6 Ways To Declutter Your Home Before The Holidays

Now is the season to toss any faded pumpkins and broken holiday décor. 

Sohr Sunroom Decorated for Christmas
Photo: Photo: Alison Gootee; Styling: Suzonne Stirling

Surely, the holidays conjure feelings of cozy fireplace evenings and the reminiscent scents of baking gingerbread cookies. However, the anticipation of the holidays, let alone the arrival, can feel a bit chaotic.

To get ahead of the Christmas chaos, controlled or not, you'll want to take the time to fall clean and declutter your space. Just as the secret to spring (as well as fall) cleaning is to declutter your home, room by room, pre-organizing and deep cleaning your dwelling can ease the chaotic feelings associated with the holiday season. No matter if your home décor is sensible and minimal or leaning toward the Southern-approved clutter decorating, following the simple to-do list below will eliminate unwanted clutter as well as renew your mind and home's energy for a merry holiday season ahead. Mallory Micetich, Home Expert at Angi weighs in on ways to refresh your home before the holidays hit.

"Cleaning your home in the fall is one of the best ways to set yourself up for a great season," she says. "After giving your home a little TLC, it'll be fresh and ready to take on the fall season."

Here, Micetich's top tips for getting your home clutter-free and ready for the celebratory season.

Store Your Summer Clothes

Sadly, it's time to pack away your favorite summer bucket hats and breezy seersucker dresses until next season. Reclaim your closet and dresser drawers by swapping out your summer seasonal attire (tank tops, shorts, hats, swimsuits, and so on) by neatly packing away in clear totes that are clearly labeled.

"I recommend using clearly labeled plastic bins to store your off-season clothes and decor. Go through your home room by room and make sure everything has a designated place," comments our home expert.

Feel free to add a dryer sheet or fresh bar of wrapped soap to make sure your packed clothes stay fresh while they slumber.

Clean the Kitchen and Check the Spice Cabinet

Any season, the kitchen is the heart of the home. When fall cleaning, pay extra attention to this nook of your home. "You'll probably spend a lot of time in the kitchen this season, so try to give the space some extra attention," shares Micetich.

Taking the time to update your spices is a must for fall kitchen cleaning. "Make sure your pantry and refrigerator are organized and well-stocked with fall cooking essentials like spices and pumpkin puree."

After your kitchen and cabinets have been vacuumed, wiped, and reorganized, now is the time to put up the seasonal fall décor. Pay attention to glass front cabinets where you store and display your seasonal China. If a holiday China pattern no longer sparks joy or you wish to switch out for something new, consider passing the heirloom down to a daughter or niece.

Ranch House Wet Bar in Deep Turquoise
Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Jenny O’Connor

Toss Unwanted Holiday Decor

It's likely that you have collected a variety of holiday decorations over the years. While your classic magnolia wreath will forever be a front door fixture, that slightly faded plastic pumpkin or faux holiday tree that no longer lights up is just taking up space.

"Test your holiday lights to see what works and what doesn't," advises Micetich." Get rid of any decor you no longer love or see yourself using. If you don't plan on decorating for Halloween anymore, consider giving your old decorations to a family with young kids who may be decorating for the first time this year."

Declutter Room by Room

Naturally, your space is an extension of you—however, more pillows, blankets, and knickknacks may be clogging your space, so your personality is essentially hidden. Treat fall as an opportunity to declutter, room by room. Pay attention to your living room by reorganizing your glass front cabinets, thoroughly vacuuming large area rugs, and tidying up any designated "keeping" areas.

"Go room by room and get rid of any items you no longer need," she says. "Start by decluttering the room's surfaces and then move on to drawers, closets, and other hidden spaces. When decluttering things like clothes and blankets, separate them into two piles—donate and trash."

Micetich shares that following this decluttering strategy will help you to donate your usable clothes when the decluttering is complete.

Deep Clean the Nooks of Your Home

One of the final steps to completing fall cleaning is to actually clean. Pay special attention to walls, closets, and high-traffic areas such as the mud room, laundry room, and garage. Our pro advises putting a bit of muscle and sweat into your fall cleaning. She shares, "start at the top of each room and work your way down to the floor. In each room, clean the overhead light and fan, wipe down all the surfaces, and vacuum and mop the floors."

Concluding, "try to clean areas that you usually skip over, like your cabinets, shower curtains, windows, and light fixtures. When you finish cleaning your home, top it all off by starting a fall-scented simmer pot on your stove."

Reorganize and Decorate

Now that your home is clean and free of unused items, direct your attention to reorganizing the items you have kept. Paying attention to areas of your home that get a lot of use such as your vintage painted secretary desk where school work gets done or your conversation corner where you go to unwind and converse at day's end are all good places to start reorganizing.

Micetich recommends that all items you keep have a designated place. You can establish an attractive focal point, focusing on a piece of furniture to display a collection of books and collectibles, minding the color palette, and incorporating the same base of colors with other seasonal home accents such as pillows and rugs.

Greenery and Stockings hung on fireplace mantel
Alison Gootee; Styling: Elizabeth Demos
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