actually help you out!

Kids get excited about the toys and new gifts they know are coming, and oftentimes, if you remind them of this, they will gladly help make room for the new.

Start early, encouraging your children to pick out 5 books or maybe 5 stuffed animals to let go. Ask them if they have any toys they no longer enjoy.

Start thinking about where new toys will be stored, and make sure to create room in those spaces. If your children are really young, you can do the decluttering for them. As they get older, they will often need to be participants in deciding what stays and what goes.

Don’t force an all-out clean-out in one day. Children need time to process. Give them time to think about it, encourage filling a box, or ask for a specific number of items.

Do this several times before the holidays, and they will get better each time.

You can also encourage children to donate their gifts to other children in need. Kids are often very generous when they know children may not receive as many new toys.

If your kids are older, you can also encourage them to sell any high-value toys, and let them keep the proceeds.

3 – Declutter books

Many booklovers receive new books over the holiday season. Take advantage of this time to make room on your shelves for a couple of new additions.

This is also the perfect time to pick out books you loved and give them to someone else who you know will equally love the book.

4 – Declutter your kitchen countertops

With the holidays, you will have guests over, lots of food, and plenty of decorations. Give your kitchen counters a little boost by decluttering them before the holidays.

Not sure where to start? Start with the mail pile first.

Recycle any junk mail, flyers, or other items you know you won’t review.

Then, create a “handle soon” folder and stick the rest of the mail in there. It’s not a perfect system, but at least it will clear any mail piles quickly.

5 – Declutter your clothes

Chances are, you will get at least one new sweater, coat, or other items of clothing this holiday season.

Grab a single bag, and do a quick declutter of your closet! Even if you only clear out five items, you will have made room for that many to enter your closet.

Think of others in need this holiday season too. It’s the perfect time to look for coats and other warm gear you can share with local coat drives or shelters.

Here's your assignment for the week.

Select one of the areas above to focus on this week. I have talked before about taking baby steps on your declutter journey. This is no exception. You got this!

​​​​​​​Stay tuned next week for the next 5 things to declutter before the holidays!

I do a free 45 minute session with all of my clients and we can take a look at what area may be the best place for you to start decluttering. Are you ready to start decluttering your life? It's time! It will be freeing, I promise! Let's do this! Your Life Coach Robin P.S. You can do hard things! If you missed a Monday Motivation and want to read previous weeks, CLICK HERE.

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