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by Journals to Freedom October 30, 2020 5 min read
November is just around the corner, and before we know it the holidays are in full swing. It seems like every year time goes by even faster!
For some, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can get overwhelming. It’s the perfect time to go through your home and do a little decluttering and organizing before the busy holiday time sets in.
With a few key things to get organized beforehand this feeling of overwhelm can be reduced so you can relax and enjoy all the fun activities with your family, stress free. The more you clear out and organize now, the more time (and space) you’ll have to enjoy later.
Now is the time to go through all your current decor and leftover wrapping supplies. Get rid of anything that you don’t love or haven’t set out in a while. This will give you ideas on what new pieces you’ll want to add to your collection this year. Donate anything you don’t want to shelters or other charities well before the holidays so they can use them to spread a little cheer this holiday season to the people they serve.
Take an inventory of all of your wrapping supplies. Do you have any paper scraps that are too small, damaged, or outdated? Need extra clothing boxes, ribbon and bows, and tape? It’s never fun running out of tape mid-wrap! If you’re someone who likes to coordinate wrapping colors or themes each year, this is the perfect time to take note on what you have so you know what to look for to match. Checking your supplies now will help you plan out what you need and don’t need this year so you’re not left hanging or with a modge podge of miss matched items.
Go through your pantry, spices, and baking supplies. Check the expiration dates and throw out anything old and expired. See anything you’re probably not going to use in the next 3 months? Pull those items out and donate them to a shelter or food bank so you have room for other extras. If you have specific recipes you like to use year after year, check to make sure you have all of the ingredients now and make a list of what you still need. You’ll be doing a lot of this over the holidays if you’re anything like me so you want to make sure you’re fully stocked and not missing anything when you decide to make your grandmother’s cookie recipe. And if you know you’re going to have guests, it’s a good idea to add extra of the staples you may need to feed those hungry bellies!
This is kind of the same process as your pantry clean out. Go through and purge any old or expired items and donate those items you know you won’t use over the next couple months. Make a list of items you have and items you will need. Stock up on staples and specific things you'll need for your favorite recipes. If you’re cooking the turkey, make sure you have room in your freezer for it when the time comes!
Your entryway is the first part of your home people will see. Make it inviting and free of clutter this holiday season. Put away extra unnecessary jackets, purses, and other items that may have been placed here and forgotten. Hang hooks for coats and jackets. Add another bin or basket for guest shoes, hats, and gloves. This will save your other areas of your home from having these things piled up and will also show your guests you thought of them from the moment they walk in.
This is something you can do with the whole family! Sit down together and map out your activities and to-dos for the holiday months. Mark any holiday get togethers, school events, sporting events, and other holiday fun things you’d like to do as a family or as individuals. Plan out when you’ll bake those cookies, go shopping, etc. and mark it down. If you have a home command center, place your calendar where everyone can see it so it’s never a surprise to anyone what’s on the agenda.
Snag these calendar printables to help get you planning!
Go through your closets and drawers to make room for anything new. Switch out summer clothes and pull out your clothes for sweater weather! Get rid of and donate any items that are too small (this especially goes for your kids clothes!) or you don’t have a desire to wear again. Think about the events you plan on going to during this holiday season and what outfits you’ll wear like the ballet, family get-togethers, photos, etc. and make a list of what items you still need to pull off your looks. This will also help give you ideas when people ask you what you or your family want for Christmas!
Have any guests coming to stay during the holidays? Make sure your guest room (and bathroom) are ready to go and inviting. If you’re anything like me your guest room can sometimes become the catch all room. Be sure to go through and organize anything that’s been building up in there. Wash the sheets, dust, and add some fresh flowers to brighten the space. Clean the guest bathroom and make sure it’s fully stocked with extra toilet paper, clean towels, and toiletries your guests may need.
Finally, make sure to go through your kids’ toys. This is another project to involve your kids with and can teach them about kindness and giving too! If they’re anything like my kids, they have toys that they don’t play with anymore and we need to make room for the new things they will get this year. Have your kids go through and collect the things they would like to donate to others. Give each child their own box to purge their items into. Once their box is full, take a trip together to the donation drop off center or shelter and have them be a part of the process of giving to others in need. You’d be surprised at how moving it is to watch your kids give back.
Need to prioritize where to start organizing and decluttering? I like to use my priority checklist to do just that! It’s a great way to list everything you want to get done, and then prioritize what needs to happen first! This is especially convenient when decluttering before the holidays when time is limited and you want to make the most of your efforts.
Focus on organizing the spaces where you and your family will use the most during the holiday time first, and then move to other areas.
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