If you will be entertaining guests for any of the upcoming holidays, this is a blog post you’ll want to bookmark for easy reference! The holidays are such a special time for enjoying each other’s company and holding our loved ones extra close… and a clutter-free space can make all the difference in how fully we enjoy this season.
After all, preparing your home for friends and family is about more than decorating and freshening up your linens — it’s also about decluttering and organizing. In fact, many clients tell me they are embarrassed to entertain because of the clutter in their homes. If that’s your situation, it’s not too late.
Today’s simple, actionable tips will help you create a space that makes you proud and puts your guests instantly at ease.
Step 1: Believe in the Pre-Holiday Purge
There are several benefits of starting your decluttering journey with a pre-holiday purge, and once you’re mentally “all in,” you’ll find the process much more enjoyable.
First, a pre-holiday purge can build momentum and motivation for you to continue to simplify your space and lifestyle post-holidays. Less stuff means less stress, and that’s always a good thing! (Hello, New Year’s resolution.)
This time of year also offers you and your family a great opportunity to purge and GIVE to charity. The holidays are all about giving, and many items in the home can be repurposed and/or donated to people who would love to enjoy them.
Step 2: Dedicate a Temporary Holding Zone
Whether or not you have time to do a deep decluttering, pick a space that can be your temporary holding zone, such as the basement. You’ll want large bins available to hold similar items, which you should label to save yourself the headache of digging through them later.
When you’re ready to do a deep purge, you’ll be able to revisit these bins and make final decisions to keep and/or organize however you like. The important part is that, for now, these items are out of the public eye and not holding you back from proudly enjoying and entertaining in your home.
Step 3: Divide Your Decluttering Project into Manageable Chunks
No one eats the whole apple pie in one bite, and the same can be said for decluttering your home: a step at a time will do the trick. Choose one area of your home per week, add it to your schedule, and commit to getting it done.
To make it even more fun, turn the process into a game, play some motivating music, or do it as a family. Rewards are great incentives, such as a movie night or some quality time together to celebrate the successful purge!
Step 4: Work in Layers
When the time comes, go through each room with two garbage bags: one for donations, one for trash. A great strategy is to approach the room in layers:
- Clear counters of paper, mail, and magazines
- Declutter bookshelves, tables, and corners of forgotten toys or clothing
- Anything else immediately visible in the room
- Clean out drawers stuffed with odds and ends or gadgets that are never used
- Purge pantries and refrigerators of expired food or seasonal products (like those Halloween plates you won’t be using for another 11 months!)
- Remove summer clothing and shoes from closets
Step 5: Invest in Storage Pieces if You Need To
If your “clutter” includes items your family truly does use every day or week (such as toys, mail openers, kitchen gadgets, etc.), invest in storage pieces. By storage pieces, I mean closed cabinetry, coffee tables with drawers, toy boxes, etc.
You’ll want to be selective about what you store in these pieces (otherwise, you’re just moving the clutter to a new location), but it is certainly a viable solution for having the organized, clutter-free home you can’t wait to entertain in!
I hope these steps bring you closer to the home you’re proud of and can’t wait to share with friends and family.
If you’re eager for help with your pre-holiday purge and you’re in the northern Chicago area, I would also love to support you in person. Just be sure to reach out ASAP because the holidays will be here before we know it!