The weather outside may not be frightening, but before you know it the holiday season will be upon us. The holiday season brings with it cheer—and lots of other stuff. Before it’s time to exchange gifts with family, you should declutter your home. Follow these tips and you’ll be ready to tackle the holidays with a clutter-free home.
Create a checklist
Before you get started, create a checklist for each room in your house. Don’t forget about bathrooms, the basement and attic. The checklist should have the name of the room on it and the areas of the room that need to be decluttered. For example, the checklist for the master bedroom might say:
- Master bedroom
- Under the bed
Keep one, throw away two
When it comes to decluttering, it’s best to abide by the “keep one, throw away two” rule. You will come across things that you don’t need, especially in the holiday decorations department. Keep only the sentimental items and throw out two or more of the things you can live without. Besides seasonal decor, the rule applies to clothing and toys. Your children will get new clothes and toys during the holiday season, allowing you to get rid of what they’ve outgrown. Put items you don’t need in a garbage bag and donate it to those less fortunate.
Get to the kitchen
Before the holidays, every kitchen deserves a good decluttering. Go through every cabinet and drawer and see what you’re not using. You don’t need all three spatulas, so stick with the rule and keep one and give away or discard two. Take this time to go through your pantry and fridge and get rid of expired food or pantry items you know you’ll never use. Donate excess canned goods to food drives or food banks.
Prepare for guests
If you usually have family and friends staying with you during the holidays, now is a great time to prepare the room they’ll be sleeping in. Since you’re going through every room with a checklist already, you can get rid of items in the guest rooms that don’t need to be there. Many people use their guest rooms as extra storage space. If you must keep store items in there, try and keep them out of view from your guests—for example, in plastic boxes under the bed. You can set aside linens for your guests in advance too. To keep them smelling fresh before your guests arrive, place a dryer sheet under each pillow and on top of each towel. Remember to take the sheets off just before your guests arrive.
Taking the time to declutter now will save you from headaches in the future. This way, when the holiday season comes, you can focus on what’s important.