Earlier this week I was talking with a new client who needs help decluttering so that she can clear some space to 'set up Christmas'. It got me thinking, and it occurred to me that the holiday season is actually the perfect time to do some purging!
My client identified one reason this is the case. But there are many other good reasons to declutter prior to Christmas. For one thing, many people have house guests for the holidays, and having people in your home is always a good motivator for cutting the clutter.
If setting up Christmas leaves you wondering where you're going to put stuff, consider doing a pre-Christmas purge. Prime candidates for purging this time of year include the following:
A quick and easy way to clear away a ton of visible clutter is to do a surface purge. Declutter your kitchen and bathroom countertops, dining room table, coffee table, and any other surfaces where papers and other junk collect. You'll be amazed how much less cluttered your home looks and feels!
Another excellent way to quickly and effectively reduce clutter is by thinning out your entry closet as well as any surfaces or storage areas located in your home's entry. These areas tend to become dumping grounds as family members hurriedly rush in and out. Take a few moments to toss out and tidy up and everyone entering your home will feel the positive effects. This is a good time to donate coats and other outerwear that no longer fits anyone in your family (or that never gets worn). Also look for gloves with holes or that are missing their mates and any other items that have outlived their usefulness.
Christmas is a great time to purge clothing. The change in seasons means a change in wardrobe. As you pull out those sweaters and long sleeves evaluate whether or not they're actually going to get worn. Maybe they're a little too well worn, and it's time to toss them out. Also take a moment to evaluate your warm weather wardrobe. Are there pieces you didn't wear at all this year? If so, consider getting rid of them instead of storing them.
Whether you're expecting house guests this holiday season or not, it's a good idea to sort through all your extra bedding and get rid of anything that is worn out or excess. Two sets of sheet per bed is plenty.
I'm embarrassed to tell you how many table cloths inhabit my linen closet. Let's just say I speak from experience when I say that this is a good time of year to evaluate how many table cloths, cloth napkins, table runners, place mats, etc. you actually need and use. The rest can find a good home elsewhere and brighten someone else's table. Unless, of course, they are permanently stained or otherwise damaged, in which case they shouldn't be taking up space in your closet or cabinet.
A lot of people have special serving pieces that they only use during the holidays. An equal number of people have special serving pieces they never use... ever. Don't feel obligated to hold on to your great aunt's soup tureen unless you know what a soup tureen is for and have an actual use for one. Clear out any unused serving and bakeware you do not use.
While we're in the kitchen, it's a great idea to declutter the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer and make space for all those delightful holiday foods. Identify items that are expired and toss them out. This includes mystery items in your freezer or items that are crusted over with a sheet of ice. Also look for non-perishable foods that are still good that you simply aren't using, either because you don't want them or you have a bigger surplus than you can reasonably use. Donate these items to a food pantry and help others have a happy holiday season.
Purging toys prior to Christmas accomplishes a couple of valuable goals. First it clears away clutter and frees up space for whatever Santa may bring. It's also a great opportunity to teach children about the spirit of giving by helping them choose toys to donate to others.
Clear off prime shelf and cabinet space by decluttering unused books, movies, and games (including video games). This is an area where you can frequently find ample candidates for decluttering. Look for books no one has read, movies and games your family has outgrown, games that are missing essential pieces, and video games from outdated systems.
Instead of holding onto those half lit strings of lights, toss them out. Do you have decorations that sit in your attic, basement, or garage through the holiday season, never seeing the light of day? Give them up. As you put up your holiday decorations, get rid of any that no longer appeal to you or have gone unused for one reason or another (missing pieces, broken, etc.). Think how lovely it will be to have less to put away and more space in which to store it!
A few minutes each day spent purging the unused and unwanted from your home is a great way to prepare for a clutter-free holiday season.
It's that time of year. Holiday decorations are popping up, Black Friday is just around the corner. Time to start thinking about what to give all the people on your gift list this year. As you plan your holiday shopping, consider giving the gift of organization. It truly is the universal gift. Literally everyone, be they young or old, male or female, can benefit from a little more organization in their life.
Here are some of my favorite organization gifts (to give and receive) to help inspire you as you plan your holiday gift list. Note: this post contains affiliate links.
The organizer has 12 total pockets: 4 exterior and 8 interior. One set of interior pockets is removable to allow for larger items.
headphones, flash drives, memory cards, external hard drives, tablets, and other electronic doodads safe and organized for travel. Great for a student, a business person, or anyone who carries multiple electronic devices.
If you're feeling really fancy an even better option is a wireless charging station. Instead of keeping the cords contained in one convenient location, it does away with the need for cords altogether!
In the case of cell phones, it will cause your phone to ring, even when it's set to silent. If you have a habit of forgetting where you parked, place a Tile Mate in your car. Instead of wandering the parking lot looking flummoxed, open the Tile app, and it will lead you to your car.
A quick swipe back and forth is all it takes to conceal personal information (or any information for that matter). I accidentally covered up a code we needed for a recall on one of our vehicles using the stamp. In my defense, the code was printed directly above my address... There was no deciphering the information. I had to call the company issuing the recall to get the code. The stamp works! When the ink gets low, replacement cartridges are available.
Eyeglass stands come in a variety of fun styles. Here are a few more cute options to choose from:
The bottle is insulated, so it keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours. The best part about this bottle is that it makes a great gift for anyone - children or adults.
I recently participated in a vendor show where I was required to provide a raffle prize. I brought an assortment of organizational pads such as you see here. They were a huge hit!
I know at least two ladies who would love such a gift. Now to choose the right one...
I hope this list has helped you to find the perfect organization gift for someone on your shopping list. Or maybe you found an item or two you'd like to add to your own wish list... Whatever the case, I wish you a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year.
Twenty years ago my husband came home with this bulky wooden file cabinet. He paid $5 for it at a furniture sale put on by the university where he was working at the time. He's been enamored with it ever since. I, however, have been looking for an opportunity to get rid of it.
When the file cabinet first graced our abode, it was painted what my husband calls OD (olive drab) green - like old army fatigues. To add to it's charm, it was covered in an assortment of free stickers - the kind that come in promotional mailings for things like the World Wildlife Federation and AAA - most of which had apparently bonded with the wood fibers at a molecular level making them nearly impossible to remove.
I hated it because it was big and ugly. He loved it because it was sturdy, it held tons of files, and it would cost a small fortune to replace it with something of equal quality and size. I couldn't refute his arguments, but that didn't stop me from plotting it's removal.
was disappointed with the results would be a gross understatement. Still, it was an improvement.
Fast forward another ten years to the present. Recently we have turned our basement bedroom into my office. As I considered furniture options for the new space, I felt certain the time had come to bid the file cabinet farewell. Of course, that isn't what happened.
When I showed my husband the furniture I had picked out for the new office he wanted to know why I was spending money on a file cabinet when we already owned one that was bigger and better (he left out ten times uglier). At first I was annoyed, but eventually I had to admit that he had a valid point. While the file cabinet I had picked out was lighter and much less bulky, it was also obviously of lesser quality.
The only thing to be done was the thing I had been avoiding for twenty years. I would have to transform the hated cabinet myself, so that is what I did.
What do you think? I painted the top and the trim white (which I already had on hand from another project). Then I painted the drawer fronts and the main body with chalkboard paint. I also replaced the drawer pulls. To be honest, it really wasn't that hard (except for the drawer pulls which didn't quite fit into the old holes...), and I have to confess - I kind of like it.