Simple Living

3 Approaches to conscious decluttering this holiday season

We find ourselves in a complicated time of year: we highlight joy and happiness, but there can also be sadness; we strive for togetherness but this time can feel lonely. The gifts, decorations, and treats are wonderful, however they can also feel like a a lot to manage as they tax our space, time, and budgets.

I’ve been working hard for months to donate, sell, and re-home many items to declutter my family’s space and make it possible to live in a smaller footprint. I have to say, it never ceases to amaze me how easy it is for things to creep into our lives, and how much concerted effort it takes to move them along in a responsible manner!


Sometimes it’s just an accumulation of things that were once needed. I’ve found myself going through younger kid items, realizing that my getting-bigger-every-day-kids don’t need them anymore. It was very strange to sell off our last stroller! Sometimes it’s items that sort of crept in that we never consciously evaluated to determine if they were truly earning the space, time, and energy they were taking up.

Then comes Christmas with it’s masses of bright, fun, and cheery clutter! I love this time of year, but it seems like it’s going to pull me a couple of steps back from the last few months of conscious decluttering. So with that being said, I thought I’d take this time to explore some practical tips for decluttering (and remaining decluttered) at Christmas, which will hopefully help all of us to create a calm and intentional environment for upcoming celebrations and the coming year!

Defensive decluttering: A few ways to get ahead of items coming into our homes

Start with a Vision: Envision the type of atmosphere you want to create for this season and beyond. Whether it’s a place where you can have cozy and intimate gathering or a vibrant and lively party, having a clear vision will guide your decluttering efforts.

Thoughtful Gift Giving: Gift-giving is a central aspect of Christmas, but it often leads to an influx of items that may not have a long-term place in our homes. Encourage mindful gift-giving by suggesting experiences, consumables, or gifts that align with a minimalist lifestyle. Consider organizing a gift exchange or contributing to a shared experience instead of exchanging physical presents.


Digital Greetings and Memories: In this age of technology, consider sending digital Christmas cards or creating online photo albums to share memories with loved ones. This not only reduces paper clutter but also allows you to declutter sentimental items by preserving them in a digital format.

Mindful Menu Planning: Christmas is synonymous with feasting, but an excessive amount of food can lead to unnecessary clutter in your kitchen and refrigerator. Plan your holiday menu thoughtfully, minimizing food waste and creating a more organized cooking and dining experience.

Active decluttering: What to do when you want to reduce what you already have

We’ve shared a few times about decluttering on the blog and here are a few of our past posts to get started with, as well as a couple of season-specific ideas!

New year, clear spaces: How to start decluttering

7 decluttering resources for a successful journey toward less

Approaches to decluttering: How to get started


Trimming the Excess Decorations: While decking the halls is a cherished tradition, it’s easy to go overboard with decorations. Take a critical look at your decorations and opt for a curated selection of favourites to enjoy without overwhelming your space.

Charitable Giving: Embrace the true spirit of Christmas by decluttering with a purpose. Donate gently used items, clothing, or toys to local charities or shelters. This not only reduces clutter in your home but also spreads holiday cheer to those in need.

Decluttering mindset: How to keep spaces clutter free going forward

There are many benefits to clear spaces as we shared in our post why decluttering your space is good for you. Understanding this can help when decluttering efforts hit a difficult spot, and provide motivation to keep going.


Probably the most important element of the decluttering mindset is to just keep going! Take small steps and they add up to big change as Alison found in her experiement to eliminate 30 things in 30 days. Over the last few months I’ve challenged myself to sell or donate 3 items each week, and looking back at the photos of the items is very rewarding, though there’s still more to do!

By adopting a minimalist approach to the holidays and beyond, you can declutter your space and create a more intentional and meaningful holiday (and life) experience. Embrace the joy of simplicity, focus on what truly matters, and savor the magic of the season with a clutter-free home.

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