There are so many things to love about the holidays: time with friends and loved ones, the spirit of giving and generosity, cozy places and twinkly lights.
But the holidays can also be stressful. We’re faced with an influx of stuff and to-do lists into our already full homes and calendars. This is why we all need to set aside some time for a pre-holiday purge. It doesn’t have to take long. In fact, I think you can make a ton of progress in just one weekend. But where to start? Here are my best tips:
Start With These Four Hot Spots in Your Pre-Holiday Purge:
Declutter Toys ASAP
If you have kids, toys should top the list for your pre-holiday purge. Take a few hours to go through everything and get rid of any toys that are broken, outgrown, or not regularly used. If your kids are a little bit older, include them in the process – help them to gather gently used or like new toys that they no longer play with and go together to donate them to a shelter or charity for kids who would truly use and appreciate them. This is a great way to help your kids grow in generosity and be less selfish – along with of course making room for the new toys that you know that they’re going to get this holiday season.
Related: How to Prep for Decluttering
Purge Your Pantry and Fridge.
This is the perfect time to purge your refrigerator and pantry, before they get filled up with baking supplies and holiday goodies! It might sound overwhelming, but if you’re focused it won’t take as long as you might think! Go through your condiments and toss anything that’s expired. Check your spices and make sure they are fresh, get rid of and replace anything that isn’t. Go through the fridge and freezer and use up or toss anything that’s been there for awhile. Take a few minutes to wipe down and organize as you go – you’ll never regret starting your holiday cooking and baking with a clean space and organized shelves.
Recommended: How to Organize Your Fridge from My Sweet Home Life
Organize Your Drop Zones.
These are the places where everybody dumps incoming mail, homework, and everything else that doesn’t have a place in your home. This only gets worse during the holidays. Take an hour or so to clean them out now, and make a plan for incoming cards and catalogues, invites, shopping receipts, etc.
Recommended: Drop Zone Organizing Ideas from Organizing Moms
Last but not least consider doing a pre-holiday purge of your schedule. Set aside an afternoon to evaluate and review your calendar and commitments. Is there anything that you can get rid of from your daily to do list? Are you committing time to things that no longer fit your goals or budget? Is there anything you can consolidate to free up more room on your calendar?
Look for ways to leave blank space on your calendar during the holiday season.
You’ll reduce stress and make time for the most important things and people in your life. Try a house cleaning service or have your groceries delivered. Freeing up time is one of the best gifts you can give yourself this holiday season, and it’s the most important step in your pre-holiday purge. For more on that, I highly recommend this post from The Art of Simple.