This year, I'm planning on keeping on top of the clutter before it starts. Here's what I'm doing:
- Thoroughly cleaning and de-cluttering the living room before we get our tree. All the toys that we store here will be put in the boys' bedrooms. The magazines will be recycled and the piles of books will be sorted into the appropriate bookcases. I'll also dust and vacuum every nook and cranny.
- Reduce the number of gifts we buy for the boys. I've never considered myself one that goes overboard with holiday gifts, however, the number of gifts we give our kids has crept up a bit each year. We all know what happens to many of these gifts. They turn into clutter! This year, I'm scaling it back to a more reasonable amount and being really thoughtful with what I do buy. To help me do this, I've tucked away cash throughout the year for the purpose of Christmas shopping. When I shop, I take a bit of Christmas money with me and spend only that on gifts. It's really forced me to think about what I buy and has helped me enjoy the process. No need to worry about how we are going to pay for it and no buying extra things we don't need!
- Keep the gifts organized in one location. Who hasn't tucked away Christmas gifts only to not find them when it's time to wrap? I know I've done it. This year, I'm buying just what we need and keeping it all in one, organized spot.
- De-clutter the Christmas decorations. I say I'm going to do this every year, but I haven't gotten to it yet. All of our holiday decorations used to fit in one, large Rubbermaid tote. Now, they take up several boxes, in addition to the tote. As a matter of fact, we don't use most of what's in the tote! This year, I'm only keeping the things I love. All broken and ugly ornaments are out!
What about you? Do you start to feel cluttered around the holidays? What can you do to decrease the Christmas clutter in your house?