In this post: Learn 5 ways to make a clutter free Christmas that’s something the whole family can look forward to.
I opened the door and there it was: another shipment of packages.
“Ugh,” I muttered under my breath. It was only December 2nd and already the flood of gifts had started to rush into my house.
Let me state for the record that getting gifts and having the resources to give gifts is a stinkin’ blessing, and one that I am so grateful for.
But you know what else? I’m a reformed hoarder. I’m someone who could spend hours going through stuff and not get rid of a single thing.
Because parting with clutter (even stuff I logically know I don’t need) is something I struggle with. And even though I’ve been able to get rid of 70% of my stuff over the past 6 years, clutter is still really difficult for me to deal with.
You might be in the same predicament. You’re sick of the chaos in your home and with Christmas coming up, you’re starting to dread the idea of your home filling up with even more stuff.
So you take to Pinterest, looking for ideas to create a clutter free Christmas, but they’re just…so…boooooring.
I got you, friend. In this post, I’m going to give you 5 things you can do to create a clutter free Christmas (or at the very least, cut down on the amount of useless clutter that is forgotten about by Valentine’s Day).
#1: Give the Gift of Experiences
Sure, giving physical gifts can be fun, and I have no problem with that. The problem comes when we only focus on physical gifts and thus, we’re overwhelmed by the gift clutter than ascends upon our homes.
Instead of solely focusing on physical gifts (toys, books, clothes, games, etc.), branch out a little bit.
One great way to do that is to give the gift of an experience.
Here are some ideas for experience gifts:
- Start a new tradition where you do something really special with your kids, like snuggle in front of the fire (whether it’s real or on the TV screen) and drink hot chocolate.
- Buy a ticket to the zoo, to be used later.
- Give a coupon for quality time to be used later.
- Give a coupon for a favor to be done, like a chore.
- Go out to eat, or
- Make a special meal at home.
- Find a DIY blog post or video and learn to do something new together.
You get the idea. The point is to pick something out of the ordinary that’s still a lot of fun to do. The internet is full of ideas for DIY projects. You could make a craft together, learn a new dance, or learn to code.
(Check out Scratch & Scratch Jr. which are free programs kids can use to learn to code.)
#2: Don’t Go Overkill on the Decorations
I love the warmth that Christma decorations bring to a home in the cold and dark of winter. They brighten up the space and make the cold weather feel a little less dreary.
However…you don’t have to have bins upon bins to make your home feel festive.
Obviously, the definition of festive will change from person to person, so it’s really up to you how many Christmas decorations you want to have.
My mom has loved Christmas and its decorations since she was a little girl. When I was growing up, every room had it’s own set of decorations. Our home was decked out to the max, complete with 2 real Christmas trees and 2 fake ones (yes…full size).
While this might be too much for many people, my mom LOVED it!
And honestly, isn’t that what having things is about? It’s not about who can have the least or who takes the least amount of time to clean up.
Having a clutter free Christmas is not a competition.
Rather that focus on how many Christmas decorations you have, focus on how many is the right amount for you.
In our home, that means a full size fake Christmas tree, and 3 bins filled with ornaments, a couple of mangers and some wreathes. We don’t have a lot, but it’s enough for me.
When to Declutter Christmas Decorations:
I recommend you assess your Christams decorations at two times: when you put up the decorations and when you take them down.
When you put up the decorations, get rid of anything you don’t want to put up. If you plan on being in the same home (or similar) next Christmas, there’s really no need to keep Christmas decorations you don’t use.
When you take down decorations, ask yourself which decorations may be broken, ugly or past their prime. Throw these out.
Are there any decorations that were more hassle than they were worth? Maybe they took too long to put together or they scattered sparkles everywhere (that you’ll be finding for months ✨).
#3: Declutter Before Christmas
One of the easiest ways to create a clutter free Christmas is to do a decluttering session before the big day.
This is especially helpful with toys. Don’t get me wrong. I’m extremely grateful we have family who love our kids and have the means to shower them with gifts at Christmas.
Seeing the flood of packages start to arrive at the beginning of December makes me anxious…and here’s why: I struggle with clutter. Making decisions about what to keep and what to let go of is so hard for me.
So, to feel like a rush of toys is flooding through my door just when I feel like I’m finally getting a handle on the chaos, it’s like trying to shovel snow in the middle of a storm.
That’s why I’ve gotten in the habit of going through and decluttering right before Christmas. It helps to clear space for new things to enter our home…and it greatly cuts down on the anxiety.
Here are some articles about decluttering toys that you might be interested in:
- What to do if you’re overwhelmed by too many toys
- What to do with old toys
- How to choose how many toys your child needs
#4: Be intentional with the gifts you buy
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I go overkill on buying gifts for my kids. Maybe it’s because toys are getting cheaper and cheaper. Maybe it’s because I’m really hard on myself as a mom and try to make up for my misgivings by buying too much stuff.
Whatever the case, it can be really easy to buy a few things here and there, shove them in the closet, then be shocked by how much stuff I bought once it’s all wrapped and under the tree.
It can help to write a list ahead of time and then intentionally buy the gifts that would be cherished the most.
What do your loved ones really want? What is something they would use all year (and hopefully for years to come) and love every second of it?
They probably don’t need another scarf (…or maybe they do…if scarves are their jam!)
Be intentional and thoughtful and do your best to pick something that will stand the test of time. I know this can be hard because we all have people in our lives that are impossible to buy for.
You don’t have get the “perfect” gift (because perfection doesn’t exist, it’s a myth) but doing a little bit of tought and research can go a long way.
#5: Give yourself grace
I get it. You’re overwhelmed by a messy house and looking for ways to create a clutter free Christmas.
But you know what else? It’s okay to give yourself (and your family) grace and lean in to the chaos a little bit.
If your home fills up with even more stuff for a few months, it’s temporary. The extra amount of stuff doesn’t have to last forever.
It’s okay to give yourself a break and not hold yourself to such a high standard. While I’m a big proponent of the power of decluttering, I also know that a messy home means nothing about you.
A messy home doesn’t mean you’re lazy or that you don’t care. It doesn’t mean that your kids will grow up to be hoarders. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom.
A messy home is just the result of your habits (the things you do on a daily basis) and that’s great news, because habits can change.
Christmas might bring in more stuff and set you back a little bit on your decluttering journey. Keep focused on the long term game. There are ups and downs on this journey (because let’s face it, just like losing weight or getting out of debt, ridding your home of clutter is HARD).
Extra clutter at Christmas might set you back a little bit, but don’t let it derail your progress.
You are doing amazing things and I believe in you. You got this!