Inside: Learn the best things to declutter before the holidays so that you can get organized and also relax more this holiday season.

I’ve discovered in recent years that in order to have a more relaxing holiday season, I need to do some work beforehand.

The better that I have planned in advance, the more smoothly the holidays go and the more I am able to actually relax and enjoy them!

Getting organized ahead of time makes a world of difference. Start the decluttering process now so that your house will be prepared for the Christmas season.

You’ll thank yourself later for the work that you did. If you want to stress less in the coming months, read on for the best things to declutter before the holidays.

best things to declutter before the holidays

Best Things to Declutter Before the Holidays

The holidays are a time that many people look forward to, but that for others causes stress and anxiety. If you want more joy and less stress this holiday season, simplify things.

Part of simplifying is decluttering. When you clear out the excess so that you only have items you love and use you save time and you will enjoy your home more.

There are six key areas to declutter before Christmas that will make the biggest impact on your home. Get the work done now and enjoy the results!

Also, check out the bonus thing to declutter for optimal rest and relaxation this holiday season.

1. Declutter decor

Before you bring out the Christmas decor, one of the best things to declutter before the holidays is the current decor in your home. If you have things on the walls or sitting on flat surfaces that you don’t love or you simply have too many things out, go ahead and declutter them now.

Once you are done with that, you are ready to declutter your Christmas decorations. Sort through and decide what you love and want to keep before putting anything out.

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.

Decluttering also makes cleaning up after the holidays much simpler.

When you declutter early people will actually want the items you don’t because it’s before the holidays. Rarely are people chomping at the bit to store more decor in January.

Some donation centers won’t take holiday items in January because they know people are not as likely to buy them then.

Decide how much storage space you are willing to devote to holiday decor. That amount will provide self-imposed boundaries. You’re less likely to be tempted by the crazy post-holiday deals on decor when you know you’re at your limit.

2. Declutter toys

Before the holidays is a great time to declutter toys. It depends on the age of your kids for how much help they may need or not need in the process.

I inform my kids that we won’t have room for anything new if they don’t let go of anything they currently have. This has been a good motivator for them.

Sometimes kids struggle with decluttering and need some extra guidance.

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. Toys that encourage creativity and imagination are ones that can be enjoyed for years!

It also tends to increase awareness of how much they already own as you see some of last year’s toys that have gotten little to no love. The decluttering process tends to make you much more selective in what you’re willing to let back into your house.

If in decluttering their toys you realize that any additional toys would be a burden, consider gifting experiences instead.

Their best childhood memories are likely to come from things they do rather than things they have.

3. Declutter kitchen countertops and cabinets

Whether you host any holiday gatherings or not, one of the best things to declutter before the holidays is your kitchen. It’s so much more enjoyable to prepare food when your kitchen is decluttered and organized.

Start with your countertops. Then work on one cabinet and drawer at a time. Notice what you have that you don’t use. Also, see what items you may have duplicates of.

Let go of the things that you no longer love or use. Donate or gift them to someone else.

Enjoy having more breathing room in your cabinets and drawers and being able to find things more quickly.

4. Declutter the refrigerator

If you do a lot of cooking during the holidays, then you likely will also be storing a lot of leftovers in your fridge this season. Do yourself a favor and go ahead and declutter the food in your fridge.

Throw out anything that has gone bad or that you know you and your family won’t eat.

Take it an extra step by removing everything from the fridge and cleaning the shelves and drawers before putting the food you’re keeping back.

You’ll thank yourself later for creating the additional space and removing any unidentifiable/gross food from your refrigerator.

5. Declutter linens

Another one of the best things to declutter before Christmas is your linens. That includes table linens as well as bath towels and bedding.

Declutter anything that you no longer use or love or that is irreparable.

Having only the items that you love and use makes it so much easier to find things as well as motivates you to actually use what you own. When you open a drawer or cabinet and it’s a cluttered mess, is disheartening and unmotivating.

Seeing instead your favorite things neatly folded is so much more pleasing. You’ll be more motivated to switch out that bedding or the tablecloth when things are decluttered and organized.

If you happen to be hosting over the holidays, it also makes things much easier as you prepare for guests. When you have only your favorite linens and towels, you know that all your options for guests are good ones. It also makes it easier for them if they need to retrieve extra linens.

6. Declutter the porch, mudroom, and entryway

The first thing that you see when you come home is often your porch, mudroom, or entryway. When those areas are filled with clutter coming home doesn’t feel welcoming.

Your space doesn’t feel like a relaxing haven because your first thoughts will be ones of needing to clean up and feeling behind or perhaps even frustration with other family members for leaving their clutter behind.

When you declutter those spaces, you will have happier thoughts and feelings as you enter your home.

If the clutter keeps returning to the mudroom or entryway (I see you excess shoes), look at your current storage solutions. They may need to be tweaked to meet the needs of your home and family or perhaps family members need to work on their habits to keep the space clear of clutter.

Your porch should feel welcoming to you as well as to guests. Keep the number of items on the porch at a level you are comfortable with. Ours has a small bench, two lanterns, and a wood bear.

Seasonally we change out the wreath on the door and may add one additional holiday-related decor item. We keep it simple so it’s easy to maintain and keep clean.

7. Declutter your expectations

There is so much more that comes along with the holidays besides just getting parts of your home ready. Part of what can cause stress during the holiday season is our own expectations or the expectations of others.

Start processing your priorities early on. Have open discussions with family members. Make changes as needed so that this year you can relax and enjoy the holiday season rather than feel overwhelmed or frazzled.

Decide in advance what your schedule will look like and be intentional with having margin. You need to create space for rest or your schedule will fill up with other things. You can enjoy slow living through the holidays, but it does take intentionality.

Plan your budget and save in advance. On average people get into over $1000 worth of holiday debt every year. (source: CNBC). When we choose to simplify gift-giving and plan in advance, we can avoid acquiring holiday debt, which causes further stress.

Simplify the holidays this year and enjoy your home and life more. Get the free Simplify the Holidays planner to help you through the process.

The planner contains:

  • Priorities questionnaire
  • Thanksgiving meal planner
  • November calendar
  • Gift list
  • Christmas meal planner
  • December calendar

Simply fill out the form below 🙂

What areas do you declutter before Christmas? Share it in the comments below!

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  1. We started a new tradition at home. Christmas is no longer a time for careless spending. We stopped the gift giving madness and now enjoy decorating our house and sharing time with each other. Games, movies and football have been the best way to create special memories together.

    1. Yes 👍
      We too stopped the madness of gift exchange last year, as we focus more on the true meaning of Christmas !!

    2. Same thing here, a number of years ago, my grown children, said they didn’t want any more stuff to clutter their walls, shelves what have you with and I certainly felt the same way. So we get together now for food and decorating and enjoying the holiday. Now we have some pre school children in the family, and we do buy for them. But the stress is so much less then buying stuff for each other and usually not using it either.

  2. for me, i actually found decluttering AFTER the holidays works better: year-’round decorating items are stored in the boxes that hold the holiday decorations. seeing HOW emptied and spacious surfaces look, i tend to be more selective with the things i display for the holidays. THEN i get rid of the holiday pieces i didn’t put out & showcase because i feel it’s obvious those items didn’t make the “keep” list…………when the holidays are over, i reverse the process: i like the less cluttered look created by paring back on holiday deco, and put out fewer of the year ’round things, making it obvious what of that group what i treasure most and what doesn’t make the ‘keep’ list. this has the added bonus of creating more space where the holiday things are stored, and the STORAGE space is then less cluttered. i read somewhere once that really only 3 items should sit on every flat surface. while that may be a bit extreme for large surfaces, it helped put things into perspective.

  3. As you declutter Christmas decorations pre-holiday, think about checking with your church, children’s school or on social media for someone less fortunate with little or none of their own.
    Same works for toys in good condition.

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