Seven ways to achieve clutter-free holidays

Mar 14, 2023
Natalie smiling at the camera with an open mouth, wearing a The Organized Aesthetic shirt

Alright y’all…where the heck did 2021 go?!

I can’t believe it’s already almost the holiday season. It truly feels like it was just yesterday that we were kissing 2020 goodbye!

I’m not too mad about it, though. I love this time of year. Give me all the crisp and cozy weather, time with family, and eating my weight in food!

With that said, a lot of times folks find the holiday season to be stressful. One major thing that contributes to that stress? CLUTTER. When you’re gearing up for gift shopping, hosting guests, cooking holiday classics, and so on, a cluttered home can ultimately hold you back.

So, how can you achieve clutter-free holidays? Follow along as I dive into seven of my best holiday organizing tips that’ll help you do just that!


#1 – Declutter as you decorate

I love Christmas décor as much as the next girl, but a lot of times we get so excited about decorating our homes that we buy a little too much of it. It’s important that we don’t let it pile up over time. To make this easy, I highly recommend decluttering as you go. When it’s time to whip out the decorations, if there are some that you don’t absolutely love when you take them out of the box, put them in a “sell” or “donate” pile. And yes, for those that are broken, please just toss them!


#2 – Declutter rooms your guests will be staying in

As a professional organizer, I promise I never judge your space, no matter what condition it’s in. However, oftentimes I still hear clients say they’re embarrassed about the current state of certain rooms in their home – especially guest rooms. If yours has become a “dumping ground” like so many others’, consider going through the items stored in there before you host out-of-town holiday guests. This will eliminate any embarrassment and make your visitors feel more at home!


#3 – Ask everyone to bring a dish

When you’re the one hosting, you often feel pressure when it comes to preparing a holiday meal. There are so many dishes to make, and barely enough room to store them all! Rather than buying out the grocery store only to ask your neighbor to borrow their refrigerator, I recommend simply asking your (local) guests to bring a dish! It gets everyone involved, some of your stress is alleviated, and your fridge and freezer can have some breathing room.


#4 – Do not buy gifts in bulk and hold on to them

Something I know a lot of people do is buy basic gift items (i.e. blankets, mugs, candles, etc.) when they’re on sale throughout the year and hold on to them for holidays and special occasions. I’m here to say…stop doing that! I know it can be tempting, but a lot of times you end up with a pile of items that just become clutter because you end up buying a more personal gift anyways. This is truly one of the easiest ways to achieve the clutter-free holidays you crave.


#5 – Opt for experience gifts

This is probably my favorite holiday organizing tip. I will forever be team experience gift over team material gift! Not only do experience gifts eliminate any sort of clutter, but they’re also just way more fun and meaningful than material items. I mean, take me to get a massage over a new serving dish any day! There are so many different experiences out there you can gift someone, and when you do it with them, it means even more. For recommendations, join my Facebook group to access my FREE clutter-free gift guide!


#6 – Determine a home right away for new gifts

Alright, say you’re on the receiving end of a gift rather than the giving end. And say your gift giver did not opt for an experience gift. That’s okay! If it’s something you love and will use, by all means, keep it. With that said, it’s imperative that you find a home for your new belonging right away. If you let it sit on the kitchen counter for weeks after the holiday, the odds it’ll become clutter are high. Place it with like items, and if you don’t have space for it, remember the “one in, one out” rule – a new item comes in, one must be sold/donated/tossed.


#7 – Don’t keep gifts you won’t use

My final holiday organizing tip? Do not feel obligated to keep gifts you won’t use. Your responsibility to the gift giver ends after you say “thank you.” Think about it – if you gave someone a material gift and found out it was just bogging them down, you’d feel terrible, wouldn’t you? Same goes for when you’re on the receiving end! No one’s intention when they give a loved one a gift is to add more stress to their life. And besides, something that doesn’t serve you might bring someone else a crazy amount of joy, whether that’s through a donation or sale.


And there you have it! Those are seven of my top tips for an easy, low-stress holiday season. Remember that you deserve clutter-free holidays, no matter which one(s) you celebrate. So make it happen for yourself!

Not sure how? You’re in luck! I offer power hours at an affordable price, and I bet you could benefit from one. You’ll leave with a concrete to-do list, an achievable timeline, and the motivation to hit the ground running! Read more about them here.


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