By Leslie Rouder, LCSW, CHt. 

Is the thought of getting ready for the holidays causing you stress or overwhelm? Are you feeling like you don’t know where to start? Keeping your home clutter-free and organized, especially around holiday time, can help alleviate some of the stress and overwhelm you may be feeling, especially when you have ADD. 

I put together a list of 3 important things you can do to keep your home clutter-free for the holidays, as well as all year round.

1.  Set up 4 different boxes and label each box with the following labels:

  • Throw Away– these are items that are no longer needed.  This includes trash, but may also include things that are broken (and cannot be repaired) or items that no longer have any worth to you.
  • Give Away– these are those items that can be re-cycled to someone that you know might enjoy having them, or donated to your favorite charity.
  • Short term storage –these are those items that just need to be put back in their place in your home.  They are used often and have a location that is easy to find.
  • Long term storage –these are those items that you use infrequently and need to store somewhere out of the way.  This could be in closets, attics, or garages.  Make sure to label each box so that when you need these items, they are easy to locate.

2.   Take 30 minutes a day to go through each room of your home with your boxes.  This may mean you can only get to one room a day.  This is fine. You can rotate through your home doing one room a day until you have done every room in your home. Some rooms (like the bathrooms) may take you far less time than some others.  So, you may get more than one room done each day.  Set a timer for 30 minutes, bring your boxes into the room, and sort each item that is out of place into one of the containers.  I often tell my clients to work with another person (also referred to as a “body double”) to help keep them on track.  If you have children in the house, you can actually make this a game using the timer.  Who can pick up the most items in 30 minutes?   (You may also do this in (2)  15 minute increments if you need to).

 3.    At the end of the week, you should have a box that needs to be donated.  Remember to call your favorite charity and arrange a pick up.  Place your long term storage item box in the appropriate closet, garage or attic for long term storage.  Make sure to place all short term storage items back into the easy to find location.  Discard all of the items in your Throw Away box. 

The above exercise can be repeated weekly, monthly or whenever you have the need to de-clutter. Doing this, on a regular schedule will help keep your home clutter- free and be a stress reliever, as well.  Now sit back, relax and enjoy your clutter-free home.