20 Things to Declutter Before the Holidays

declutter before the holidays

20 Things to Declutter Before the Holidays

Over the years, I have gotten pretty good at decluttering. Definitely not perfect. I also don’t consider myself a minimalist, but our home feels like us. I even keep a donation box going at all times so that anytime I find something we don’t need, I can toss it in the box.

However, clutter is a constant battle and seems to always creep in unannounced!

That’s why a few times each year, I like to spend an afternoon to do a pretty good declutter. One of those times, is before the holidays.

Knowing that more things are going to come into our home at Christmas, makes me especially excited to clear more space for those new things.

Want to join me in clearing some clutter before the holidays?

Here are 20 Things to Declutter Before the Holidays:

1. Toys

If you have kids or grandkids, take some time to declutter and donate/sell any of the toys that aren’t played with much anymore. Or even the ones that annoy you because they simply get scattered, but don’t necessarily get played with.

2. Christmas décor

Right before the holidays is a great time to donate all your unwanted Christmas décor. People are on the hunt for new stuff and donation centers will gladly accept it.

I personally, like to be able to fit all my Christmas décor into two large plastic bins. Except for the Christmas tree and our wreath. So if everything we have doesn’t fit, I pick my least favorites to donate.

3. Gift Wrap & Gift Bags

Go through your wrapping paper, gift bags and all your wrapping supplies to tidy things up so you’re all ready for a new gift wrapping season. Recycle all the crumpled, tiny bits of paper that aren’t useful. Take inventory and add things to your shopping list that you may need.

If you have rolls of wrapping paper you know you won’t use, try giving it away on a local Buy Nothing Facebook page. You’ll make someone very happy!

4. Baking pans, etc.

It is so much more enjoyable to do holiday baking when you have just what you need. Do yourself a favour and donate all the extra baking pans, cookie sheets, rolling pins, etc, that you don’t need. You will be so much more efficient in the kitchen when you don’t have to dig around for the things you actually use.

Tip: Instead of donating your extras to a donation center, why not gift them to a friend or family member? This could make a thrifty but thoughtful gift idea if you package it up nicely with some baked goods or something!

5. Baking supplies

When I say baking supplies, I mean your food stuff. Toss anything that has expired or gone rancid. This is also a great time to take inventory. Mark down anything you know you will be needing to complete your holiday baking or cooking.

6. Mugs

In our family, we have special Christmas mugs. They stay in our Christmas bin all year until I decorate. Then I add them to our cupboard. At this time, I always take a look at the mugs and cups we have and donate the ones that are rarely used.

7. Fridge & Freezer

If you do a lot of cooking during the holidays, then you likely will also be storing a lot of leftovers or extra things in your fridge and freezer. Do yourself a favor and go ahead and declutter the food in your fridge and freezer. You’ll be so thankful for the extra space.

Give the fridge and the freezer a wipe down too while everything is out.

8. Jackets

With kids constantly growing, I always find jackets and snow pants that are one (or even two!) sizes too small when late fall rolls around. Sometimes I even find jackets that haven’t been worn in ages by my husband and I.

If the jackets and pants are still in good condition, I like to sell them on Facebook marketplace to recoup some of the cost. My oldest daughter’s stuff gets put away until my youngest daughter fits them.

9. Hats, gloves, scarves

We recently had our first snowfall of the season so as I was going though our winter gear, I discovered that my mitts are falling apart! Now I know that I will need some soon!

Of course, I also found too small and hardly worn items in my kids stuff as well. Off for donation!

10. Boots and Shoes

Boots and shoes take up a lot of room. Go though and declutter the ones that don’t fit and rarely get worn. Put away any summer shoes until the weather warms up to make room for the bulkier boots.

11. Pajamas

Put away the summer pajamas and throw in the winter pajamas. Take some time to determine which ones don’t fit, which ones are falling apart and which ones don’t ever get worn. Donate or toss depending on condition.

12. Clothes

I’m a practical gift giver (with a side of fun), so before the holidays I like to do an inventory of my daughters’ clothes to make a list of clothes they need. I will then wrap them up and give them as gifts at Christmas!

Same idea with my clothes and my husband’s clothes. I’ll donate the things that never get worn and gift the new items. (Moms, I know I’m not alone in buying my own gifts! haha!)

13. Candles

If you’ve got a bunch of mostly burned candles taking up space, before the holidays is a great time to toss them. Or, melt similar scents together to create a new candle to enjoy!

14. Bathroom items

Over the holidays, you may be welcoming guests into your home. They will surely be using the bathrooms. Is there anything in your drawers or cupboards that you will be embarrassed about if they saw? Declutter those things.

Tip: If you have travel sized items, now would be a great time to put a little basket together for guests to use!

15. Lotions, soaps, etc.

Lotions and soaps and the likes are popular gifts at the holidays. Now is a great time to declutter the mostly empty items and to take inventory of what you will be needing.

16. Paper clutter

It’s the end of the year. It’s a great time to finally go through those paper piles. If you haven’t needed something in the last year, it’s time to let it go. Keep the special things and the tax documents, but the rest can go. Ahhhh.

17. Towels

Declutter the towels you never use and turn the threadbare ones into rags. If you find you are in need of new towels after that, they could be a great gift for someone to get you!

18. Table Cloths

I don’t have may table cloths, but the ones I do have are mostly used at Christmas. Every year I assess my small collection and donate the ones that I don’t particularly care for anymore.

Also, if you have changed your table during the year, maybe all your table cloths don’t fit your new table any longer. Time to let those go!

19. Bed linens

Before the holidays is a great time to go through your bed linens. It will ensure you have enough for each bed if you are expecting guests. You may also discover that you have a lot of extras that you don’t need. Clear space in your linen closet so it feels good and not overwhelming.

20. Gifts you never used

Gifts are tricky. You may feel guilty giving away something that was given to you, but if it requires using valuable storage space in your home and you just won’t use it, then it’s time to let go. Don’t let the guilt talk you into keeping it. Someone else is sure to love it even more than you.

There you have it! 20 things to declutter before the holidays. What are you going to start with? Or which one is going to be the hardest? Remember, always start small. You’ve got this!

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