Christmas is a time for family, friends and giving, but it can also be a time for excess. Lots of people feel the need to buy more things than they need, and before you know it, your house is cluttered with stuff you don’t really want or need. Taking the time in advance to declutter for Christmas can help you focus on what’s really important and make room for new things in your life.

In this vlog I share a simple 7 pile process you can follow to help you tackle the clutter, room by room.

If you would prefer to read about it, there is a transcript below the video.

Declutter For Christmas – Video Transcript

Early December is a perfect time to declutter for Christmas and my 7 pile process will help you tackle it, leaving you surrounded by the things you love.

Whenever  I feel the need to declutter, I want to get stuck in and do it all at once.  And it’s normally everywhere that I want to declutter. Then I have the bit between my teeth, try doing it all together and the same time and then of course I feel overwhelmed.

Our emotions and the way we live are very closely linked, in a positive or negative way. One of the most common ways of stopping ourselves achieving something we really want, is to make our space and time so disorganised so that we don’t create that ‘thing’ in our lives that we want.

So the first thing I do is to make a plan, and most importantly, break it down into bite sized chunks, and also some sort of time schedule for each area that needs to be dealt with.

And because I like lists, I find it helps me cope with everything I have to do.  When I can cross a completed task off my list, I do a little victory dance.   Making a plan and a list also keeps me from getting distracted, or actively looking for displacement activity – oohhh I am very good at this, believe me.

If your clutter has been building up over years, the best thing to do is to prioritise – prioritise everything in your day or week or month, depending on how you organise your decluttering schedule, and how much you need to do.

If there is more than one place in the house that needs decluttering, I find it easier to settle into one room at a time and when I do each room, I make piles to help me.

These are the piles, of the 7 pile process:

  • I love it pile

  • Is it beautiful pile

  • Is it useful pile

  • I haven’t used it or worn it for over a year pile

  • I use or wear this now pile

  • Charity shop pile

  • A maybe pile

When dealing with these piles remember that clutter is any thing that you don’t feel good about or that stops you using your space in a way that either empowers you or nurtures you.

So what do all these piles mean?

I love it pile

The trap here is to think that everything we buy has sentimental value, is life enhancing, and is associated with positive emotion. Our houses would explode if we kept everything, so we need to remember that lots of these valuable and sentimental items have gathered dust for enough time, and now a decision needs to be made to let them go.

Memories are kept in the heart and mind, you can’t replace a person with a ‘thing’, but if you really aren’t ready to let an item go, then you don’t have to. However there is a limit of how many things you keep that you ‘love’.  Soooo, have courage, be brave, hold the memories in your heart and let go.

Then there’s the beautiful pile

What is beautiful? Does this mean you want it as a ‘forever item’? If the answer is no, then it means that it is not as beautiful as you might have thought.

Our belongings are meant to enrich our lives, but we seem to have become slaves to our possessions, instead of being in control of what we keep and what we let go of.

We spend a lot of time, money and energy owning items, so when we have had enough of loving, storing, cleaning and repairing our things, and are no longer used or appreciated, then it is time to be brave and let these loved items go on to be loved by someone else.

And now onto the ‘Is it useful pile’

Are you actually using ‘it’, or is it that you are keeping it for ‘in case I need it’?   That means it can’t be described as being useful.

We soooo often think something may be useful, and it’s one of the main reasons we hang on to clutter. And the thing is, that item has been kept for ‘in case’ for many years, so the present moment is a good time to recognise that it has not been useful for far too long and to let it go to have another lovely life somewhere else.

And on to the ‘I haven’t used it or worn it for over a year pile’

If we are talking about our wardrobes, perhaps the questions to be asked is, ‘does it fit, does it suit me, does it make me feel good?’

All too often I think, I will keep an item of clothing for a while in the hopes that it will still fit next season, or maybe I will like it better next season.  That has never happened, so I have learnt the lesson now, and I do let ‘it’ go so I don’t take up unnecessary space.

If there are a few items that are going, that’s exciting, because it makes space, a space to just enjoy, or maybe to be replaced with only one item that brings joy.

woman looking at her clothes deciding what to keep

I use or wear this now pile

This pile is a no brainer, these items are in use, and  are clothes that are worn now, but perhaps there is one question to be asked – does this garment or thing reveal to the world who I am, and am I happy with this?

I think it’s powerful to have fewer items that makes me feel nurtured and brings me joy. So even this pile might be little less than before.

A maybe pile

This pile might feel like a life saver because it means you don’t have to make a decision immediately or get rid of anything. It can be a relief not to have to make yet another decision.

So box this pile up, and then if you haven’t gone looking for anything in this box for a season, then it can go straight to the charity shop and that’s the only decision you have to make, to take it to the charity shop.

The last pile is the Charity shop pile

This is such a therapeutic pile, because decisions have been made, there is space where was none before, and that feels really good.  And those items are going on to give someone else pleasure.

So just a reminder, don’t try and do it all at once, it’s easy to have unrealistic ideas of how quickly decluttering can be done.  One step at a time is a good motto to follow.

Something else to help future clutter issues, is to avoid shopping in the same way that got you into the mess in the first place, shop more intentionally and ask ‘do I really need this, will this improve the quality of my life, or is it just going to create more clutter’

It’s easy to get caught up in the notion that our happiness will increase as we collect more, when actually we are happier when we have less ‘stuff’ to worry about and to keep organised.

A huge upside of decluttering, is when it is all done, apart from the things that are useful, you are now surrounded with things that you love, and are nurtured by.

Feeling Overwhelmed? Constantly Putting Off “Stuff” Until Tomorrow?

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