We know how busy the weeks leading up to the holidays can be, but taking even a little time each day to tidy up your home will prove worthwhile. We find that tidying up before the holidays is an essential ingredient to a happy, healthy, peaceful celebration.
Below are five reasons to tidy up before the holidays.
- Create space for new things to come into your home. Typically, during the holidays our homes are extra full. We bring in decorations, more food, more people and invariably more stuff. Just as you may be working extra hard before and during the holidays, so is your home. Honor your home and the new things you are bringing into your home, by readying your space for this influx. You will find that when you prepare your space first by clearing and cleaning, the things you do choose to bring into your home will have greater impact and bring you more joy. If you add an item to a cluttered space – no matter how much you love it – its benefits will be diminished.
- Make a welcoming space. In addition to clearing and cleaning, you may need to rearrange some things in your home. Perhaps you are making space for a Christmas tree, or setting up a table for a Holiday meal, or making a room for overnight guests. It is best to anticipate these accommodations and prepare early, or at least have a plan in mind. These changes can be very supportive for you and your guests. It is better to make a person, or item, feel welcome in your home by going out of your way to make space and move things around, rather than making them feel like they don’t have a place and are unwanted visitors. You too will feel better (and breathe easier) when you find the right placement. Don’t be afraid of change – you may discover some of your temporary changes become permanent and if not, know that everything can go back to its original placement after the holidays.
- Clearing now will prevent new clutter from accumulating over the holidays. A benefit to tidying before the holidays is that you will be more conscious about which new things you choose to bring into your home. Through the process of letting go of things that we no longer love, we naturally have more appreciation and gratitude for the items we chose to keep. Also, when we experience the exhilaration that comes from living in a clear and tidy space, we will want to protect this new sacred ground by not bringing anything into our home that does not match the sparkling energy of tidy surroundings.
- A peaceful home makes for a peaceful holiday. The process of tidying will keep you grounded in the present moment and counteract the frenzy and stress we often feel during the holidays. Caring for our homes and expressing gratitude for the things we love is a self- nurturing process that inspires well- being. As we tidy up our lives on the outside we are simultaneously tidying up our inner life. As you tidy, you can energize your holiday with intention. Know that as you create peaceful and joyful surroundings, your experiences during the holiday will reflect these same qualities.
- Prepare for the New Year. As we clear and prepare for the holidays we are also preparing for a New Year and a fresh start. While you will certainly want to tidy again after the holidays, keeping the impending New Year in mind will make your post-holiday clearing and transition that much easier. Many people feel “let down” after the holidays. We find that by clearing before the Holidays this dip is less likely to happen. Instead, your focus expands beyond the holiday to include the opportunities and excitement present in a new beginning.
A few tips for pre-holiday tidying:
- Mailing holiday cards is the perfect time to clear out and update your address book. As you get new addresses, take the time to delete old contact information.
- Prepare your kitchen for all the holiday food and big meals ahead by clearing out and organizing your refrigerator and pantry.
- As you open boxes of decoration, take time to clear holiday decorations that don’t get used. You don’t have to use or keep them all year after year– even though we love traditions, we are always changing, and it’s okay for our decorations to change too. If a decoration sits in a box and doesn’t get used this holiday, ask yourself why and consider letting it go before packing it up again.
- If you have kids, you will most likely have a few new toys entering the house this holiday! So help your children make space for those toys by letting go of what they no longer play with or have outgrown. Consider re-gifting to friends with younger children or donating gently used toys.
- You may also be pulling out winter clothes… keep in mind this is the time of year that many people are looking for donations of gently used items so give coats, sweaters and other winter gear you don’t need away – and do so with the intention that they will serve others.
We have many more thoughts, ideas and step by steps for simplifying your holidays… see our Simplify the Holiday Series: Simplify Your Gift-Giving, Simplify Your Holiday Traditions, Simplify Your Holiday Meal, and Tips for a Peaceful Celebration.