The holidays are fast approaching, and it’s time to start preparing for the jumble of trips, gatherings, feasts and gift exchanges. Right now is the perfect time to organize and declutter your home before it’s full of brand-new gadgets, leftover cookies and bits of wrapping paper. In an effort to make things go a bit smoother this holiday, you’ll have to take a serious look at what’s cluttering your home, and what you can bear to part with.
Make Room for New Gifts
A kid can only fit so many toys in his or her room, so the question is, what stays and what goes? First, take a look around your kids’ rooms and see if there are any broken or mangled toys that you can simply discard. Then, seriously think about what your child’s been playing with lately. It’s hard to accept that as kids grow up, they’ll stop liking things like Sesame Street and Dora, but it happens. Pack up any old toys they’ve grown out of and donate them to goodwill or pass them on to a friend or family member who has younger children at home. Decluttering toys is essential every now and then, especially to make room for all the new stuff Saint Nick brings every December.
Books, Music and Movies
Just like kids grow out of their toys, adults grow out of their favorite movies, books and albums. If you haven’t listened to a CD, watched a movie or read a book in several years, it might be time to clear it out of your home. Bonus: Used media can often be sold to stores, making decluttering your entertainment a great resource for some extra Christmas cash.
Get Rid of Old Clothes
A lot of us are guilty of holding on to clothes we don’t wear, but it’s not useful for anyone to have a closet full of everything they’ve ever worn. Whether it’s just not your style anymore or it doesn’t fit right, it’s time to let it go. Cleaning out your closet will allow you to truly see what you’re working with. This is especially true for kid’s clothes, since they grow out of them so quickly. Fold and pack up everything you don’t wear, and pass it along to a friend or drop it off at a donation center.
If you plan on having more children and don’t want to part with all of the cute clothes you’ve acquired, make sure to organize them by gender and size and pack them far, far away until they’re needed again.
Clear Out Documents
The office is the area of the house that acquires the most clutter over time, especially paper. Every single document you have piled around isn’t important enough to keep around forever, so organizing your office every now and then is serious must. Read our Zing post that breaks down office organization techniques.
The Junk Drawer
They don’t call it a junk drawer for nothin’. Everything we don’t know what to do with gets thrown somewhere, whether it’s in a drawer, bin, box or spare closet. Eventually, you’ll have to face the madness and sort through it all. You might find a few things you’ve been missing, but the rest is most likely trash.
Organize the Pantry and Fridge
Gifts aren’t the only clutter-causing component of the holidays; food is abundant during the holiday season, too. Whether you’re hosting the big dinner or baking 100 cookies to bring to a gathering, you’re going to need lots of room and a lot of ingredients. Taking stock of what you already have in your pantry and fridge is important, and could save you money at the store. Another big aspect of cleaning out your fridge and your pantry is finding and getting rid of expired food.
Clear out Purses and Wallets
Once you have your house covered, move on to the smaller stuff. As you’re traveling and purchasing presents this month, you’ll want the important things in your purse to be easily accessible and not buried beneath a bunch of junk. Clear out old receipts and gum wrappers to make things easier for yourself.
Decluttering can seem intimidating, but it becomes a lot easier once you have a game plan and a list of goals. Do you have any decluttering tips to make organizing and clearing out your home even easier this holiday season? Tell us in a comment below!