10 Important Things to Declutter Before the Holidays

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Go into the Christmas season prepared and stress-free! This list of 10 things to declutter before the holidays will set you up for success.

If you’re here for home and holiday organization tips, check out 19 clever Christmas organization ideas and our complete decluttering 101 guide. Both articles give you a foundation for a peaceful and in-control Christmas.

tips for holiday decluttering boxes by door

Are the holidays a massive whirlwind of chaos for you every year? Maybe you try to write everything down in a binder or planner, only to have notes spiraling on top of each other. No matter what you do, if your mind and house are filled with clutter, you’ll be fighting a tough battle.

It’s so much easier to keep yourself organized when you get rid of stuff you don’t need anymore. Start with these 10 things to declutter before the holidays. They will make all the difference when you begin making holiday plans.

10 things to declutter before the holidays

1. Outgrown toys

Start with donating toys that your children don’t play with anymore. This has two benefits:

  1. It makes room for new toys your children will get for Christmas.
  2. It also teaches your children to prioritize what they own and how to give up what they don’t enjoy anymore.

One tip that work REALLY well when my own kids were little was to ask them to make a pile of toys that were ‘too baby-ish’. They were happy to be ‘big kids’ and gift the baby-ish toys to younger friends.

How to Organize and Tame Toys! Practical steps and clever ideas for organizing ALL types of toys to help you declutter and simplify your life!

2. Unloved or broken Christmas decor

Next, go through your Christmas decorations and donate the pieces that you don’t want to use anymore. Fill a trashbag with any lights that don’t work or broken or unusable decorations.

It’s really easy to grow a Christmas decorations collection that overfills your storage space. When you declutter and organize your holiday decor, you’ll have more room for ornaments and signs that fill your heart with joy!

3. Expectations and obligations

Get rid of thoughts that hold you back too. Let go of perfection and embrace progress instead. The holiday parties you are planning don’t have to be planned down to the minute. You don’t have to do every single thing on your Christmas list. And you definitely won’t make everyone happy.

Instead, focus on yourself and your family. Imperfect memories are often some of the warmest and fondest ones.

4. Expired food

Go through your pantry and throw away any food that is past its expiration date. This includes canned food, frozen food, and even spices. Yes, spices expire too!

After you throw out your expired food, you’ll have more room for all your holiday cooking and baking. This also gives you a chance to inventory what you have and stock up on items you’ll need for the holiday season.

Expired canned goods and spices are one of the best things to declutter before the holidays.

5. Declutter the kitchen before the holidays

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms to organize before the rush of the holidays. This is where you’ll do all your baking, cooking, and entertaining.

Clear off the kitchen counters and create a home for all of your appliances. If you find an area in your kitchen that is packed too tightly, declutter it and make yourself more room.

Get rid of damaged pans, gadgets or utensils… maybe Santa will gift you new ones this year. 😉

Ready to ditch the stress and have a calm holiday season?


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6. Gift wrapping supplies

Before you start wrapping any gifts, declutter your gift-wrapping supplies. Place all the gift wrap, tags, tape, and scissors in an organized space. Throw away any wrapping paper that doesn’t have enough left to wrap a gift.

After decluttering this collection, write down any supplies you’re running low on. It’s easier to buy it before the madness of the holidays begins, plus that’s when you get the best selection of wrapping supplies.

7. Torn or stained towels and linens

Next, start decluttering your linen and towel closets. Remove anything that is torn, stained, or fraying. This is the perfect time to take advantage of holiday sales and replace them with shiny new matching sets!

Animal shelters are often looking for used towels, so you can feel good knowing your outcasts will be used to help rescued animals.

As you look around for towels, you’ll feel pride and joy as you see an organized linen closet.

organized linen closet - old, worn towels and linens are the perfect things to declutter before the holidays.

8. Outgrown or unloved clothing

Make decluttering your clothing a family project. Donate all the outgrown clothes to make room for any you might receive as gifts or new clothes you might buy after your children grow into them.

This is also the perfect time to donate clothes that you or your family don’t love or haven’t worn in more than a year.

Again, it’s a great time to do an informal inventory and add items you need to Christmas lists. Santa can bring new clothing to replace what you’ve given away.

9. Winter gear

Go through your winter gear and throw away any gloves that don’t have matching pairs or hats that are too worn to be useful. Donate if you find hats or scarves that your family doesn’t wear or enjoy anymore.

Only keep what you use and wear regularly. This will make it easier to find what you need when you need it.

Declutter any used or non-functional winter clothing before holidays

10. Your brain

Finally, do a brain dump! Declutter your mind by writing all your thoughts and to-do lists down. Getting it out of your head will make you feel lighter and less stressed out.

Keep a planner or journal nearby so you can keep writing things down as they pop into your head. This will give you clarity and help you focus on one task at a time.

Decluttering is a magical thing! When you get rid of everything you don’t need – emotional and physical – you make room for what you care the most about.

Ready to ditch the stress and have a calm holiday season?


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tips for holiday decluttering with holidays items in a box
tips for holiday decluttering with Christmas images
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