Feeling stressed out by clutter? Don’t let it ruin the holiday spirit, get a free decluttering checklist and start decluttering now.
Clutter can lead to stress for many reasons. It shapes the way we feel about our homes, our workspace, and even ourselves. It can also lead to stress around the holidays. Especially since we often end up with more clutter at that time.
Clutter can be distracting, this is something I find to be true. If my office is a mess I struggle to concentrate on my work. I even choose to work in my living room if my office is a mess and I don’t have time to pick it up.
It also can be a big waste of time. If our home is clutter we spend more time looking for things and cleaning takes longer because of all the stuff that’s in the way.
Clutter can also make it hard to relax and if you can’t relax how will you enjoy the fun that Christmas should bring? It can just keep making us feel like we should be working instead of relaxing.
Clutter can also make us feel guilty or even embarrassed, especially when we have unexpected guests. Something that happens more often around the holidays.
This doesn’t mean you need to have a minimalistic home or not go all out decorating for Christmas. I don’t feel comfortable in a minimalistic home if you don’t either then that’s okay.
You need to find the level of stuff that you feel like you can keep organized and that leaves you feeling happy in your home. I know that level for me is not the same for people that do thrive on having minimal stuff.
I do have a small home though so I need to keep a handle on things and make sure the things I have are things I love and/or use. Even for those of us that don’t want to have a minimal home this list will help. It’s the kinds of things that don’t add value to our lives and don’t tend to have emotions attached to them so they are easier to quickly declutter.
If you start with this decluttering checklist well before Christmas you can take your time going through it and still feel more prepared once the holiday season gets here.
75 Things to Declutter Before Christmas
- Expired food. While looking for expired items pay attention to your other food. Make sure you know what is expiring soon and you need to use. Also, donate anything you know you won’t get around to using.
- Expired personal care and beauty. Many personal care and beauty items should only be kept for 3-6 months at most. For mascara, it’s recommended you replace it each month.
- Old magazines and newspapers. Recycle these or see if a local doctor’s office would like to have them for their waiting room.
- Old books. I make an effort to mostly buy Kindle books these days so they don’t take up space in my home but I still have a lot of real books. I make sure that if it’s a book I will never read or reference again that I donate the book. You can even try Kindle Unlimited to get access to tons of books for a small monthly fee.
- Old cards. If they hold no sentimental value go ahead and recycle them. If you find you are still keeping too many, consider scanning them and keeping the photos on a hard drive instead of keeping the actual card.
- Old candles. Have a lot of candles with just a small amount of wax left? Use them up or just get rid of them.
- Expired medicine. Be sure to dispose of these safely. Your local pharmacist or doctor should be able to help.
- Games with missing pieces. If a game is missing pieces you need go ahead and get rid of it.
- Old cords you no longer have the items for. Somehow extra cords seem to end up hanging around after the item is gone.
- Manuals. You can likely get rid of most of these because there are often online versions you can download. If you can’t actually download it go ahead and keep it because you never know if the online version will still be there when you need it.
- Kitchen tools you never use. We all have those kitchen tools that seem neat but we never end up using. Pass those on to someone else that will use them.
- Holiday decor you never put out. I go all out for most holidays but each year there are things I no longer care for. Donate those types of items.
- Clothes that don’t fit. Even if you do lose weight you likely want to buy new items anyway. Also, ill-fitting clothes often make us feel bad about ourselves and that’s not a good thing.
- Plastic bags. Even though I use reusable bags I can still end up with a good collection of these. If you have more than you will use go ahead and recycle them at your local grocery store or see if a friend with a dog wants them for poop bags.
- Dried pens and markers.
- Expired coupons. Look anywhere you keep coupons and recycle the ones that are expired or you know you will never use.
- Old boxes. Do you really need shoeboxes? Not likely, so recycle them.
- Damaged clothes. Fix them or make rags or donate.
- Take-out menus. These are usually online now.
- CDs you never listen to. I have even gotten rid of some CDs I enjoy because I use music streaming services instead. Amazon Music is affordable and a good way to have access to a ton of music without having to store it all.
- Movies you never watch. Again you can stream a lot of movies now or buy digital versions. Other than my Disney movies and Christmas movies I’ve donated most of mine. I find myself mostly streaming these days. If you have Amazon Prime you can get access to tons of free movies.
- Craft supplies. If you aren’t going to actually use them see if a local classroom could use them.
- Single socks. If all of the laundry is done and its pair is nowhere to be seen, make it into a rag or get rid of it.
- Scratched non-stick cookware. Non-stick cookware isn’t terribly safe to start with but you really don’t want to use it when damaged. Get rid of these pieces and replace them with safer cookware.
- Glass jars. Pinterest gives us a lot of ideas for mason jars so we can tend to hoard them. If you aren’t really going to get to those projects though, go ahead and recycle them.
- Old batteries. Even batteries you aren’t using expired so check your batteries and recycle the ones that aren’t good.
- Old calendars. There is no reason to hold on to these, ditch them and the free calendars you will never use.
- Fridge magnets. These things seem to multiply. A few are fine but if you can no longer see your fridge get rid of some.
- Worn linens. Get rid of those embarrassing linens and any you never use.
- Old paperwork. If you no longer have a use for it and you don’t need it for legal reasons, recycle or shred it.
- Old glasses. A backup pair is a good idea but you don’t need a dozen. See if your local eye doctor takes them for donation.
- Gift wrap. Get rid of those scrap pieces and stuff you will never use.
- Broken toys. If it can’t be fixed, get rid of it.
- Old electronics. If no one is using it and it works donate it, if not recycle.
- Decor you no longer like. Our tastes change so don’t hold on to the stuff you no longer like.
- Extra buttons. If you don’t have the item the button is for anymore, ditch it.
- Unused notebooks. If you are like me you end up with so many notebooks. See if a classroom can use them instead.
- Address labels. Get rid of ones for old addresses or if you have more than you will ever use.
- Old bridesmaid dresses. You aren’t going to wear it again, donate it.
- Tote bags. If you have more reusable bags and totes than you need for grocery shopping or other uses, donate them.
- Vases. Keep a few and donate the rest.
- Take out chopsticks and plastic cutlery. Keeping a little bit on hand is fine but you don’t need a drawer full.
- Plastic cups. Keep a reasonable number.
- Broken jewelry. If you can’t repair it or just never will, get rid of it.
- Cheap hangers. Dry cleaners will often take these.
- Stained clothes. If you aren’t going to fix it or can’t, make rags or get rid of it.
- Scarves you don’t wear. If you aren’t sure which you will wear, keep track for a year and ditch those you never use next year.
- Trial sized toiletries. Homeless shelters often love to have these.
- Old paint. Ask your city where you can properly dispose of old paint or if usable donate to an art class.
- Mugs. We seem to all end up with way too many mugs. Get rid of the ones you never use.
- Old shoes. If you’ve replaced them or never wear them, get rid of them.
- Video games no one plays. You can sometimes sell these on Facebook groups or game shops.
- Sample products. Again give these to shelters.
- Kid’s artwork. Keep important pieces and consider scanning or taking pictures of others to keep on a hard drive.
- Old party supplies. Are you really going to throw that party again? If not donate.
- Earbuds. You likely have more than you need, donate them.
- Organizers you don’t use. They aren’t helping you stay organized if you aren’t using them.
- Phone books. You likely lookup numbers online anyway so recycle them.
- Purses and wallets. Get rid of ones you don’t use or are worn out.
- Water bottles. Keep a reasonable number.
- Shoes that hurt your feet. You likely won’t wear them if they hurt.
- Cookbooks you don’t use. Don’t most of us use online recipes now?
- Cleaning supplies you don’t like. No reason to keep it if you don’t like it.
- Serving dishes you never use. Donate them to someone that will use them.
- Loyalty cards. You can usually use an app or they can be looked up by number.
- Unfinished craft projects. If it’s sat there for months you likely aren’t going to finish it.
- Storage containers without lids. If you can’t find a match get rid of it.
- Excess twist ties and rubber bands. You don’t need a drawer full of these.
- Condiment packets. Do you even use these?
- Old planners. If you don’t have a good reason for hanging on to these, ditch them.
- Fitness equipment. If you have fitness equipment you never use donate or sell it.
- Blankets. If you have more than you want or use, donate them to a shelter.
- Chipped dishes. Unless you still need it, get rid of it.
- Random screws. Keeping a few extra is fine but you don’t likely need all of them.
- Makeup you don’t like. Pass it on to a friend or get rid of it.
Free Decluttering Checklist
This decluttering checklist will help keep you on track and it also just feels good to mark things off of a list. It gives you a great visual of all you have accomplished with your task.
The checklist was also created to match my Christmas planner perfectly. Each year you can print off a copy and stick it in your planner early in the year and work through it before Christmas.
Looking for more ways to get ready early for Christmas? Check out 6 Ways to Plan for Christmas Now.
This is a great checklist. My youngest is going to college next week, and I really want to do some serious reorganizing and decluttering. Having a holiday deadline will help me get it done!
I’m glad you like it! I hope it helps.
Love how comprehensive your list is. I need to declutter more often anyway, but before Christmas is a good idea!
Glad you like it!
Ahhh I’ll be celebrating my first married Christmas in a new home this year and the last thing I’ll want is clutter! This list is so helpful – and I might just pass it on to my mom and sister as well!
Congrats! It’s so much fun to celebrate for the first time in a new home.
Indya | The Small Adventurer
This post came at a PERFECT time! I’ve been having a huge declutter recently. Every week I have a bag of things ready to give away, and list has made me think of SO MUCH MORE to go through! I know there’s a huge pile of magazines taking up room in my office that can go to a better home, or at least towards some craft projects. Thanks for the inspiration!
I’m glad I could help!
I just spent HOURS decluttering my apartment this weekend. Living in a small space with my husband and dog means we constantly have to go through things to eliminate clutter. I got rid of so much expired food, things like empty shoe boxes and took clothes & books to Goodwill.
Small spaces get full so fast!
This is def a good checklist of what to go through. I especially take time each time I get a longer break from school to declutter my clothes. I have way too many! Lol
Clothes are like that, slowly they pile up and suddenly we have an overfull closet!
Becky @ Disney in your Day
I have so much to declutter. I just signed up for the checklist so I can get started!
I hope it helps you get started.