The holiday season is almost upon us and with that comes seemingly endless to-do lists. Take some time now to get your home organized so that you can function as seamlessly as possible when you are busy with holiday prep. 1. Organize your Kitchen
Start in your kitchen. Yes, this is probably the hardest area but I always like to get the hardest thing done first so then the rest feels easy! Take a quick look through your cabinets. Are there any that have things falling out on you when you open them? Go through those cabinets and see if you can declutter. Get rid of anything that you no longer use, is broken, or you don't love. You don't have to declutter the entire kitchen - just focus on a few areas that are bothersome.
Make sure you can easily access the items you will need for holiday meals: special dinnerware or glassware, baking dishes, stock pot, roasting pan, etc. Sometimes these things get shoved in the back of a cabinet. Find them now so you aren't tearing your kitchen apart mid-Thanksgiving dinner cooking and cursing the fact that your meat thermometer is nowhere to be found. If you find things you no longer need while searching for the needed items, donate them! Clean out the fridge. Take 15 minutes to go through the recesses of the fridge and check expiration dates on condiments and other less-used foods. Make a list of anything you need to replace. You often have lots of leftovers this time of year so make sure you have plenty of room for them.
Declutter the pantry. You don't have to do a full clean out if you don't have time, but go through some crowded areas and check expiration dates. Especially check your canned goods, spices, and baking supplies. Again, make a list of anything that's expired so you can buy it now before the holiday rush. Make a list of what you need for the holiday dishes and desserts you like to make.
2. Tidy up your Dining Room
Now that the hardest job is over, move onto other areas of your home. If you will be hosting meals, get your dining room ready. Oftentimes dining rooms become multipurpose spaces or clutter magnets! Take some time now and get your dining room cleaned up so you aren't rushing to throw random items in a closet when guests are on their way. Put things away where they actually go, not just in another pile somewhere else! If you have time (and you use them) wipe off your china and glassware so it's ready to go.
3. Declutter your Holiday Decor
As you decorate, donate any decor that you haven't used for a few years or you just don't love anymore. Remember, you don't need to keep something just because it was gifted to you. If you don't love it and use it, give it to someone who will use it!
As you are decorating, take down your everyday decor and put it in the boxes you use to store holiday decor. This way your spaces aren't too cluttered and you know where to find your decor when you put away Christmas. As you are doing this, you can wipe off dust if need be.
4. Organize your Gift Wrap
If you're anything like me, you are attracted to holiday gift wrap like a moth to a flame. Before you buy yet another roll of gift wrap, take stock of what you still have. Are you holding onto random scraps? Recycle anything that is not actually usable. Make sure you have enough bows, gift tags, gift bags and tape. Get rid of any gift bags that have seen better days. Make a list of what you need and purchase these things now so you aren't running to the store mid-wrapping on Christmas Eve for more tape!
5. Check your Linen Closet
If you are hosting guests for the holidays, take a quick look through your linen closet. Go through your guest towels and donate any that are looking worse for wear and make sure you have enough for your guests. Find the sheets you need for the air mattress or extra bed that you don't often use. Take the time to find these now so you aren't furiously hunting when your guests are due.
6. Declutter the Entryway
Entryways are notorious for being a catchall for mail, packages, returns, shoes, jackets, you name it! Go through your jackets and donate any that no longer fit or that you no longer love. Make room for your guests to hang coats - either in the closet or on a coat rack. You can move extra or out-of-season jackets to a guest closet for the time being. Go through your shoes. Put the shoes you wear less in your bedroom closet and keep out only the ones you wear more often. If you have kids, check the sizes of their shoes and donate or put away as hand-me-downs pairs that are too small. Make a clear space for guests to leave their shoes if you are a no-shoe household.
Get caught up on your mail and do a quick declutter of other things that have landed in your entryway.
7. Declutter Kids' Toys
This is crucial if you have kids. Take time now to declutter so you aren't overwhelmed after the holidays. I have a separate post to help you through this process.
Set yourself a goal to tackle one or two of these areas per week leading up to the holidays. If you don't get through them all, it's ok! Anything you manage to tackle now will only help you during the hectic holiday season to come.