10 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress and Clutter

1.   Tidy up the guest rooms. You want your guests to feel welcomed and stress free, not an inconvenience to you.

2.   Take time to put away one pile a day that is stacked around the house. This will prevent you from being tempted to stuff clutter in a bag or laundry basket and hide it right before guests arrive. That just creates more work after the holidays.

3.   Make time to go through toys and clothes- with or without the kids. Old toys are taking up precious space the new Christmas presents deserve. It’s also a great way to teach kids you can’t get new things without getting rid of some old things. 

4.   As you set out Christmas decorations, use the empty boxes and bins by filling them with your year round decorations. You save space and create a system for when your Christmas decorations are put away, the regular décor comes back out.

5.   Didn’t use all your Christmas decorations this year? Don’t just put back the ones you think you’ll use next year because unless it’s truly memorabilia, chances are you won’t bring them out next year. Just donate them and save the hassle.

6.   Now’s the time to donate old Christmas decorations to local charities.

Charities rather have your stuff now to sell or give out before Christmas. Most charities won’t take Christmas decorations after the holiday because they don’t have the room to store stuff it for 11 months.

7.   Make a promise to yourself- if you don’t use up the cookie tins and plates by giving them away this year, you won’t keep them for next year. Tins take up a lot of room in storage and start to rust over time.

8.   Take inventory of how many strands of lights you have before you buy more and test them. (that’s good job for the kids)  Trust me, I have seen countless vats of strands of lights that owners didn’t know they had when we found them. By that time it’s too late. They’ve already bought and hung new ones.

9.   Go on a hunt for the presents you know you bought all year but now can’t find them to give at Christmas. It costs no money to search for gifts in your home, while it costs a lot more money to go buy new ones. 

10.   Make your menus as early as possible. You’ll be prepared to tell your guests what they can bring, which will cut down on your workload in the kitchen.