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De-clutter and cut holiday stress

The bedroom closet was already full. The fridge and cabinets have little room to spare, and neither do the storage closets. Once the gifts, decorations, extra food, new holiday outfits and all the other assorted stuff is added, the state of overwhelm can easily prevail, just like every year.

Consider giving yourself an extra gift: A pre-New Year de-clutter, to help prioritize the items you value, make space for new things and cut back on stress so you can enjoy the things that really matter. A few suggestions follow.

* Check your stash of decorations as you prepare to store them. Separate the things you haven't used in a few years and donate them to a thrift shop for other families to enjoy.

* Walk through the public areas of your house -- living room, dining room, foyer, hallways -- and pick out any decor items or small furniture that you don't love anymore. If you'd rather see an empty space, chuck it.

* Declutter your furniture. Do you really need those worn-out throw pillows with all the coffee stains?

* Work together as a family - with the young ones sort through old toys and get rid of the ones they don't play with anymore. If they need a little motivation, explain that it's so they have plenty of room to play with this year's gifts.

* Hit the kitchen and be absolutely ruthless. Toss expired foods, old water bottles or cheap plastic cups, cookware that you never use or that box of old dishes that you don't have room for.

* Set priorities carefully for the rooms you'll spend the most time in and to accommodate the activities you've planned. The most important thing about the holidays is sharing them with the people we care about, so if you don't have the time or energy to hit every room, don't kick yourself. Do what you can, congratulate yourself for a job well done and enjoy the things that truly matter.

This story was posted on 2021-12-26 10:28:37
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