Unclutter Your Holidays

Easy strategies to help make your holidays more meaningful and less stressful while uncluttering in the process.

Here are a few tips I picked up from organizing guru Peter Walsh that I hope will bring more “merry” into your holiday season. 

1)     “De-Decorate”.  As you’re pulling out those boxes of lights, garland, ornaments and decorations, be mindful of what you are actually using.  Those things that are left behind in the box should be thrown away if they have seen better days!

2)    “Don’t hold on – pass on”.  If you have any family heirlooms (jewelry, military medals, etc) that are just tucked away in a drawer, box or safe, why not pass these on now?  “Giving it to a loved one breathes new life into the object and lets you enjoy the person enjoying the gift.”   I just love this idea! 

3)    “Share the wealth (and warmth)”.  If your coat closet is so crowded you can’t hang your guests’ coat, maybe it’s time to think about sharing the warmth.  This is the perfect time of year to donate your warm jackets and coats (toddler, kid and adult sizes).  On the coast, please consider Coastside Hope and St. Vincent de Paul Society @ Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church.   Drop offs can be made at OLP during Food Pantry Hours:  Monday: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Thursday: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – Noon.  Whatever your favorite charity might be, donate and unclutter in the meantime.  It’s a win-win!

4)    “Talk now, buy later”.   Walsh says, and I tend to agree, that “A lot of anxiety comes from not knowing how much to spend or whom to shop for.”  Set ground rules with your family and close friends.  Consider drawing names (Secret Santa); just giving to the children; and/or potentially eliminating adult gifts altogether.  We did this in my family a few years ago, and it has relieved a lot of unnecessary stress on all of us.

5)    “Give the gift of time”.   Instead of another scarf or a toy that will only be played with for a short time then set aside, consider tickets to a sporting event, play, dinner and a movie, or whatever your gift recipient would enjoy most.  Spending time together with the ones we love is the greatest gift we could give.  As Peter Walsh said, “the memory of a shared experience will be cherished for decades.”

Happy Holidays…. may they be merry and bright (and clutter free, of course!).



Jody Gandelman, iOrganize You



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Kiki December 10, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Always great tips from Jody Gandelman!
Dee December 14, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Some good ideas here. Always looking to simplify all the "stuff and fluff" around every holiday. Thank you.
Thanks for your kind comments.... Always nice to hear and I'm happy you found it helpful. Jody


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