December Decluttering & Organizing Tips

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December is a crazy time of year. There’s more coming in than going out as you shop for food, toys, and clothing for the holiday season. There’s a ton of concerts, events, and parties — leaving you little to no extra time to maintain order. I got you. There’s not much extra time for things like cleaning and organizing, but investing the time in doing a few simple tasks can help save you from a headache later. Here are a few simple December decluttering and organizing tips you can quickly incorporate into your hectic month.

December is a hectic time -- but making an effort to declutter and organize will help it go smoother.

December Decluttering

With all the new items about to make an appearance under the Christmas Tree, decluttering a bit before the big day is helpful!

Donate Toys

Have kids fill a box of toys that they no longer play with (At our house, Santa takes them with him after leaving gifts). Even the most reluctant declutter-ers can’t resist the idea of making space for new treasures Santa is sure to bring.

Sometimes ask the kids to fill a bag for Santa to take. Other times I put a big box in the foyer and ask my kids to work together to fill it up. Catching them at the right time is key.

Evaluate Holiday Decor

As you’re taking out and packing away your holiday decorations and décor, make sure you love everything you’re keeping. Many times, we keep things out of habit. We don’t even look at an item to make sure we still get joy from it. Keep what you love, let go of the rest.

My fall decor decluttering tips still apply to Christmas and winter items!

Clean Out Wrapping Supplies

As with the holiday décor, go through the wrapping paper you haven’t touched in a year. Make sure the paper is in good shape and you like the pattern. Toss any smashed bows or sticky labels that have lost their stick. Many churches, schools, and charitable organization that host gift collections will take paper donations!

Related Reading: Gift Wrap Storage Solutions

December Decluttering and Organizing: Check your gift wrap
Photo: Forever Organized

Avoiding Clutter for Others

While we often think about incoming clutter, it rarely occurs to us that the people to whom we’re gifting items may be GETTING clutter from us. We could be making them uncomfortable or causing feelings of guilt if the person doesn’t want what we’ve given.

Think about teachers. Yes, you are thoughtful for giving them (another) mug, but do they REALLY want it?

Gift Consumables

If you have someone on your list that you KNOW wants that THING, get it. If you’re shopping for someone and you aren’t sure what they want—give gift cards, a special snack, or experience instead of potential clutter. No one needs another mug. An umbrella? No thanks. A candle? Come on. If you’re just shopping to shop and spending money out of obligation, please stop.  

Every teacher I know would rather receive a cup of coffee or a candy bar instead of a mug or candle — although I promise they’re grateful for the consideration either way.

Read More: Best Consumable Gifts for Any Budget

Chip In

Go in on a gift with others to get one larger, more expensive gift. Students in a class can chip in on a gift for the teacher. Neighbors can chip in on a gift for the mail carrier. Office workers can chip in on a gift for the administrative assistant.

10 people chipping in $10 means one $100 gift instead of 10 clutter-y ones!

December Organizing

As with decluttering, organizing really can’t take center stage in December. There’s just too much going on. You can, however, do small simple tasks that will set you up for an easier time now AND an easier time when you can organize.

Consider Storage Solutions Now

When purchasing toys or gifts, also consider how these items will be stored. If you don’t have a suitable solution in place, grab a hook, a bin, mesh zipper pouches, a rack, or a shelf to put the toys or items in.

This is especially important for toys with lots of pieces like Lego sets or Barbie.

Tackle the Squeaky (or Messy) Wheel

You know the saying “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”? Identify the squeaky wheel that’s adding to your stress and tackle it. Maybe it’s the utensil drawer you’ve opened 7 times today that keeps jamming? How about that pile of shoes in front of the door you keep tripping over but not tidying up? Take a minute and fix those spaces.

There’s no time for in-depth organizing, but taking care of little spots that frustrate you will help.

Meal Plan

December Organizing Tip: Meal Plan to make evenings smoother.

Busy nights and busy days don’t leave a lot of time or creativity for culinary masterpieces. Take a few minutes to sit down and plan our meals for the rest of the month. Schedule an online grocery order and swing by to grab your food. Here’s how I plan 30 meals in just minutes.

While you may feel like you don’t have time for this, doing it now will actually save a lot of time later on. I’ve never NOT been grateful that I’ve got a meal plan.

Update Christmas Card Lists

As new cards arrive in the mail, update the list of whom you send cards to. Who on your list has moved? Is there anyone on your list that no longer sends you a card? How about someone you feel is no longer a part of your plan (as sad as this is, it’s also healthy to remove people from your life if they bring bad feeling and negativity to it). Skipping cards this year? Good. Do what keeps you sane, not what stresses you out.

Brain Dump

Still feeling overwhelmed? Try a good old-fashioned brain dump. There’s something cathartic about taking a minute and writing a massive list in your angriest writing on an unsuspecting piece of paper. Transforming your mental list into a physical list allows you to breathe and process. Here’s how I brain dump.

Declutter your thoughts this December!

December Decluttering & Organizing Tasks & Tips

No one’s got time for a giant organization project in December (that’s what January and the Less Mess Challenge are for, right?!?) but completing these tasks throughout the course of the month will help control the chaos of Christmas while still allowing you to enjoy the holiday season.

Simple December decluttering and organizing tips you can quickly incorporate into your hectic month to make January that much calmer.

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