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Feeling overwhelmed with a houseful of stuff wondering where the next influx of stuff from Christmas will go? Here’s how to do a last-minute pre-Christmas declutter. 

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How to do a pre-Christmas declutter


Now decluttering before Christmas is a total first world problem. 

But I also think it gives us a chance to stop and really think about how we consume things and make changes for the coming year. 

Less is definitely becoming more in a world overstuffed with, well, stuff. 

Here are 10 simple things you can do to give your home a pre-Christmas declutter just before the festive season really kicks in.

Related: 15 Benefits of decluttering your home that will get you motivated to declutter


1. Food cupboards

Start in your larder or pantry. 

Go through all the packets and tins and check the expiry dates. 

Throw out anything that is beyond eating. 

Put a box of unwanted, but still edible, food together to donate to your local food bank or charity. 

2. Wardrobe

Take stock of the winter layers and accessories that you wear. 

Donate any you no longer wear to a charity or homeless shelter. 
Warm winter clothes are particularly in demand for refugees and homeless families at this time of year.

Also, you’ll be into the swing of Christmas parties and events by now. 

Which means you’ll have a clear idea of things that you aren’t going to wear again. 

Gather them together to take to a local charity shop

Related: The ultimate list of Christmas planning tips

3. Books

We always get an influx of new books as gifts at Christmas

But our bookshelves can only hold so many. 

Sort through the books and only keep the ones that you genuinely love or know you will read again. 

Donate unwanted children’s books to a local kids’ charity, offer them to your kids’s school or simply take them to a charity shop. 

Take all other books to the charity shop. 

4. Re-use or give away old gifts 

There are inevitably gifts you receive that you never use. 

Think about re-gifting them (be careful not to re-gift to the person who gave the gift to you!) or get them down to the local charity shop. 

5. Medicine cabinet

A slightly random one, but this is a great time of year to check expiration dates on meds. 

Responsibly dispose of old stuff and then stock up on the basics to cover you for colds and sore heads during the festive season and winter months. 

6. Paper

I usually have a stack of paper as tall as the house come December. 

Receipts, old statements, catalogues, brochures…

Stuff I’ve got in a pile as a ‘to-do’ reminder. 

It’s well worth taking a couple of hours and just hacking through the lot. 

I’ve got a post on how to organise paperwork that might help. 

7. The crud drawer

You know. 

That drawer or cupboard where you toss anything that doesn’t have a specific home. 

Stuff that ‘might’ come in useful at some point. 

But invariably never does. 

Going through your crud drawer and emptying it can be one of the most satisfying and freeing jobs you’ll ever do in your home

8. Make-up bag and beauty cupboard

Go through your make-up bag and get rid of all the stuff on its last legs and more than a year old. 

Wash your make-up brushes using a gentle face wash or make-up remover. 

Responsibly ditch beauty products you either don’t ever use or that are past their best. 

A make-up bag and beauty cupboard purge will also give you the gift of time. 

Because it will be so much easier to get through your make-up and beauty routine. 

9. Crafts and Scrapbooking

Every so often our craft cupboard can bring me to tears. 

The cure is a couple of big rubbish bags. 

One for recycling and one for binning. 

I also put together a pile of creations for storing. 

That which remains in the cupboard can then be easily accessed and used, rather than forgotten about. 

10. Toys

Kids have so many toys these days

But I have a theory that the more toys they have access to the less they play with ANY of them. 

So it’s good to do a toy purge and pre-Christmas is a great time to do it. 

Ideally, do it when your kids aren’t around. 

Don’t be mean. 

Create a pile of things you are unsure of purging that you can go through with them. 

But the stuff they definitely never even look at and stuff they’ve outgrown can be gifted, sold on or donated to a charity shop. 

I hope these tips come in handy and help you do a pre-Christmas declutter that gets your house a little more organised before the festive season really kicks in. 

I’ve got a super popular post on how to make money from your clutter if you have the inclination to make a few pounds from selling your clutter.