December is underway and for many people this means new items coming through the door. Holiday presents, hostess gifts, treats, crafts, decorations and more are all likely to make an appearance. While receiving new things is wonderful, figuring out where to put them can be stressful. In the classic Christmas song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the beloved recipient receives 364 gifts in total… talk about a storage challenge! Admittedly, few of us will have to accommodate such abundance. Still, even a few new pieces can put a strain on our space. The best way to avoid a post-holiday crunch is to act now to free up a bit of “breathing room” in drawers, closets, baskets, shelving units and cabinets.
Therefore, in the spirit of the song, I suggest you spend a few minutes over the next twelve days donating, trashing and/or recycling unwanted items. Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions…
12 Days of (Pre) Christmas De-Cluttering
Day 1: Shirts & sweaters
These are bulky, so if you can pull out even a couple, you will free up significant space.
Day 2: Shoes, boots, sandals, flip-flops
Now is the time to let go of any you haven’t worn in a while, as well as any that won’t fit next season.
Day 3: Toys
Toys are the #1 Christmas gift, so donate any that haven’t been a recent favorite.
Day 4: Ties
This is a classic gift for men, so shed a couple that haven’t gotten much wear.
Day 5: Dead/loose batteries
If you have some rolling around in a drawer, they may not work anymore. Pitch the loose ones, and stock up on the small batteries that may come in handy on Christmas morning.
Day 6: Arts and Crafts
Broken crayons, dried out markers, stubby pencils, abandoned craft kits… Santa often brings new art supplies, so feel free to pitch the old ones.
Day 7: Books
Books are not only great gifts, but are also are the ultimate re-usable. Pass on any that you don’t intend to read again.
Day 8: Food/snacks
Over a year we all accumulate some food that doesn’t get eaten. Before the holiday treats arrive, throw out anything expired, stale or unwanted. No guilt here… if nobody in the house wants it, let it go.
Day 9: Candles
Candles are meant to be burned. If you have some that are gathering dust or that have been only partially used, now is the time to light them up and enjoy them. After all, this is the season of light.
Day 10: Media
Video games you won’t play, DVDs you won’t watch again and CDs you never listen to are all candidates for donation.
Day 11: Perfume, soaps and lotions
People love giving the gift of fragrance, so clear out any old products you don’t like or won’t use.
Day 12: Socks
Believe it or not, socks are a common gift! Now is the time to pitch any socks that have holes or no mates.
Remember, the goal here is not to add more stress to an already crazy time of year. Keep it simple, spending no more than 5-10 minutes a day on each category. You are likely devoting a lot of energy to gift giving, so think of this as a gift you can give yourself. Nothing feels better than having a place to put everything away!
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What would you like to clear out before the holidays?
24 thoughts on “The 12 Days of (Pre) Christmas”
Love this and have quite a few items on my gifting and donating list. So definitely couldn’t agree more and thanks for the added suggestions, too. 😉
Janine Huldie recently posted…How to Afford Christmas When You Have No Money
I know you are very organized, Janine, so probably not too much work for you! Still, it always feels good to clear out some space. Wish such good girls, I bet Santa will bringing a couple of fun new toys:)
What a fun graphic, Seana! Your suggestions are fantastic because they are easily doable and will make such a positive difference. These categories can often be overlooked, but by spending just a small amount of attention on them, you’ll feel better, open up space, and create a place for the new gifts to go. One other simple area is the underwear drawer. Which pieces have seen better days or are never worn?
Linda Samuels recently posted…How to Improve Life Balance When Organizing Your Stuff
I have quite a few in the underwear drawer, and I KNOW my husband does. What is it with men and elastic bands? That was the goal of the post, Linda. Quick, easy, but worth it. It’s no fun to feel like gifts have created work in the challenge of where to put them. Better to clear up a bit beforehand. Hope you are having a wonderful December so far – stay tuned for cold weather coming!!
This is great, Seana! I love your suggestions and the way in which you presented them is so much fun!
Maybe something pinnable for this one? I figure people are busy at the holidays and need a quick visual:) Happy December, Diane!
I love this. Our arts and crafts situation is out of hand. And you’re right – Santa will bring new stuff!
Let it go, let it go, let it go:) (Trying to keep the holiday song theme going here…)
I recently donated a whole bunch of books right before Thanksgiving. I like to do this right before Thanksgiving because most likely people will be shopping Goodwill during the holidays.
Great list, Seana. I will be visiting all these areas this month. Thanks for the reminder.
What a great time of year to donate, Sabrina. I never thought of that, but you are so right! I think it just feels good to clear out a bit before Santa comes down the chimney. It feels great to be have the space to put new things away, right?
I’ve been letting go of sweaters, one at a time. Now that the colder weather is here, I’m pulling out things to wear and discovering quite a few that I really don’t want to wear anymore.
That’s where the donation box comes in so handy, right Janet? I’m sure you have one always on hand. That moment when we pull out clothing from a previous season is usually when we see it with fresh eyes… and maybe decide we just don’t like it anymore. Happy purging:)
I definitely do. And I’d never noticed that before, but you’re absolutely right.
As you might imagine I’m decluttering toys to make room for incoming gifts. And thanks for the reminder to stock up on batteries for Christmas morning!
Such a fun (if exhausting) stage to be clearing out toys for whatever Santa may bring!
I love this idea. When my children were small I would declutter their toys before they received new ones during the holidays.
I should have done more of this when my children were little. I am more aware now of how helpful it is to have some space to accommodate new toys. Not only that, but some perfectly good toys can be passed on to others, right?
Lo-ove this advent idea. I do a 31 days of 10-decluttering in January and this is a great warm up decluttering exercise.
I have done decluttering in January as well. I always do something for GO Month. I’m working on something a bit different this year, but I’m not sure if it will all come together – stay tuned!
Brilliant! It’s so important to declutter for the holidays!
Have worked with two clients this week on pre-Christmas decluttering. My client yesterday “rocked it” in letting go. I was so excited for her!
All days are packed. I also think about scheduling all days before Christmas. I will use this list as an inspiration to start with.
great list.. i am a big fan of decluttering.. selling on ebay, craigslist, facebook and the rest donating or throwing away. I am in a constant decluttering mode.
A constant decluttering mode is a wonderful way to operate, Hena! I am glad to hear you are having success selling items on various platforms.. that feels like a “win win” for everyone! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.