The holiday season is often filled with stress and no rest, and getting your house ready for Christmas by decluttering and cleaning is no easy feat. Here are 31 things to declutter before Christmas hits.

Finding somewhere to put those items that no longer have a place in your home five minutes before guests show up for Christmas dinner while you’re burning the gravy is not exactly an ideal scenario.

Use this list of 31 things to declutter before Christmas to help your home be tidy and clutter-free with more room for your guests to enjoy themselves. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself that you decided to declutter before Christmas.

Start now, months before Christmas, so you have one more thing checked off your mile-long Christmas to-do list.

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Too Much Storage is a Bad Thing

Finding more storage to keep items stored away and out of the way may make your house look decluttered to the blind eye, but you know better.

The weight of keeping things around that aren’t serving a purpose in your life will still be on your shoulders.

Don’t spend your time trying to find more storage for your belongings, instead spend that time decluttering the things you no longer need and give them a new home, whether that be in the trash (for things far past their prime), or at a donation center (so someone else can put that object to good use rather than it collecting dust in your home).

How to Declutter When You Don’t Want to Get Rid of Anything

A few reasons why people struggle to get rid of clutter are:

  • It’s sentimental/holds a memory
  • It was expensive
  • Fear of needing it one day

It’s sentimental/holds a memory

One way to conquer this all-too-common decluttering problem of getting rid of an object that is sentimental and holds a memory is to take a picture of it. Most times, it isn’t the object itself which contains the memory, but instead simply looking at it sparks the emotion. Taking a photo of the item will allow you to always cherish that memory any time you come across the photo without needing to find somewhere to store the item itself.

It was expensive

If the reason you aren’t willing to declutter something is because it was expensive, it’s time to count this as a lesson for the future (really consider whether or not you need something before making a big purchase) and get rid of it. It’s not doing you any good sitting unused in a box, or wherever it may be. In fact, it’s costing you valuable storage space for something that is no longer useful.

Fear of needing it one day

For the fear of getting rid of something only to need it again one day… well, that’s just a chance you’ll have to take. No one knows what the future holds, but what you do know is that you’ve been storing certain items with them going untouched for a very long time and it’s creating more work for you by: taking up valuable storage space in your home, creating more work when it comes to cleaning, and causing clutter-induced stress that you may not even realize is there until you get rid of the clutter in your house.

31 Things to Declutter Before Christmas

Here is a quick list of 31 things to declutter this winter to get you started decluttering. And once you start, it may be hard to stop – so watch out house, it’s time for a thorough decluttering.

It may be tempting to tackle decluttering your entire house right now. Which, if you have been keeping up on decluttering throughout the year, is a good option. However, if your house is pretty packed full with clutter, right before the holidays is not time to take on a whole-house overhaul. Instead, focus on areas that the guests will be in. Keep those rooms decluttered and organized and you will feel much more at ease.

Of course, if you have time after those key areas have been decluttered, there’s no harm in moving on to the other areas in your home. 

But first, here are 31 easy things to declutter before Christmas to have your house organized and ready for the holidays.

  1. The Coat Closet. Clear space in the coat closet so your guests have somewhere to store their jackets, shoes, and bags that’s out of the way.
  2. Toys. With older kids, include them in the process of picking out their favorite toys to keep, and then sorting through the rest of the toys to donate. With younger kids, th
  3. Shoes
  4. Decorations. During the process of taking down fall decorations and prepping to put up Christmas decorations is a perfect time to do some thorough decluttering of decorations and get rid of anything you no longer like or use.
  5. Summer/Fall Clothes. Now that you’ll be moving into warmer clothes for a few months, it’s the perfect time to get rid of summer and fall clothes that don’t get worn much, or at all.
  6. Serving dishes.
  7. Kitchen linens.
  8. The pantry.
  9. The fridge.
  10. Magazines, newspapers, flyers.
  11. Cards. Get rid of old cards to make space for this year’s cards.
  12. Kitchen appliances. Any small kitchen appliances that don’t get used enough to justify taking up cupboard space can go.
  13. Pens, pencils, markers. Go through your pens, pencils, and markers now so you don’t have to waste time finding pens that actually work when writing your Christmas cards.
  14. Decorative pillows.
  15. Games. Any games that are missing pieces or your family doesn’t enjoy can go.
  16. Medicine cabinet. The medicine cabinet is a great place to start decluttering.
  17. Cords, phone chargers, phone cases.
  18. User manuals.
  19. Mismatched socks.
  20. Vases.
  21. Plastic cutlery, take-out condiment packets.
  22. Jewelry.
  23. Hotel toiletries.
  24. Mugs
  25. Reusable water bottles
  26. Cookbooks. Chances are, you have your favorite few. Scan through the rest of your cookbooks and save any recipes that look good, then donate the books.
  27. Plastic food storage containers.
  28. Fitness equipment.
  29. Makeup.
  30. Yard equipment.
  31. Garage.

Now You Know What to Declutter, but How do You Start?

Be ruthless; it’s time to say goodbye.

When it comes down to it, if you don’t want to get rid of your belongings, there’s really no easy way to declutter. Instead, you’ll need to change the way you think about your items.

Rather than thinking of them as treasured belongings, think of them as exactly what they are: things.

Take a practical approach to decluttering. Ask yourself, “does this thing serve a purpose in my life anymore?” if the answer is no, either toss, recycle, or donate it.

(Seasonal items may not be necessary right now, but if they have been used in the past two years and will get used next time the appropriate season comes around again, they are worth keeping.)

Donate; let someone else use the thing that no longer serves a purpose in your life.

Rearrange furniture; make your room exactly what you want in a room by moving furniture around until you’re happy with how it looks. Once you move furniture around, your eyes may be opened to certain objects that no longer have a place in your home.

Keep rooms guests will be in spacious and uncluttered; focus on the decluttering the bathrooms, living room, kitchen, guest bedrooms, and dining room, and any other spaces that guests will be occupying, first.

Don’t strive for perfection; don’t stress yourself out trying to get your home perfect. Instead, think practically and try to get rid of items that no longer serve a purpose in your life.

How Can I Make My Christmas Clutter-Free?

Learning what things to declutter before Christmas, and then actually decluttering those things, is one of the most effective ways of having a clutter-free Christmas.

A few other things you can do are:

– Put Out Only The Decorations You Absolutely Love

…and then sort through the decorations that didn’t make the cut and donate most – if not all – of them for someone else to use.

When it comes to decorating a house and keeping it clutter-free, more times than not less is more.

Focus on using the Christmas decorations you love, and use those to make your house look festive, but don’t feel like you need to put out all the decorations. Start with just a few, and add a couple more until your house is to your liking. (If you don’t feel like your house will be “to your liking” unless all the decorations are out, challenge yourself to use only 2/3 of the decorations you would normally use.)

– Pack Up Some Toys

If you have kids, you know their toys can easily take over a room. To limit toy mess this holiday season, pack a chunk of the toys away and keep out only the toys they use most often.

The rest of the toys can come back out after Christmas, or you can keep them packed away and start implementing a toy rotation system to keep toys at bay.

As an added bonus, less toys can actually spark more creative play in children.

If packing toys away is a tough concept for your kids, if you have older kids, explain to them why you’re doing this and include them in the process of choosing a handful of toys to keep out, and then have them help you pack away the rest of the toys.

With younger kids, this may be easiest – and most tear-free – to do while they’re out of the house.

– Limit Gifts

Gifts and gift-giving is great… but who needs 15 new pairs of socks and 20 new toys?

If you’re truly striving after a clutter-free Christmas, try to limit the amount of gifts everyone gives and gets.

Things to Declutter Before Christmas

Now it’s your turn. I would love to know how you prepare for a clutter-free Christmas, and what things you like to declutter before Christmas comes around each and every year. Feel free to share your tips and thoughts in a comment below.