Decluttering for the Holidays

This time of year feels so full. It’s barely cooled down enough to put up the fall decor when we’re tossed right into the holiday season. Between getting the lights up and all the decor out and getting a head-start on all of the shopping, my life and home can feel a bit out of control. 

This year, I’m getting a handle on the holiday crazy by getting my house in order before the holidays arrive. 

Clutter is a state of mind.

When my house feels cluttered, my mind is cluttered and overwhelmed too. It’s tough to get into the holiday spirit when I’m grumpy and barking orders for everyone to pick up their junk.

So before I bring out any of the holiday decorations or buy a single gift, I spend some time decluttering my home to prepare for a joyful holiday season. 

I’ll repurpose what I can, toss the junk, and donate items that still have life.

Here’s where I’ll start:  

1. Closets

I think it’s finally safe to say that we can stow away the summer gear and bring out the fall and “winter” apparel. We are a family of five, so this can be a big chore. I go through each person’s closet to find what we can pare down, including: 

  • out-of-season clothes
  • clothes children have outgrown 
  • lone socks (pro tip: save them to make sock puppets on a cold winter day)
  • clothes with stains 
  • old shoes 
  • unneeded hats and scarves 

2. Toys 

Most of us could probably stand to declutter the playroom and sort through our children’s toys at least once a year. We drastically reduced the amount of toys in our house a few years ago, but somehow they still find their way in. 

When going through kids’ toys, you can easily declutter: 

  • broken toys 
  • annoying toys 
  • toys your child has outgrown 
  • duplicate toys 

3. Personal Care Products 

The holidays are prime time for little gifts meant to pamper you as a mom, but they often take up permanent residence under the bathroom sink. Take some time to clear out your toiletries stash so that you can actually enjoy the things you keep. You might want to go through: 

  • makeup & makeup brushes 
  • lotions
  • essential oils 
  • bath products 
  • expired medicine 
  • old toothbrushes 
  • hair brushes 
  • hair accessories 
  • nail polish 

4. Kitchen Items 

The kitchen is the heart of the home. Around here, the kitchen is on overdrive during the holidays between all of the holiday meals and sweet treats to give as gifts. Go through kitchen drawers and cabinets to see what you might be able to throw out or donate: 

  • storage containers and lids without matches 
  • expired spices and pantry items 
  • unused serving pieces 
  • canned goods you’ll never use
  • expired or unidentifiable condiments in the refrigerator 
  • decor and knick-knacks on the counter 
  • cookbooks 

5. The Junk Drawer 

The state of my junk drawer accurately reflects the state of my life. Let’s get a handle on it before the holidays are in full force. Consider finding a home for items in your junk drawer or tossing odds and ends like: 

  • old batteries 
  • loose coins 
  • pens that don’t work 
  • expired coupons 
  • junk mail 
  • receipts 

6. Holiday Decor 

Pulling out the holiday decor is the perfect opportunity for decluttering those holiday items that have served their purpose: 

  • broken ornaments 
  • tacky or outdated decorations 
  • old Christmas cards 
  • outgrown holiday clothing 
  • extra stockings 
  • broken Christmas lights 
  • holiday books your children have outgrown 

It’s amazing how good it feels to let go of things that are no longer serving a purpose. With a clean slate, let the holiday season begin!  

Meghann is a mom of three little ones, proud lefty, and unexpected country dweller who lives in the Texas Hill Country on 6.5 acres with too many animals to count. Meghann is the creator of Rooted Childhood, a resource to inspire families with young children to create and connect through meaningful, seasonally inspired activities. She can be found online at