December is underway and for many people this means new items coming through the door. Holiday presents, hostess gifts, treats, crafts, decorations and more are all likely to make an appearance. While receiving new things is wonderful, figuring out where to put them can be stressful. In the classic Christmas song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the beloved recipient receives 364 gifts in total… talk about a storage challenge! Admittedly, few of us will have to accommodate such abundance. Still, even a few new pieces can put a strain on our space. The best way to avoid a post-holiday crunch is to act now to free up a bit of “breathing room” in drawers, closets, baskets, shelving units and cabinets.
Therefore, in the spirit of the song, I suggest you spend a few minutes over the next twelve days donating, trashing and/or recycling unwanted items. Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions…
12 Days of (Pre) Christmas De-Cluttering
Day 1: Shirts & sweaters
These are bulky, so if you can pull out even a couple, you will free up significant space.
Day 2: Shoes, boots, sandals, flip-flops
Now is the time to let go of any you haven’t worn in a while, as well as any that won’t fit next season.
Day 3: Toys
Toys are the #1 Christmas gift, so donate any that haven’t been a recent favorite.
Day 4: Ties
This is a classic gift for men, so shed a couple that haven’t gotten much wear.
Day 5: Dead/loose batteries
If you have some rolling around in a drawer, they may not work anymore. Pitch the loose ones, and stock up on the small batteries that may come in handy on Christmas morning.
Day 6: Arts and Crafts
Broken crayons, dried out markers, stubby pencils, abandoned craft kits… Santa often brings new art supplies, so feel free to pitch the old ones.
Day 7: Books
Books are not only great gifts, but are also are the ultimate re-usable. Pass on any that you don’t intend to read again.
Day 8: Food/snacks
Over a year we all accumulate some food that doesn’t get eaten. Before the holiday treats arrive, throw out anything expired, stale or unwanted. No guilt here… if nobody in the house wants it, let it go.
Day 9: Candles
Candles are meant to be burned. If you have some that are gathering dust or that have been only partially used, now is the time to light them up and enjoy them. After all, this is the season of light.
Day 10: Media
Video games you won’t play, DVDs you won’t watch again and CDs you never listen to are all candidates for donation.
Day 11: Perfume, soaps and lotions
People love giving the gift of fragrance, so clear out any old products you don’t like or won’t use.
Day 12: Socks
Believe it or not, socks are a common gift! Now is the time to pitch any socks that have holes or no mates.
Remember, the goal here is not to add more stress to an already crazy time of year. Keep it simple, spending no more than 5-10 minutes a day on each category. You are likely devoting a lot of energy to gift giving, so think of this as a gift you can give yourself. Nothing feels better than having a place to put everything away!
* * * * *
What would you like to clear out before the holidays?