How to Recover from Too Much Christmas Clutter

by Ashley Eneriz · 2 comments

Now that Christmas is over, do you feel like your house is more cluttered? Are you still sifting through the presents, gift cards, and stocking stuffers?

I am! While I’m grateful for family members and friends that love us and give us gifts, it’s overwhelming how much stuff acquires in such a short period of time.

I’m thankful my family members want to spoil my toddler, but it can be hard to be grateful for new toys and clothes that she didn’t need (especially when I politely requested books for her library). On top of all of that, I feel horrible complaining about too much stuff when so many are suffering and don’t even have the basic necessaries.

Can you relate? Please tell me I’m not alone in this after-Christmas dilemma!

Here is my plan of action to recover from the overabundance of Christmas clutter, while still being thankful and showing gratitude to loved ones.

  1. Send Thank You Notes: Your first step is to write out thank you notes for all the gifts received. This will help put your heart back in the right place by showing thanks. Even though I don’t intend to keep all the gifts, I still want to have genuine gratitude towards those who gifted them.
  2. Divide Up Gifts: Next, divide gifts by ones you plan to returns, re-gift, or keep. The re-gifting pile is meant for nice items that cannot be used or returned, but that can be gifted or donated to someone in need. The return pile will need to be taken care of in the next month, with the goal to get store credit for items or cash.
  3. Swap Something Old for Something New: An easy way to welcome in new presents, without bringing on more clutter, is to exchange new gifts for something old you already have. For example; if you received a new sweater, then donate or sell the old one. New toys and clothes don’t have to be a bad thing, but they should replace something else. This will prevent you from getting to the point of having stuffed closets and rooms a few years down the road.
  4. Beware of After-Christmas Shopping: Most stores will be clearing out their winter/Christmas inventory before the New Year, which can mean big savings for you. However, be careful to not go on a crazy shopping spree just because the items are cheap. If you don’t need any more Christmas gift wrap or decorations for next year, don’t be tempted by the 90% off clearance stickers.
  5. Consider a New Year’s Purge: Since we’re on the verge of welcoming in the New Year, why not start off with a little less clutter? Challenge yourself to find 1-2 things from each area in the home that you don’t need or don’t like. This has been especially easy for me since I’m eight months pregnant and in total nesting mode. I’ve been listing outgrown toddler shoes, pants, and media on eBay for quick sales. Pick a number and then challenge yourself to get rid of that many things in your home. Having a hard time parting with something? Just put the items in a box, and then place that box in the garage. If you forget about all of those items for a few weeks, then you truly do not need them.

I hope that your Christmas and holiday season was filled with love and special moments and not too much clutter. But if you find yourself with an excess amount of stuff, use these tips to regain control.

Don’t wait until the New Year, start decluttering your home now!

How do you deal with unwanted gifts? What does your family handle excess Christmas clutter?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Argie says:

    In my family, which includes 20 who gather for holidays, we draw names at our Thanksgiving dinner. Each person is responsible for one gift only. At our Christmas gathering, there is still a lot of fun and commotion as 20 gifts are opened, but each person takes home only one gift, so there is far less clutter afterward. Of course, there are gifts from school friends and work parties, etc., but having de-emphasized the gift exchange at home, we have more time for meaningful activities – going to church together, watching a Christmas video together, remembering family members who are not with us any longer and recounting tales from past Christmas gatherings. It’s nice. Affection and appreciation abound. The kids who have grown up love to come home for Christmas.

  • I use the system of putting give-aways in a box down in the basement. This works so well for me because it gives me an evaluation period where I can determine whether or not we still need any of the stuff. Usually we don’t, but, it just makes the process easier for me. And now I’m reminded that I have some boxes down there that need to be donated… 🙂

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