My kids make me wait until November 1st to start the Christmas countdown…and then it’s full steam ahead! But with the Christmas creep, we’re barely over Labor Day when the retail industry has us feeling the sudden urge to start prepping and shopping for Christmas.
But, wait! Don’t start shopping just yet. Christmas is the perfect excuse to declutter. Out with the old, in with the new.
Prepare for the holiday shopping season with these…
6 Things to Declutter Before Christmas:
This one is a no-brainer when you have children. Before bringing more toys into your home at Christmas, now is the time to declutter the ones you already have. This is one thing I am adamant about doing each fall! With a large family, even when minimal in the toy department, it adds up to clutter quickly!
Start by tossing broken toys and sorting out any toys that your kids have outgrown. Pare down electronic toys and duplicate toys, and make sure the ones you keep mesh with your family’s goals.
Be sure to take your physical space into consideration. You’ll need space to comfortably store the toys you decide to keep with a little room leftover for new toys at Christmas. I like to use these cube bins and these utility totes to organize in rooms or to store away.
’Tis the season for a million photos! The holidays are filled with so many fun and wonderful activities. And most of us moms will be ready to capture all of the adorable moments on camera.
Start by gathering all of your photos. Get those pictures off of memory cards, download them from your phone, and get them all into one spot on your computer. Once you have them on your computer, delete them from your other devices.
It’s a big task, but go through your photos and decide which ones are keepers. Weed out blurry photos or photos that are very similar. If you have 150 photos from your first camping trip, go through them all to find the best of the best.
Organize photos into folders with a system that works for you.
Christmas brings an influx of gifts into our home, and not all of them are something we end up using. Maybe there’s a candle you never used or a Christmas decoration that’s not your style. It could be a necklace you haven’t worn since you got it last year or a toy from Grandma that your child rarely plays with.
Take inventory of these gifts and consider putting them to use. If you can’t use something personally, perhaps a friend would love it. Or you might have something perfect for a white elephant gift exchange.
If you can’t make use of something, it’s OK to let these things go. If you graciously received the gift, that’s what matters. You aren’t doing the gift-giver any favors by letting guilt clutter up your life.
4. The Kitchen
The festive holiday atmosphere often starts in the kitchen. There’s turkey, cookies, fruitcake, and more which means your kitchen is probably working overtime right up until Christmas. This is a great time to go through your kitchen gear and ditch any items that aren’t functional or necessary.
Problems areas might include plastic storage containers, kids dinnerware, or coffee mugs. These types of items have a tendency to multiply throughout the year.
While you’re in the kitchen, take a pass at your pantry items as well. Ditch any expired foods, and make a note to use up items you already have in your meal planning.
The holidays bring a lot of paper into our home. Junk mail. Coupons. Greeting cards. Kids’ crafts. Bills. This is the best time to wrangle the paper clutter for a fresh start at the new year.
Gather all of your paper items into one area. Sort the paper into three categories: Recycle, To File, and Needs Action. With your recycle pile gone, you should be left with a manageable amount of paper.
Use hanging file folders or a binder to store your “To File” papers. Give yourself a deadline to handle the items that need action, and make a plan to address these items every week. I have started using Trello to keep my important papers and information organized…it’s free!
6. The Junk Drawer
Empty out your junk drawer and sort out the contents. Find a home for everything in it, and toss the rest.
It might seem far-fetched, but the best way to organize a junk drawer is to get rid of it. We have always had our junk drawer in the kitchen, which is one place that is constantly busy during the holiday season. Cleaning out the junk drawer every few months is a necessity.
Clutter breeds clutter, and this is one area you don’t want to mess around with over the holidays. when you’re already extra-busy and trying to spend time with family.
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A CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS GIVEAWAY!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas – a time for gratitude, togetherness, and celebration. The Christmas Blessings Giveaway is in its 8th year, and we are excited to once again bless not one family, but two, with some cash for the holiday season! I’m teaming up with an amazing group of bloggers with the hope of making this Christmas the best yet for TWO families by giving away $500 in Paypal cash to each family. What would you do with that money?!
While we wish we could bless many more families, we were able to come up with a big prize for TWO families – $500 each (delivered via Paypal) – that we pray will make a big difference in their lives this Christmas season – whether it’s to fulfill their kids’ Christmas wishes, pay off some bills, or to help build some savings, our prayer is that it helps to lessen any financial burden and/or fills a specific need.
There are lots of entry options in the Rafflecopter form below – the more you enter, the better your chance of winning! I know it can seem tedious and time consuming to go through all the entries, but isn’t a chance at $500 worth it? I think it is! Plus, all of these amazing bloggers donated their own money toward the cash prizes, so this giveaway wouldn’t be possible without them. I hope you’ll take the time to check out each one. Who knows, maybe you will find some new blogs to follow.
The giveaway will run from Monday, November 15th through Wednesday, November 24th (ends at 11:59pm EST). Winner will be notified by email shortly after the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize or another winner will be drawn. You must have a Paypal account to win. By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers. Please be sure to read the Rafflecopter terms and conditions upon entering.
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