Purging of possessions is kind of a regular phenomenon in my household. I’m just not the type of person that’s overly sentimental about things, and I hate the thought that I might be letting the “stuff” in my life have too much power over me. That being said, you should really see my house right now because it is pretty much a complete disaster.

My husband and I did make the decision, however, to get rid of our dining room table, which seems like a drastic move, but the truth of the matter is that we didn’t really use it for eating at anyway. It was really just another place for crud to accumulate.

Now, I’m not recommending that you go and get rid of your kitchen table for the heck of it, but being that Christmas is almost here and you may very soon find yourself the very gracious host of God-only-knows-how-many house guests, you’re probably feeling the need to de-clutter your own living space.

Thankfully, I am not playing the role of host this Christmas season. But regardless, I have a few helpful tips from my own purging endeavors to help you spruce up before the Holidays!

Tip #1: Use the “Keep” Test

Obviously, a good place to start de-cluttering is by actually getting rid of some things. Whether you donate it or toss it in the can, it’s gotta go! Use these questions as a guideline to determine whether something is really worth hanging onto:

  • Do I use this item on a regular basis? Monthly, weekly, daily? Is it part of my living routine?
  • Does this item bring me financial gain in any way? Does it either make or save me money?
  • Does this item bring me sentimental gain? Does it improve my mood or boost me spiritually?
  • Will I even notice that this item is gone in a month? A week? A day?

If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, then keep whatever it is you are considering. If you find yourself answering “no”, then in the bin it goes!!! No ifs, ands, or buts mister!

Tip #2: Utilize Wall Space

My house has tall walls and  not a lot on them. I can’t help but feel that some of this space could be better utilized in order to free up more walking room. Some practical ideas for making the most of your wall space include installing a hanging shoe organizer or putting up shadow boxes to use as mail receptacles.

Tip #3: Rearrange the Furniture

Sometimes, you’ve lived in the “same” space for so long that, honestly, nothing you do is going to make it feel any less cluttered or overwhelming. At this juncture, my husband and I usually decide to rearrange some of our larger pieces of furniture. We try to move things from one room to another, but even rearranging pieces within a single room can leave the space feeling surprisingly refreshed!

Tip #4: Create a System of Organized Accumulation

The accumulation of stuff - mail, books, keys, pens, toys, etc. - is pretty inevitable, I’m afraid. The key is having a kind of system set-up that allows this accumulation to happen in a more organized manner. That system also needs to be accessible and relatively effortless, because let’s face it, if it requires anything more than that, it’s just not going to happen. Even if things just get thrown in a tote right inside your door, at least they’re not landing on the floor, or the table, or the counters, or the couch, etc. Basically, have somewhere close to your entryway where your respective family members can place the kinds of things that usually end up strewn from one end of your house to another: mail, shoes, jackets, keys, etc.

Tip #5: Treat Yourself to Something New

I know this seems counter-intuitive to de-cluttering your home, but bear with me on this one. You’ve actually taken the time to clean up your house and get rid of some things that you’ve just been hanging onto for way too long. You’ve done it, and your house looks awesome!

But here’s the thing, sometimes you need something to revitalize your sense of pride in the home that you created and give you a little more motivation to keep the space clean for the foreseeable future. Investing a little time and money into a couple of new decorations can do just that! Try some new curtains or a couple new pieces of artwork - both of which take up ZERO floor space! This also allows you the opportunity to further personalize your house to your own styles and preferences, and believe it or not, that is a huge part of what transforms your “house” into your “home.”