With Thanksgiving almost a full week away and Christmas over a month, there is still time to do some holiday ‘decluttering’ for minimal stress and maximum enjoyment this season. Decluttering doesn’t have to be limited to physical ‘stuff’ we own, but can and should include all areas of life, especially holidays when stress can be unintentionally high.
Here are five areas to consider decluttering before this holiday season arrives:
Take an honest look at the expectations you have for yourself, your family members and others during the holidays. Are your expectations so high when it comes to the size of the meal, the number of gifts or throwing the perfect holiday party that they are detracting from your enjoyment of the season? What are your motives behind the expectations?
Take some time to consider these questions and really think about your heartfelt answers. Declutter any expectations from the season that cause stress instead of joy.
Americans spend an enormous amount of money on gifts each holiday season, beginning with Black Friday. In 2014, the National Retail Federation did a pre-holiday survey with results indicating each person celebrating holidays that include gift giving would be spending $804. That is a lot, especially if you have multiple people in your household.
This holiday season, declutter your gift list. Agree on a set number of gifts and cost per person and stick to it. Is it really necessary to buy a gift for every aunt, uncle, cousin, niece and nephew? Perhaps this year would be a good time to start sending out cards in lieu of gifts with your sincere gratitude for their relationship this past year.
The holidays traditionally bring with them banquets and feasts of food, enough to feed those partaking of it for at least a few days. While having some leftovers is nice, it may be worth lowering the stress level of preparing so many different dishes to limit the number of sides you are serving.
Consider preparing either smaller amounts of each side dish, or eliminating some of them altogether. This is a great way to get really intentional about the food you are truly thankful for and which dishes your family appreciates the most. Not to mention it will cut down on the cost of the meals as well.
Have you ever stopped to think about the traditions you observe during the holidays? Where or what did they originate from? Are you doing them because you enjoy them, or just because you always have? It may be time to declutter some of the traditions that don’t hold very much meaning for you. Whether it’s opening a gift on Christmas Eve or making that squash casserole from your Grandmother’s recipe book, take some time to decide what traditions are still valuable.
It’s not a bad thing to discontinue traditions that are no longer bringing happiness and joy to your life. In fact, it will actually increase the value and prominence of the other traditions you choose to hold on to.
Declutter Your Home
During the months of October thru December, you will no doubt bring new ‘stuff’ into your home. A large portion of it may be in the form of gifts or decorations, either purchased by yourself or given to you by others. Some of these items may replace older things or just add to everything else already in your home.
Be sure you are following the ‘one in, one out’ rule. For every new thing that comes into your home, put one thing in the ‘donate’ or ‘trash’ bins. Better yet, get rid of two old items for every one new item that comes into the house. If you have the time, declutter the kid’s toys to make room for any new ones Santa is bringing, and do the same for your own space too.
I hope this wonderful holiday season is full of less clutter and more love; less stress and more joy.