Organize & Clean

10 Tips for Cutting Down on Clutter This Holiday Season

published Dec 7, 2014
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(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Along with the warm and fuzzy feelings and seasons greetings, the holidays can also spell clutter. Our homes can get taken over by gift wrapping supplies, holiday decor and more. And while the tips in this post won’t eliminate all holiday clutter, they might help you cut back around the house (as well as even help cut back on the clutter in other people’s homes).

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1. Give (and ask for) consumables

Unless you know the person very well and know they have a specific object on their gift wish list, opt for consumable gifts you make and buy to give this holiday season. It’s a nice thought that won’t permanently add to someone’s household inventory. And if folks ask what you’re looking for, ask for consumables, too, so any gifts you receive are only sticking around your home temporarily.

2. Get digital with your holiday cards

Instead of sending traditional holiday cards that might add to someone’s home clutter (however lovely or thoughtful a holiday card you’re sending might be), go digital. It won’t keep you from receiving holiday cards, but it might inspire someone else to go card clutter-free! And instead of displaying all the traditional holiday cards you do receive, consider digitizing the collection and display them all in a much more compact, clutter-free way.

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

3. Lean on live greenery

Infuse your space with the live plants that make up the season, like a live tree, live garlands, branches and even poinsettias, mixing with other types of decor. That way you won’t have to have quite so much decoration to store the rest of the year. They’ll either be temporary or you can use them around the house or outside later. And they’ll bring lovely seasonal smells to your home as well.

4. Decorate with simple table settings

Beautiful plates with Christmas decor and Christmas tree-shaped glasses are undoubtedly festive, but unnecessary. A simple set of dinnerware and tablecloth can be mixed with colorful food and natural elements to make for a perfectly beautiful spread.

5. Use decor you might use again

Red and green pillows, for example, could be used together during the holidays to evoke a Christmas feel, but used separately at other times of the year. While a string of colorful lights is certainly festive, a string of white lights is a classic look that could fit into other parts of the house all year long.

6. Reuse for wrapping

Wrapping paper seems to get cuter and cuter, but it’s not necessary to go out and buy lots of rolls and ribbons for wrapping your gifts! (Which will mean you won’t have a need for a whole gift wrapping closet or room!). Get creative to reuse material for wrapping and enjoy the idea of every present looking perfectly unique!

7. One gift in, one old thing out

For every gift you get, donate something else you have already (preferably a similar object like what you received). It’s a simple way to stay on top of the new stuff that might be coming into your home this year and make any future decluttering sessions just a little bit easier.

(Image credit: Reagen Taylor)

8. Make room now for guests’ overnight supplies

Folks in small spaces won’t find this to be an easy task, but attempt to carve out a little space in a closet for the luggage and items of any overnight guests you’ll be entertaining this holiday season. Though their stuff is only temporary, the mix of more people and suitcases in sight can make a space feel more cluttered than is and add to holiday season stress.

9. Don’t buy things just to impress guests

If you catch yourself at a store about to buy something for home that you think will impress any upcoming guests, stop and reevaluate your purchase. Guests are coming to see you! Only add things you actually need this holiday season, not stuff you think you need.

10. Work with what you’ve got

While it might be tempting to replenish the craft supplies come Christmas time, try instead getting creative with the craft supplies you already have to save money and space.

Re-edited from a post originally published 12.4.2014 – TW