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Pre-Holiday Prep: How to avoid the cluttered chaos this season

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

I know you cringe to think about it, but the holiday season is ramping up. You probably still remember the cluttered rooms from last winter and promising yourself that this year would be different. In order to be ahead of the game and avoid the chaos later, you need to first evaluate what you already own and brainstorm your plan to have a more organized holiday.

Step 1: Go through each room and look for items that you no longer enjoy, are no longer useful, or are broken. Recycle, sell, or donate these items now because once the holiday season arrives, you are going to have new items entering the house in the form of party supplies, decorations, and gifts. Remember to go through the closets. If you have any gently used coats or blankets, now is the time to donate them so someone else can use them this winter.

Step 2: Make sure the unwanted items actually leave the house and don't end up in a pile in your entryway or garage. This is really an important step. Without the follow through, you are simply moving around your clutter instead of purging it.

Step 3: Take inventory of what party and gift wrapping supplies you already own. You may have forgotten about attending all those after-holiday sales last year and grabbing up all the themed paper goods. If you didn't purchase any last year, now you can prepare yourself to look for the items on sale.

Step 4: Think about what the holiday season means to you. What traditions will you be celebrating and do you want to create any new ones? It is supposed to be about the quality of time spent with family and friends. Only attend the get togethers and celebrations that give you the most joy. Give your regrets to the other invites, knowing that you will see people after the holidays. Remember to work in some quiet down time to stop and enjoy the season.

Step 5: Figure out ways to explain to your family and friends that gift giving will be different this year. You are trying to cut down on the clutter in your home. Suggest that you exchange or share experiences in the form of museum passes, movie tickets, and restaurant gifts cards. These gifts take up minimal space and can make far better memories than a sweater or slippers.

Step 6: While shopping this holiday season for non-gift items (for example, those really cute decorations), stop and ask yourself why you are purchasing them. Do you already know where they will live once they are in your home? Are they worth the time, money, and effort to maintain and store? Remember that any purchase you make costs more than what you spent purchasing it. You have to spend time and money keeping it clean and in working order.

All your preparation will help clear space in your home, in your calendar, and in your life so you can enjoy this upcoming holiday season and return your home to an organized state much more efficiently.

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