11 Important Things to Declutter Before Christmas

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and … decluttering? That’s right! Getting your home in order before the holiday rush is a great way to reduce stress and make more room for holiday cheer.

It’s never too soon to start getting rid of things before they take up space in your home for another year.

So let me help get you started on this task by giving you some tips on what items to declutter before Christmas is upon us.

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When should you start to declutter before the holidays?

Personally, I start thinking about the holiday season towards the end of October. Don’t get me wrong. The Christmas tree doesn’t go up then, and I don’t finish all my shopping in October. But I’m a planner.

I like to plan things in advance. I also want to make sure I have free time for other things too, and that things aren’t done in a last-minute rush before the holidays.

As the holiday season approaches, I start writing my lists (just like Santa!) and I start doing some research on the best gifts to buy, where to buy them and how much they cost.

I also look at what’s in my house that I really don’t use anymore.

This is the perfect time of year to go through those items you’re holding onto that clutter up your house but which aren’t needed.

The worst thing would be for your guests to come over and not have enough time to relax, or for you to spend the entire holiday season in a tizzy running around in circles.

Reasons to declutter before the holidays?

To make space

As much as we hope to reduce the amount of STUFF coming into our homes, it can seem kind of impossible during the holiday season.

As we welcome friends and family over for festivities, they will inevitably bring food and gifts.

It’s best to declutter before the holidays so that you have enough room to store all those items that come into your home during this time of year.

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.

To free up time

I absolutely love the events that surround the holidays: Christmas parties, Christmas markets, the excuse to go ice-skating, Christmas concerts.

But the weeks before Christmas, we’re constantly on the go.

By decluttering a month or two in advance, we can free up time to spend on the festivities of the season.

To make yourself happy

Of course, what’s most important is that decluttering your home before the holidays makes YOU happy too!

The sense of accomplishment you get when looking around your clean house after doing this little pre-holiday decluttering is a great feeling.

To give back to those in need

While I do like to give back at various times throughout the year, is there really any better time to give back than during the holidays?

Clearing out your closet at this time of year, you might find winter items, unused toys, unopened gifts that can be donated to those in need of Christmas gifts. As soon as you’ve decluttered, head to your local charity shop or homeless shelter.


Things to declutter before the holidays

1. Expectations

To ensure the holidays go smoothly as planned, it’s important to go in with realistic and reasonable expectations

Just as we won’t finish all of our holiday shopping in October, we can’t expect to be able to do all the other tasks that come along with Christmas either.

Make a list of your priorities early on so you know how you can manage them and set clear boundaries about what is acceptable for us to take on.

Be kind to yourself this Christmas and let go of unrealistic expectations.

2. To do list & calendar

However long your to-do list usually is, during the holidays it can become 10 times longer!

If your usual to-do list hangs over your head like a dark cloud and causes stress during this festive time of year, it’s probably time to take some action and declutter your list!

Move anything on your to-do list that doesn’t need to be done before the end of the year to a new list that you can deal with in the New Year.

Plan your festive activities in advance so you know exactly what’s on your calendar. And don’t sign up for too many activities over the holidays, or it can lead to stress and overwhelm.

3. Holiday décor

Before putting up your Christmas tree and decorations, pull out all of your holiday decor and lay it out on the floor or a table or mat.

My advice when decluttering is always to pull everything out so that you have a clear view of what you have and nothing gets lost or thrown away by accident.

Pick out the special holiday decorations you love and want to keep. Then you can see what else is needed to make it a complete set.

By decluttering before Christmas, you have the option to pass on your unwanted holiday décor to friends or family, or someone in need. It also means that once Christmas is over, you’ll have an easier job of putting everything away until next year.

4. Holiday clothing

Do you buy new Christmas PJs every year (don’t worry, I won’t tell!)?

Whether it’s a Christmas pub crawl or a fancy Christmas party, or just the day itself, we tend to stock up on new clothing at this time of year.

If you don’t like reusing your old Christmas clothes, consider donating them instead before you hit the shops and bring more things into your home.

5. Email inbox

I’m not sure about you, but my inbox starts exploding at this time of year! Before you end up getting emails from every online store you’ve ever shopped at, unsubscribe to mailing lists that you don’t want to receive emails from.

Without all these emails pinging on your phone all day long, you’ll be less likely to make impulse purchases too.

6. Toys

If you’ve got kids, you know there’ll be an influx of new toys coming in over the holidays – from friends, family, and of course the big man himself!

Encourage your children to declutter their old toys and books before more come into your home.

Teach them that there are children who don’t always get as many nice things for Christmas who would love their old toys.

7. Wardrobe

Again, if you have children they 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.

Take this opportunity to declutter your own wardrobe too. If you’re likely to receive gifts of clothes or shoes for the holidays, give your wardrobe a good declutter and consider donating any unwanted items to charity.

8. Kitchen & pantry

Let’s be honest. We spend a LOT of time in the kitchen with holiday cooking over Thanksgiving and Christmas!

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.

This is the best opportunity to declutter any old expired food also. And if you have any extra food that you no longer need or won’t use, donate to your local food bank.

Organising your kitchen before the holidays means everything is easily accessible when it comes time to cook up a storm.

9. Shopping list

There are no two ways about it, we overconsume during the festive period.

Food, gifts, alcohol, clothes…

This year, plan ahead and write your shopping list with simplicity in mind.

Reduce the amount of food you usually buy – there’s always going to be food leftover, right?

And I’m not saying you shouldn’t give gifts at all, but you don’t need to go overboard and spend too much money on things. Stick to a budget,

For gifts for kids, I like to stick to the ‘something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read’ rule. And for adults, why not do a Secret Santa whereby each adult received one nice gift of something they truly want or need?

This way, your shopping list is much more manageable and your bank balance will thank you for it!

10. Guilt

Christmas is a wonderful time of year and giving and receiving gifts should be a joyous occasion.

But what happens when someone gives you a gift that you don’t need or even want?

When someone gives you a gift, it’s yours to do as you wish. Whether that is to display it with pride in your living room or pass it on to someone you know will love the item, there should be no guilt associated with gift-giving or receiving.

If you don’t need or want something, it shouldn’t take up unnecessary space in your home. So, before Christmas arrives, make sure to declutter anything you’ve received that don’t bring joy into your life. And leave the guilt behind.

Read also: How to Declutter Without Feeling Guilty: 8 Ways to Eliminate Decluttering Guilt

11. Full house decluttering dash

Last on the list of things to declutter before the holidays is to do a quick decluttering dash around the house.

We can all use a little refresher and what better time than before the holidays!

Read my extensive guide on how to declutter your house in one day for tips on how to declutter your entire home.


Conclusion: Things to declutter before the holidays

The festive period is a busy time of year, but we can all plan ahead and make sure we declutter before the season is upon us.

The best thing about decluttering before the holidays? There’ll be less spring cleaning to do once the new year comes around!

I hope these tips on how to declutter before the holidays have been helpful as you start getting ready for the holiday season.

For more tips for decluttering, check out these posts:

Vourneen | ThePlainSimpleLife
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