Every Christmas it inevitably happens. There are more toys, games, books, clothes, etc. in the house after everything is unwrapped. So where is all that new stuff suppose to go? Most people talk about spring cleaning, well here in our house, we also have before Christmas cleaning. It is amazing how much stuff we can accumulate over a few months. We live in a small house so extra space is hard to come by. The best thing we can do is to clear the clutter we already have, before more stuff comes in.
The kids are all so excited about Christmas that keeping them busy is one way I can keep my sanity. This is one time them having so much bundled up energy can help. That goes for us parents as well. There are so many places around our house that get cleared out just because of Christmas activities. Let me share with you the main spaces we clear the clutter from during this Christmas season.
The Living Room (Homeschool Space)
This is usually the first space I clear the clutter from. Why? Well, because we need to find room, again, for a Christmas tree. Over the year we have gotten new things, rearranged, and lived into the space the tree went last year. It is a great feeling to rearrange the furniture and see that open space again. While rearranging I take the time to go through all our homeschool supplies and purge whatever I can. I know that some of those things I am getting rid of could be sold…someday, but I just want them gone to make space. This means that most of the things to go get box up to be donated somewhere. When I finish, the kids get excited knowing the tree is coming inside soon.
What happens to make Christmas morning special? Shopping. Yup, shopping means things need a place to be stored till they are wrapped. Since we have a small place, that means our Master Bedroom closet. Shhh, don’t tell our kids. Christmas time also means that it is getting colder outside. So now is the time to go through all those sweaters, and shoes to see if you really want all of them. For me, a big item I need to purge each year is my purse collection. I love changing out my purses regularly so I pick up many gently used purses each year. Now is the time to clear out the ones I haven’t used much, to make room for all those presents that need to be stored.
Christmas time means lots of baking. Lots of baking means we will be in the kitchen a lot. Being in the kitchen a lot makes me want to be able to find everything I need and get to it all easily. So, before the Christmas baking begins I go through my baking cabinet and purge any outdated items and make a list of items that I need to restock. I also like to take this time to think about rearranging the items on the counters. Do I need everything that is out all the time? What can I get rid of? I might clear out a cabinet or two depending on what I moved from the counter. The idea here is to make plenty of room for rolling out cookie dough and being able to find what you need when you are ready to bake.
With it getting colder, now is a great time to go through all those hats, mittens, snow pants, etc. that most likely are somewhere in your entry way. What doesn’t fit can go. Do all those mittens have a match? Are the summer/fall shoes put away for the winter yet? If not, now is the time to get them out-of-the-way. If you haven’t already, now is also the time to bring out those snow boots. With Christmas on it’s way, you might be expecting some guests to the house. Having an organized entry way makes it easier for guests when they arrive. The entry way is the first impression you are giving them, so do the best you can to make it great.
Oh boy, a toughy for us. I have a couple of kids that just like to hold on to everything. Really, everything! To make it easier for the kids, I have a cubbie set in each of their rooms. These hold their games, toys, books and treasures. If after cleaning up the room they can’t get everything into the cubbies, then they need to get rid of things. They can choose what they want to part with, of course, but in the end if it doesn’t fit in the cubbies, it is gone. This gives them control over the process and they get thinking about what is really important to them. I like to remind them that Christmas is coming and they have a bunch of stuff on their wish lists. Where is all that stuff going to go when or if they get them? It also helps that they know this time, every year, we clear the clutter from their rooms.
For someone with ADHD and many others, seeing a list of things to do, can be extremely overwhelming. I most definitely would not be tackling this many spaces in a day, that is for sure. Really each space naturally gets taken care of over a couple of weeks. I already gave you the example of the Christmas tree coming in, which got me purging and rearranging the living room. The same goes for the kitchen. If I know I am going to be doing some Christmas baking soon, I take a day and tackle the kitchen. So the easiest thing to do with a list that is overwhelming you, is to look at each item and compare them to your upcoming schedule. If you know you want to get the tree on Saturday, Friday would be a great day to clear the clutter from the living room. That way, the list really doesn’t seem as long as it is, since you will only be tackling small pieces of it at a time.