family decorating Christmas tree

The holidays can be a fun, but sometimes stressful, time; the busyness that comes with parties, school activities, and visiting family members can leave you feeling a little frazzled if you did not prepare ahead of time, states Healthline. You can simplify your holiday season by decluttering your home before the chaos starts.

There are plenty of benefits to decluttering any time of year, but they are especially important when life is extra busy. Utah State University states getting rid of the mess can help you feel better, mentally and physically. The combination of focusing on a single task while being active helps the mind and body work together toward the goal of creating a more relaxing space. So while clutter can make you feel overwhelmed and anxious, dealing with it has the opposite effect. Here are a few areas to work on before the holidays are in full swing to help you enjoy the festive season with your loved ones.

1. Beauty products

makeup products

As you prepare for holiday parties, take a look at your beauty products. How long have you had them? According to Better by Today, toss liquid eyeliners after three months, but pencil eyeliners, lipstick, and gloss are safe up to two years. This is also a good time to toss anything you do not like or wear.

2. Wardrobe

organized clothes

The average person has about 150 items of clothing, according to Capsule Wardrobe Data. The holiday season is a great way to clear out items you no longer wear. Donate gently used clothing items to your local thrift store to help someone who could use them.

3. Coat closet

person selecting a coat

Clean out your coat closet before welcoming guests into your home so you can use it for coats instead of making your guests toss theirs onto a bed. For your guest’s handbags, Moth Prevention suggests using shower hooks. Put away items that do not belong in the closet and donate extra coats to those in need.

4. Wrapping supplies

woman wrapping gifts

How do we acquire so many wrapping supplies? Most wrapping paper and rolls can be recycled, states Kimble. So, get rid of those pieces you know you’ll never use and toss damaged bows and random bits and pieces of wrapping supplies leftover from years past.

5. Kitchen storage

kitchen drawer

Kitchens tend to get cluttered when you cook more, like during the holiday season, states Insider. So, take the time to declutter and organize your kitchen so you know where everything is when you need it. There’s nothing worse than being ready to mix your cookie dough but having to search every drawer for the beaters.

6. Laundry room

tidy laundry room

Prepare ahead of time for your holiday guests by organizing your laundry room. Your visitors will probably need to do laundry, so it is important to make sure they can easily find what they need. Life Storage suggests hanging a shelf above your washer and dryer to keep necessities visible.

7. Holiday decor

Christmas decorations

Holiday decorations may be difficult to declutter because so many items have sentimental value, but getting overwhelmed by the number of items you have is a stressful way to start the season. School of Decorating suggests setting a limit to the number of items you are willing to store and donate the items you no longer love.

8. Toys

messy play room

Right before the holidays is the perfect time to declutter toys. If your kids are old enough, you can work together to decide what toys should be tossed or donated. For younger children, Modern Minimalism suggests watching your kids to see what toys they actually still play with and which ones they will not miss.

9. Food

organized pantry

You can save money and declutter your refrigerator and pantry by using apps to help make a menu based on what you already have, according to CNET. As you eat your way through your food inventory, remove all items you will not eat. Donate non-perishable food items like canned goods, grains, or beans that are not expired.

10. Bedding

woman putting away linens

Whether you are expecting guests or just need to update your bedding, decluttering your bedroom linens will help you find exactly what you need quickly. Clutter.com suggests putting like items together, so you can grab them easily. Label the shelves with the size of bedding so you aren’t struggling to put a full sheet on a queen bed.

11. Bathroom linens

folded bath towels

When guests arrive, you want them to have the best, and your old ratty towels are not ideal. The Inspired Home suggests organizing your bathroom linens by removing everything from storage and getting rid of items that are worn out. Then, fold and put the items you want to keep back neatly.

12. Entryway

modern entryway

To prepare for the unexpected holiday drop-ins, declutter your entryway. Your whole house may be clean, but if your entry is full of coats and shoes strewn about, it might be embarrassing to open the door, states OMYSA. If you have room, add a bench with storage to keep clutter stashed away.

13. Pet supplies

dog with toy

Take a few minutes to declutter your furry friend’s stash before the holidays to make room for all the new toys and treats they will certainly get. Get rid of anything your pet no longer plays with or is worn out. Matthews Legacy Farm suggests keeping your pet’s favorite toys in a decorative basket when not in use.

14. Countertops

clear countertop

Ensure that your countertops are clear of clutter, even decorative items, to keep your kitchen running efficiently, states Petal Sweet Cleaning Service. With the extra cooking that happens around the holidays, a clean countertop will help you feel less stressed and ready to start baking.

15. Your schedule

woman looking at calendar app

Perhaps the most important item on this list for a less stressful holiday season is decluttering your schedule. Intentional Family Life suggests carefully considering what events are essential and what are not. You do not want to waste precious evenings at an event you do not want to attend instead of spending quality time with family and friends.