How To Tidy Up Every Room In Your House For The Holidays

Say it with me: "Outer order, inner peace." 

Cleaning supplies in front of a Christmas tree
Photo: Sinenkiy/Getty

No question about it: The holidays are an incredibly fun time of year. There are so many things to love, from the first snap of football season to the clinking of glasses on New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, the stretch between late September and early January means literal months of time for our homes to get neglected as they suffer the brunt of our busy-ness (we all have that one…or five…piles that we'll "get to" at some point, right?). Especially around Christmastime, items coming in can feel overwhelming since little is going out.

This year, get ahead of it. Instead of making "tidying" another item on your list, incorporate a little tidying into tasks you already do. Say it with me: "Outer order, inner peace."

Primary Bedroom and Bathroom

Don't let cluttered drawers become your doom. As you're getting yourself ready, quickly sort through cosmetics and toiletries that are expired or empty. Trash or replace them. Pro tip: Save yourself a headache and place that Amazon order to refill a product right when you notice it's low.

Are you a "try on at home" person? Your returns pile might be growing by the day. To keep organized, grab a box or basket whose sole purpose is containing packages that need to go back. It'll keep you organized and (even better!) likely save you money.


As you're wiping your countertops, take stock: What has made its way onto your surfaces that could be stored somewhere else? Visual clutter causes underlying stress, so pop produce and breads into bowls and stash appliances elsewhere.

Actively notice what starts to pile up. If you're overrun with stray papers, for example, invest in an inexpensive tray or mail holder to free up space and stop the madness. Make systems that work for you.

Kids' Bedrooms and Play Areas

While you're putting laundry away, take a quick inventory of what your child actually wears vs. what they outgrew two seasons ago. Open your Notes app (or text yourself!) with a running list of staples that need to be replaced. Doing so will help curb impulse buying and outfit your kids in what they really need. Bonus: Having a list ready makes it easy to send suggestions to grandparents who are wondering what they can get your kids for Christmas.

Living Spaces

This amazing hack will save you time and energy: the Basket Trick. When it's time for a whole house tidy-up, grab a large basket (or Tupperware tub–anything will do!) and take it with you from room to room. Load it with things that have migrated from their proper homes: stray shoes, stuffed animals, jackets, or papers. The only rule is that you can't start unloading anything from the box until you've made it through every room in the house. After you've loaded, you can unload: take one more pass back through to place things where they belong (and some of them may belong in the trash!). This process eliminates the back-and-forth that so often happens when we're straightening our homes.

Set yourself up to enjoy your spaces instead of feeling stressed by them. By staying on top of the mess, you'll be able to focus on enjoying your holiday season instead of dreading those looming "to-do's." It makes all the difference.

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