Holiday Decluttering: From Give to Get

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As the holidays near, it’s time to prepare for family dinners, shopping, and finding the perfect gifts. This season often brings about a need to declutter in preparation for holiday guests.

According to Senior Relocation Expert, Nan Hayes in The Gift of Giving, “most of us hold onto the possessions that fill our homes because we don’t regularly take the time to evaluate the functionality or personal meaning of each item and discard those that are no longer useful. Instead, as we buy new items, we just set the old aside to be dealt with at some future point in time. Most of us never find that time and eventually, clutter accumulates.”


Here are a few ideas to get your declutter process started through giving:

• Give the gift of collectibles

If you have friends or relatives that collect specific items, like angel themed ornaments or miniatures, classic books, specific china or dish patterns, keep them in mind as you make room for this year’s gifts. You can gather items within your home that fit the theme of their collection and set them aside before donating the items.


• Give the gift of Family Heirlooms
As mentioned in The Gift of Giving, “the holiday season is the perfect time to add to your family legacy by passing on heirlooms to next generations. And you don’t have to be in your eighties or nineties to begin this kind of gifting. Make it part of your annual tradition. Give at least one meaningful or sentimental item to another family member,” and include a note explaining the significance of the item.


• Give the gift of antiques
If you have old world treasures that never quite fit into your décor, consider giving them to people you know will appreciate them.

• Give the gift of new unopened items
Many times we have so much clutter, we overlook items we’ve never used with the promise to find the perfect place for them eventually. If it’s still in the box or has tags after 6 months or more, consider giving the item as a gift. 

Other great ways to declutter during the holiday season include:

• Donating or recycling old magazines.
Old magazines can be used by your local library, women or family shelters, nursing homes or retirement communities for crafts or reading. 

• Getting rid of clothing or accessories you haven't worn in 2 years, especially winter coats.
Many organizations, like Caring Transitions, are hosting events like coat or clothing drives to help those in need during the cooler Winter months. Contact us today to see how you can help a neighbor in need.

• Sell or recycle your old electronics while purchasing new electronics.
Old electronics can be great donations for senior communities or women’s shelters especially older cell phones that you no longer use.

• Designate a basket or bin for useful items that can be donated like toys, or blankets.
The holiday season can reveal many needs for less fortunate vulnerable populations like children and seniors. Read 10 Things to Donate to Seniors in Need for ideas on household item donations.

• Clean out your purse or wallet keeping an eye out for unused or used gift cards.
Gift cards can be used for purchasing gifts during the holiday season, purchasing items to donate, or as gifts for friends or loved ones.

Whatever method of decluttering you choose, remember giving makes room to receive.

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