This post about decluttering before the holidays is sponsored by Capital Movers & Storage: Walker‘s Van & Storage. All thoughts, opinions, and adorable puppy pics are my own.
I am pretty sure that I can come up with an excellent justification for decluttering and paring back any time of the year, but this time of year seems especially primed for simplifying because it’s the season to snuggle up indoors and make our homes inviting and comfortable for the long winter ahead. Plus, who can fully enjoy the beauty of holiday decorating with piles of stuff around?
I have my own winter themed reason for decluttering: our well ran dry earlier in the fall and even though we were able to get water back, it might be temporary so we’re finally installing our own DIY cistern in the basement. But first I had to confront the piles of stuff I abandoned down there. I kept our basement clutter-free for so long, but because it’s not a usable space (it’s five feet tall, argh), it was easy to stash things down there. My Etsy shipping supplies are down there, along with my Etsy inventory. I also inherited things and stored sentimental things for family members who weren’t ready to let go. Plus we planned to have a yard sale this summer, so I decluttered upstairs and piled stuff to sell in the basement so it would be all ready to go – but then we ran out of time. To make room for the cistern, I boxed up SO MUCH stuff and donated it. Szuka was disappointed that I didn’t box up Hynda at the same time…
You might not have to install your own cistern this winter, but you might have guests coming to stay in that guestroom that’s currently piled high with stuff, or maybe you just need room for a big gorgeous tree and all of your favorite holiday decor. If you’re ready to declutter for the holidays, here are five tips and tricks that really work for me – and I’ve employed them to help lots of friends and family successfully declutter too!
5 Foolproof Decluttering Tips:
- Have someone help. It’s so easy to justify to yourself why you need that sentimental vintage Russian nesting doll set (#truestory), but sometimes you realize how silly it sounds when you need to explain it to someone else. Working with a buddy makes light work of decluttering.
- Don’t touch the treasures! I remember reading somewhere that touching things ignites a need to have it by evoking emotions and memories. See rule #1 and let someone else do the heavy lifting, which will make it easier to part with things.
- Pack things up – temporarily – and see if you miss them. If decluttering is a real struggle, try boxing things up temporarily. Stash the boxes in your basement or rent a storage locker and see what life is like without those excess things. This takes the pressure out of decluttering and it’s a trick I’ve used helping family part with sentimental clutter. More often than not, you realize you can live without those things and, bonus!, they’re already packed up and ready to donate.
- Use the time crunch to your advantage. Sometimes last minute panic is an excellent motivator. There’s nothing like the terror of facing a winter without a hot shower to light a fire under me. Maybe visiting company or hosting holiday parties is the motivation you need? It might seem like decluttering now is piling on the work but, if you’re anything like me, you can get way more cleaned in the hour before guests arrive than you can achieve in a week, lol. And you can ring in 2019 feeling lighter and happier.
- Reward yourself. If decluttering is really weighing you down, dangle a carrot. Go to a fancy, peaceful dinner out, see that movie you didn’t think you had time for, or enjoy a spa day with friends. Reward yourself with an enjoyable, meaningful experience to motivate the decluttering process and remind yourself that those experiences can be more satiating than stuff.
If you need a little extra assistance, Capital Movers & Storage: Walker‘s Van & Storage can help! Capital and Walker’s can set you up with everything you need to start organizing with their “Pack up the Clutter” Box Kits. You’ll get a variety of box sizes, packing tape, a permanent marker and bubble wrap in one handy kit – which is such a perk this time of year, when the to-do lists feel longer and the days feel shorter.
And if you like my idea of hanging on to things for a bit before committing to letting go (I’ve been there), you’ll receive a free month of storage – when you book a minimum of 6 months – by using the code TANYA. Click here to get more details on storage options in your area. Choosing to work with Capital and Walker’s is a great way to give back too, because of their work with Shelter Box. When you purchase moving boxes or packing supplies from Walker’s and Capital, or rent a Capital container for portable storage, you not only support local business, you also provide disaster relief and aid to families in need. I like to support companies who give back to their communities – plus if you take a close look at the boxes and packing supplies in these photos, most of it is made in Canada!
P.S. No puppies were decluttered in the making of this post.