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5 Places to Declutter Before Christmas: Make Room for a Festive Holiday Season

Is it your turn to host the holidays? Are you looking to tidy up your home before hanging the stockings, trimming the tree, or watching your favorite Christmas movie? Sounds like you need a list of places to declutter before Christmas.

Get ready for all the laughs, love and holiday cheer with a pre-Christmas purge. Decluttering your home may seem as scary as a visit from Krampus, but with a little help, you can look at decluttering like Buddy the Elf looks at Santa (or sugar).

We’ll take you on a decluttering journey around your home with 5 places to tidy up (plus a few tips to remember) before the holidays!

1. Entryway

Decluttering before the holidays will make it easier to maintain and keep your entry organized until the season starts. Entryways can easily collect shoes, coats and outerwear. As a result, you’ll want to tidy up so your guests have a place to hang their coats and put their shoes. Be sure to put a rug in the entryway to limit damage to your carpet.

If you have a closet in your entryway, you should go through that as well. Give away any old or rarely used winter coats, boots and other winter wear. This is also a great opportunity to ask your guests to bring their lightly used winter items for your donation pile. Find a local donation center or charity and give back this holiday season.

Decluttering tip: Check out this list of design elements to keep your entryway organized.

2. Living room

The living room is an important spot for pre-Christmas decluttering. Make room for all the festivities—from singing carols to drinking eggnog to opening presents. Go through any blankets, magazines, extra décor, games and DVDs to prepare your living room.

Plus, decluttering the living room will make space for Christmas decorations. When it’s time to set up the tree, hang garland and fluff your Christmas pillows, you’ll be grateful you tidied up first.

Decluttering tip: You can donate your board games or DVDs to children’s homes, family shelters and even schools. Here is a list of other places to donate used board games.

As you finish decluttering the living room, get ready to take on the kitchen!

3. Kitchen

Decluttering your kitchen is probably one of the most important steps before hosting over the holidays. Your kitchen will soon be full of guests, delicious food and holiday cheer! So, make room for all the cooking, baking and entertaining by clearing out some clutter.


First, take a good, long look at your counters. Do you have small appliances that haven’t been used in a while, but take up much needed space? It may be time to let them go. Cookbooks are an easily remedied source of clutter. Go digital and get your recipes online, or at a minimum, stash the ones you’re not using during the holiday season. Get some extra counter space for meal prep, incoming side dishes and home-made desserts.


You should also go through your kitchen cabinets. Give away or toss any old, broken or rarely used dishes. It may be time to ask yourself, “how many mugs do I really need?” We know these can add up fast, but even coffeeholics don’t need 50.

Pick out your favorite dishes, mugs and cups, and get rid of the rest. Having more cabinet space will create a less chaotic, more organized kitchen space!

Decluttering tip: After you’ve gone through your mugs, check out this list of 10 cute ways to organize your coffee cups from Good Housekeeping.


It’s a great idea to go through your pantry before the holidays. Chances are you’ll be buying more food than usual, so you’ll need more space. Go through all the food in your pantry and throw away anything that has expired, then take stock and organize what you have left. This will make it much easier when you’re shopping for ingredients for that famous (or infamous) Jell-O salad recipe. (Let’s just hope it turns out better than Aunt Bethany’s in Christmas Vacation.)

Fridge and freezer

You can bet Cindy Lou Who’s mom cleaned out her fridge and freezer before hosting Christmas dinner, and you should, too! Completely clean and wipe down these appliances, and throw away anything that has expired or has freezer burn so you have room for the ham, turkey, sides and pies. (Or, Who-hash, roast beast and everything else needed for a Who-feast.)

Dining area

If your formal dining room table has been gathering some dust, be sure to give it a little love this holiday season. Dust and clean it, and consider pre-setting it so that guests aren’t tempted to stack things on the surface. Don’t forget to put the leaf in, grab extra chairs, or set up a kids’ table if necessary.

The dining room table is also a great place for staging food or hors d’oeuvres before Christmas dinner. You’ll be spending a lot of time at the table, so make sure it’s ready for full bellies, laughter and lots of holiday joy!

4. Guest room(s)

If your family and friends are staying overnight or longer, be sure to declutter the guest rooms. Resist the temptation to hide everything you’ve decluttered from the rest of the house in your spare room.  Make sure to get rid of anything you don’t need, including linens, holiday décor or craft supplies.

Go through the closet and dressers to make space for guests to hang up or put away their clothes. It’s also a good idea to be prepared in case your guests need to spend an extra night or two.

You’re almost done decluttering your home for the holidays! Keep reading for one more place to clean up, and a few key things to remember while organizing.

5. Bathroom

You should also declutter the bathroom. This is a great time to go through your medicine cabinet and other bathroom cabinets and get rid of anything you no longer need, like old cleaning supplies, towels and expired beauty products. You’ll also want to get rid of expired drugs (over the counter and prescription). The best way to dispose of these medicines is through a drug take back program, or you can flush or throw away certain medicines at home. Be sure to read this article from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before disposing unused medicines.

If you’re hosting, be sure to stock the bathroom with extra toilet paper, towels, candles, soap dispensers (plus soap) and toiletries before your guests arrive.

Don’t Forget

Even though we’ve given you specific places to declutter around your house, there are a few things you shouldn’t forget. Here are some tips to get your home ready for the holidays:

Start early and make a plan

Decluttering, especially on a timeline, isn’t always easy. So, set yourself up for success by starting early! You don’t want to put decluttering off until the last minute, then rush to get everything done before the holidays. Create a plan in order to minimize stress and stick to your schedule.

Declutter toys

If you have kiddos, now is the perfect time to go through their toys and donate any they don’t play with anymore. Your home will soon be full of holiday gifts (which will probably include new toys), so get rid of a few older ones to create more space.

Decluttering tip: Check out this blog before donating used toys.

Go through Christmas décor

We understand this sounds crazy. Getting rid of Christmas décor right before Christmas? But trust us. You don’t really need four tree skirts or a garland from 10 years ago. Donate or throw away Christmas decorations that don’t have memories attached to them—like lights, broken artificial trees, old candles, etc., but keep décor with sentimental value.

Consider cleaning out the car

While you’re in the decluttering mood, go through and declutter your car. If you have family or friends flying in, you may need to pick them up at the airport or drive them around town.

Throw away those to-go cups and empty wrappers, and consider vacuuming or getting a car wash. You’ll feel much better driving your family around in a clean, fresh vehicle.

Decluttering before the Holidays FAQs:

What should I declutter before the holidays?

You should declutter toys, Christmas décor and supplies, guest linens, games, beauty products and seasonal items.

What is the best way to start decluttering?

The best way to start decluttering is to create a checklist. Then, start decluttering five minutes at a time, or give away one item each day. Decluttering can be an overwhelming process, so it’s a good idea to start small and go from there. Check out our Marie Kondo blog for inspirational decluttering advice!

How should I organize my house for Christmas?

Organize your home for Christmas by creating a schedule for decluttering, organizing and cleaning. Tidy up certain areas of your house (including the ones listed in this blog), and get the whole family involved in the process!

What should you not do when decluttering?

In order to prevent getting overwhelmed when decluttering, try not to start a major project without a plan or schedule, don’t hang on to items that should be donated or sold, and don’t try to declutter everything at once.

Wrapping Up: Decluttering before Christmas

We hope this list of places to declutter before Christmas has helped you prepare for the holidays! Make room for the holiday season and everything that goes along with it (including the classic debate, “is Die Hard a Christmas movie?”), by decluttering your home. Looking for ways to declutter after Christmas? Check out the best ways to pack Christmas ornaments for storage.

Whether you’re hosting the whole family, or just want to clean up before the festivities begin, if you need more space while decluttering, organizing and purging check out Store Space. We offer premium, secure storage at affordable rates. Even if you just need a storage unit over the holidays, our monthly leases make it easy and convenient. Just use our storage location finder to locate your nearest facility. Happy holidays!  

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Rent Online Right Now. Skip the Counter & Go Straight to Your Space.


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