If you are anything like me, the clutter that has been piling up through the year may be weighing on you. And as a mom, I’m sure you’ve caught on that kid’s have a special knack for increasing the accumulation of things. I remember the Christmas that my twins turned one. I was already getting a suffocating feeling from the amount of things we had accumulated in that first year (I’m a minimalist, so maybe my feelings are a little exaggerated from most). I remember that moment I turned full-on Grinch and cleared out and donated 90% of their toys in the weeks prior to the holidays (their birthday and Christmas are in the same week). And you know what? It was liberating! I felt such a weight lifted. It was a great reset in advance of the ultimate stuff collector week of the year.
And so I have made it a practice of mine to declutter the house as a countdown to Christmas, and I am inviting you to join me in this challenge! I have also added 5 additional days of declutter to start up after Christmas to prep you for the New Year. If you choose to participate, feel free to share your progress with the hashtag #25daysofChristmasdeclutter.
Before I jump into the schedule, I wanted to share a couple of tips about decluttering. I always find it helpful to have four categories: stuff to keep, stuff to sell, stuff to donate, stuff to trash.
On stuff to keep, it must have a “home,” which is a specific designated place for it to live when not in use. For the most part, that home will be hidden either inside a cabinet, closet container, etc. I rarely pick homes for things out in the open (the toaster out on the countertop is an example of an exception). I also like to group homes together by function, so for instance all the cleaning supplies go into our cleaning closet. I am also a huge fan of organizational products for storing or grouping objects. For instance, my kitchen drawers all have drawer inserts to further subdivide the objects within. This is not only for me, but for my kids. It’s a lot easier to involve them around the home (and have them help clean up) when they can make sense of how things are stored around the house (prepared environment) and everything has a home.
If something isn’t being used (and isn’t a keepsake), then I don’t hang onto it. You can borrow the thought process from Marie Kondo and hold the object to see if it sparks joy, but I am more practical-minded so a reality check of whether or not the item is needed is good enough for me. I don’t hold on to things for what-if scenarios. Inevitably I will find a handful of things around the house to fall into this category, no matter how often I conduct a declutter. These things are then either sorted between sell, donate or trash. I love to try and resell items that may be worth $20 or more in used condition. My favorite way to sell is Facebook Marketplace. It’s easy and usually a fairly quick sale. If it’s not worth at least $20 but still in good condition, then I will donate it. The rest I will discard.
The important thing one you have these remaining items sorted is acting on the sell, donate or discard fairly quickly. If not, you’ll probably just end up keeping the stuff, just in a different location.
Okay, so now on to the declutter challenge. I have sorted into 25 days as a countdown until Christmas. I will actually start a day early though to have it all wrapped up before the holiday. I have tried to cover all the areas around my house that clutter accumulates. If you find that a day doesn’t resonate with you, try your best to determine a suitable substitute. I have strategically placed a handful of bigger projects to fall on weekends (based on starting November 30, 2020), so you may want to do the same if starting on a different day (garage and storage areas come to mind). Or you can treat it like a bingo board and pick and choose based on how you’re feeling that day.
And as I mentioned, I included a 5-day add-on for decluttering other areas of your life in prep of the New Year.