By Jenny Layton
Christmas is just over a week away, and while our children may be dreaming of the pile of presents under the tree, we are left wondering where to put it all. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, here are five SIMPLE ways you can stay ahead of the problem.
Chip away at it for just 15 minutes a day. The strategy here is to eat the elephant a bite at a time. By setting the timer for just 15 minutes a day, and filling up a bag or a bin with items you are no longer using, you will quickly clear some major space for those gifts sitting under the Christmas tree. Start at one end of the house and work your way through each room, going through closets, cabinets and drawers. After three weeks, you’ll have spent over five hours purging the clutter!
Get the kids involved. It’s sad but true that items begin to lose their value over time. The novelty wears off, new interests develop, and toys, clothes, and old electronics just don’t feel as fun anymore. Because “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” Christmas is the perfect time to teach your kids how to bless the lives of others by donating some of their personal belongings to charity. In the process, they will also learn how to make space for new things they really want. Stephen Paul has said, “The space for what you want is already filled up by what you’ve settled for instead.” Enlisting the kids in the clutter-clearing process is a victory on two fronts; it provides an opportunity to establish habits of abundance and generosity at an early age, and it certainly helps make room for those incoming Christmas gifts. Start by recommending that they donate as many items as they hope to receive for Christmas.
Establish a home for the gifts before they are purchased or unwrapped. It can start as early as the checkout line. Consider the available space you have, and ensure that you have the room for what you are purchasing. This is particularly relevant for large items that might look exciting online or in the toy store, but cause a lot of inconvenience once they are unwrapped. For smaller items, clear a shelf or have hangers waiting. You can even have containers ready. This will make putting away the Christmas gifts something you actually look forward to!
Consider a Christmas morning bin. We’ve all gone through the case of the missing gift card or earrings. On Christmas morning, small items have a tendency to get lost in all of the opened gifts and wrapping debris. Providing a bin for each person to place opened gifts into will give those treasures a temporary home, ensuring that everything is safe and sound until they are a safe distance away from the Christmas morning mayhem.
Trust in having less. The simplest solution to having too much is to bring less into your home in the first place. Can you even remember what you received last year? Can your kids? Trust in quality, not quantity, and don’t give in to the cultural pressure to flood the tree with more gifts than you truly have room for.
Outsmart the storage dilemma by implementing one or more of these tips, and you’ll enjoy a holiday season that is a little less focused on stress, and a little more centered in the joy of giving.
Creator of The Happy Gal, Jenny is an author, speaker, professional organizer and coach dedicated to helping women live happier, healthier, more organized lives. www.thehappygal.com