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

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 no longer bring you happiness, 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 really is an important step. Without the follow thru, you are only moving around your clutter instead of purging it.

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

Step 4: Think about what the holiday season means to you. What old traditions will you be celebrating and do you want to create any new ones? It is suppose 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 get across to family and friends that gift giving will be different this year. You are trying to cut down on the clutter in your home. Ask and give experiences in the form of museum passes, movie tickets, and restaurant gifts cards. These gifts take up minimal space.

Step 6: While shopping this holiday season for non-gift items (aka 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 that you can enjoy not only this upcoming holiday season but also allow you to return your home to an organized state a lot quicker.

 

About Gabriela Burgman

Gabriela’s mission is to empower her clients with the tools and motivation they need to get and stay organized. Prior to becoming a Professional Organizer, Gabriela worked in a photograph archive as well as several university archives, assisting offices, administrators, and retiring academics to sort through their files for preservation or disposal. She became a professional organizer in 2007 working as an independent consultant before joining Living Peace. When Gabriela is not learning new ways to organize photos or paper both physically and electronically, she is spending time on what matters most to her: visiting with family and friends, reading a good mystery book, or cooking a tasty meal.

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